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Elsker (The Elsker Saga #1)

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3.81  ·  Rating details ·  2,678 Ratings  ·  382 Reviews
Featured in USA Today
An Upper YA/New Adult Paranormal Romance

Kristia Tostenson prefers Earl Grey to Grey Goose and book clubs to nightclubs. But when she transfers from her one-stoplight Oregon town to Cardiff University in Wales, she falls in love with Ull Myhr. Her new boyfriend isn’t exactly what she was expecting. His cashmere sweaters and old world charm mask a warri
...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 22nd 2013 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (first published April 20th 2013)
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Hillary Hunt
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
I don't care if authors want to write a romance free of sex; I've read many of them that are beautifully done. But if you're going to be sex shaming and slut shaming (like this book) to achieve your "clean" romance, that I don't like. It's lazy, throwing around terms like slut and virtue to summaryly dismiss the sex issue out of hand, and it's not necessary.

This bills itself as NA, but reads like a YA. I thought it was Twilight fan fiction a few times while reading.

I gave it a chance because I
...more
Brittany
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was fortunate enough to "meet" ST while we were both campaigning for our guys in the NA Crush Tournament. Bianca and I are advocates for Kellan Kyle from Thoughtless and ST, of course, was Team Ull! She's super sweet and was generous enough to get me a copy of Elsker! Reading the post that his advocates wrote up for the tournament had me sold on him and I was really excited to read this one! It did not disappoint one bit!


Sometimes when reading books that have a lot of mythology woven into them
...more
Deborah
Apr 05, 2015 rated it liked it


I came across this book in the 'Gods and Mortals' collection and it intrigued me, so much so that it jumped to the top my reading list.
Kristia Tostenson has always felt like she never quite fit, her parents didn't want to be bothered by her so she was raised by her grandmother, odd visions at odd times have resulted in car accidents and people believing she's weird. Taking the chance of a fresh break and a fresh start Kristia heads to Cardiff for a year where she meets the most perfect man in th
...more
Kimberly
Oct 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
I liked the integration of Norse mythology, but the execution fell flat of the potential for me. I could not stop rolling my eyes at the insta-love. The MC was a classic stereotypical Mary-Sue character and had a too-perfect-to-be-a-real-person love interest. The "I just met this person but I am so in love with them that I want to throw away the rest of my life and sacrifice everything" thing made me want to gag and laugh at the same time. So many cliches that I lost count. To be honest, I defin ...more
Hollie
Glad it was free but this was poorly written and a bit to immature and YA for my preference. Very cardboard like characters and plot. Generic feeling from beginning to end. Not a series I will continue.
Runningrabbit
3.5 A light and enjoyable YA read, pretty well written with decent editing. Definitely a bit of a plus.
Kathy * Bookworm Nation
3.5

I lived in Norway for a summer and have been drawn to their mythology and Vikings ever since. I was excited when I came across this one, it sounded just like something I would like. It’s a mix of contemporary romance and Norse mythology.

Kristia is recently graduated from high school and attending a local college (I wish her character had been a little older). She is bored with her life and wants to do something adventurous for a change and to stop being the town freak (view spoiler)
...more
Vivian
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Oh man, I feel awful because I really wanted to like this book. I LOVE mythology and I was excited by all the five star ratings. However, it didn't work for me. The characters don't feel like real people (and don't get me wrong, I love and read fantasy all the time so "what" they are has nothing to do with their relatability and depth unless it isn't done well). The dialogue is especially unrealistic and superficial. I would expect someone that's lived for hundreds of years to be more intelligen ...more
Candice
Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
Um, yeah, well...huh. This was sorta like a Norse inspired Twilight with extra sugar on top, I have to agree with some of the other reviewers there. It was sooo slow and too ooey-gooey sugary-sweet at times. Lots of good ideas and plot-lines, but the execution could have been tighter and waaay more realistic.

I'm still left with questions about the man-elf that could be intriguing to resolve, and I would like to see them win, but I wonder--does the writing get better in the subsequent books? I g
...more
Muse-ic ♬
4.5 snowflakes

Kristia Tostenson lives in the tiny town of Nehalem, Oregon. She decides that she needs to get out and see the world a little bit because she's been couped up their her entire life. So she chooses to spend her sophomore year of college abroad in Cardiff University in Wales.

The plot itself isn't unique really, but it's so enjoyable all the same! This first installment is a kind of build up. Krisita meets everyone and is introduced to the Norse world. This is all in preparation for R
...more
K.A. Last
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013, reviewed
I first heard of Elsker by S.T. Bende when one of my fellow Aussie Owned and Read girls was signed by Entranced Publishing. I must admit it wasn’t a high priority on my TBR, but after Aussie Owned and Read became an advocate for Ull in the NA Crush Tourney, I thought I better check it out.

Elsker is a little different to anything I’ve read in the past. I love books that are centred on mythology, which is why I’m a huge fan of the Percy Jackson series, but I’ve never read anything containing Norse
...more
Melinda Dozier
Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: new-adult
Hei, Hei Ull. Nice to meet ya!

Sigh - Ull, the Norse God of Winter, is a true hero - in every sense. Not only is he a warrior, but he is also a gentleman. I mean, who can resist a man who insists on opening your car door, makes waffles for breakfast and - oh, by the way - plans on saving Earth from destruction.

What a lovely mix of mythology with our modern world. Not knowing much about Norse mythology was not a problem. The stories I need to know are interweaved so well, it makes me feel like I a
...more
Vincent Morrone
May 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How can I resist a book that makes me hear that old love song, God of Thunder? Ok, it's not that God of Thunder, but still.

This book has everything from romance, to Norse Mythology to waffels. We meet Kristia Tostenson, the girl who will tame the heart of a God, Ull Myhr!

The Norse mythology is really well woven in. It's not so heavy so that you can't get your head around it, and it all lends it'self well to the main plot. It's a great read that leaves you wanting more. Not to mention hungry for
...more
Krista
The book started off from an interesting position--we're entering a paranormal romance with Scandinavian mythology for the leads. Unfortunately, the book just wasn't paced well enough to make you overlook the silliness--our heroine accepts her boyfriend is mythical faster than Bella took in Edward Cullen's vampirism. She then, in classic Mary Sue fashion, pitches herself as the answer for the gods' current problems. Interesting idea, but just not strong enough to be executed successfully.
Andrea Heltsley
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
I'm so delighted with this book! S.T. Bende is currently a new favorite author! I blew through the series in two days and loved every minute of it! The characters, Kristia and Ull were fantastic to learn about! Even the supporting characters had a great place in the story. I couldn't stop after this book, and was quick to read the next one! Five glittery stars!!!!
Lola
I got a copy in exchange for an honest review

I am so glad I got this book for review. After reading the prequel I couldn’t wait to start Elsker, the prequel gives the reader some extra information, which isn’t nessecary, but I liked having the background information. So I would certainly suggest picking up the prequel first.

This book start off when Kristia is still living in Oregon, US. I liked that we first got a sense of her past life and how she made the descision to go to Wales and study the
...more
jenny ☆
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to love this? I went into this because I'm super interested in Norse mythology (read: Thor and the Marvel movies), and it started off really promising, and just got tiring as it went on. The main character, Kristia, is sort of one note when she could've been so much more. I wanted to love her, too! She's cute, she's ballsy, she has powers! But she seemingly has no interests outside of Norse mythology, all her initial interests (art???), sort of went straight out of the window the ...more
T.H. Hernandez
Jun 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
As an avid fan of the Marvel movies, including both Thors and the Avengers, I love that this story is includes a great deal about Norse mythology. It’s a fresh take on the paranormal genre. When Kristia decides to spend her sophomore year of college abroad, she settles on Cardiff University in Wales where she falls for the hottest guy in school, and quite possibly the planet. He has an unusual name, Ull Myhr. And as it turns out, he is Thor’s stepson and his destiny is not pretty. But, you can’t ...more
Heather Duff
May 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
First of all I love the cover of this book, I mean look at Ull there, he just oozes bad ass Norse God does he not, I can feel my self turning in to a puddle with that piercing icy glare *fans herself* , ok sorry losing it there, Kristia is so gorgeous too, when I think of a Scandinavian woman, she is pretty much what I picture.

So following on from my review the other day of Tur the prequel novella to this series which I really loved does Elsker live up to its awesomeness?

Kristia is an American,
...more
Gina G.
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Elsker we follow Kristia Tostenson to Cardiff University in Wales. Kristia is a small town girl with big dreams. Her first meeting with Ull isn't exactly pleasant. In fact he's pretty rude, but with god-like good looks who really cares right? Kristia doesn't expect to see him again but fate brings them back together. Kristia has her reservations about Ull, especially since his roommates are just as flawless. But after a few intense dates including a long awaited overnight trip to Ull's privat ...more
Caro [The Book Rogue]
Aug 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Caro by: Jenny - Book Sojourner
Shelves: 2014, r2r-other, new-adult
I'm reading cross-country through everything paranormal, vampires mostly, and enjoy it alot; so much that I actually forget that Norse mythology is my favorite. They are all so kick-ass and somewhat brute, and all those different realms, their mystic beasts and Ragnarok! I just love it, and I think the whole defying destiny thing works the best for them. Thus, Ull and Kristia were right up my alley!

Ull really had that old world charme working for him, totally unhinging my brute comment. I was mi
...more
Adriana
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This review and many others can be found at Rotten Apple Reads

I had the awesome opportunity to have "met" ST Bende on Twitter last week during the NA Crush Tourney (which it's still going on). When you get the chance, follow her and all the other Team Ull members because they made my week! So when I read the synopsis of Elsker, it sounded so interesting, I knew I had to have it. So I asked ST if she could give me a copy of her book to review and she said of course!

Many of you know I LOVE the New
...more
Jessica Brooks
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: indie
So I really enjoyed Elsker (and even the prequel, Tor). I wasn't sure what it would be like going into it as I'm not really a Norse mythology kinda gal (or wasn't, it seems, until recently), but Elsker was quite entertaining. For one, Ull, the sexy, you know, Norse god, was a nice change from the usual. For two, I liked his fashion sense, as did Kristia. (Very up to date on things, unlike how I'd imagine Thor to be.) For another, if you're into the whole Twilight scene (or even if you aren't...) ...more
A. Aaroones)
Sep 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Norse Mythology is a section of literature that is most often neglected, or only present in historical fiction. But S.T. Bende took Norse Mythology to the next level and introduced it to the younger generations by incorporating the legends into an older young adult novel that connects the mythologies to today's world. As someone who is very passionate about Norse Mythology, I was very impressed with S.T. Bende's novel, and how she was able to take the myths of Norse Mythology and translate them ...more
Michelle's Paranormal Vault of Books
I love this book. Wow, I starting reading as it was free and just sounded so darn interesting, and it was. I was hooked pretty fast. The characters are very well developed and written in a way to make you really care about them.

Some of the more fashion scenes just bored me, as I could care less about designer labels and such, and all the fussy stuff some girls go gaga over. Guess that's the tomboy in me, lol. Other than that I loved it all. And that is not a big deal over all, especially for the
...more
Amalia Dillin
I blew through this in a couple of hours the minute it arrived in my mailbox. I mean, how could I resist? Norse gods, Check. Romance, check! Thor? DOUBLE CHECK!

I really liked that S.T. Bende chose to explore Ull's difficulties from the perspective of someone who knows his fate, and knows everything is going to end badly, instead of glossing over the Ragnarok is coming angle. But I wish we'd had more time with Ull and Kristia, to witness more of the development of their relationship, and her grow
...more
Vickie
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A girl from a middle-of-nowhere, go-nowhere town takes the advice of her best friend and sets off on an adventure across the pond where excitement and romance ensue. There is no explicit content (unless a kiss and a cuddle is out of bounds for you) but so many feels that I fell in love with the characters and I would feel comfortable letting my teen and pre-teen read this one . I believe this is one of the rare YA genre books that grabs YA and adult audiences. I am a huge mythology buff and a su ...more
Heather
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love Kristia and Ull! They are absolutely perfection together. I can't not wait to read more of what life has in store for them! S.T. has made these characters come to life and I have become a forever fan of hers. This is a great love story that is perfect for any ages. Ull is the sweetest and most protective Norse God I know and when you read more of him you will totally understand! You can't help, but love Kristia too though you may be jealous of her most of the time, she is truly amazing as ...more
Felicia Semmler
May 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: new-adult
Kristia is your average human oh but don't forget her "visions" that make her think she is crazy. After living in small town in Oregon for her entire life she decides to move to Wales for a semester abroad. While there she meets the supermodel handsome god like guy Ull!
Ull is the hot brooding guy who has been waiting 18 long years for Kristia, due to a prophecy.
This book was awesome filled with mythology that is highly captivating and catches your attention off the bat. The book was fast paced
...more
Isabel
What an amazingly different story, I cannot find the words to describe just how much I this book. Ull will always be my book boyfriend. The story has just about everything I love in a romance novel. Ull & Kristia have some interesting things to overcome; after all dating the god of winter is kind of different. I liked the way the story developed. this book really made the myth's come alive for me.
Book 2 Endre, here I come.
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Before finding domestic bliss in suburbia, S.T. Bende lived in Manhattan Beach (where she became overly fond of Peet’s Coffee) and Europe… where she became overly fond of McVitie's cookies. Her love of Scandinavian culture and a very patient Norwegian teacher inspired the books of The Elsker Saga (Tur, Elsker, Endre, and Tro) and The Ære Saga (Perfekt Order, Perfekt Control, and Perfekt Balance). ...more
More about S.T. Bende

Other Books in the Series

The Elsker Saga (3 books)
  • Endre (The Elsker Saga, #2)
  • Tro (The Elsker Saga, #3)

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“It does not matter how strong you are. You are to be my wife, and I will not have the woman I love put herself at risk. Ever.” 4 likes
“It would be just like me to meet the man of my dreams and pass out cold before he could ask for my number.” 4 likes
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