Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “War of the Gods” as Want to Read:
War of the Gods
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

War of the Gods

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  249 ratings  ·  22 reviews
The story of the great King Hadding is one of the darkest and most violent to come down to us from the old North. Hadding was raised by giants far from his rightful throng, as his father, a Danish King, was slain shortly after Hadding's birth. But the times comes when Hadding feels he must reclaim his legitimate place in the land of the old North. He must endure ferocious ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 15th 1999 by Tor Fantasy (first published October 1997)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about War of the Gods, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about War of the Gods

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  249 ratings  ·  22 reviews

Sort order
Aug 31, 2011 rated it liked it
A monumental effort: to create the saga of a heroic king who may or may not have actually lived, drawn on one admittedly poor source. (But others have done more with less creating a historical Arthur from Gildas' sixth-century "Ruination of Britain.") Shades of The Silmarillion, and like it not as successful as one would hope/expect.

My chief quibble is that I never felt an emotional connection to the protagonist. It was all about as interesting as reading a history book, or one of the Middle Ear
J.j. Metsavana
Huvitav raamat mitmes mõttes. Pealkiri lubaks justkui mingit suurt üleloomulikku jumaliku elemendiga sõda aga tegelikult on see hoopis ühe saaga ümberjutustus. Kohati on saaga isegi pisut veniv lugu Taani viikingkuninga elust ja pidudest. Jääb mulje kohati, et taanlane jõudis elus edasi peamiselt tänu kahele asjale a) ta oli pagana osav kaotatud lahingutest jalga laskma b) üleloomulikud sõbrad. Lõpp mulle samas meeldis ja andis kõvasti üldhinnangule juude samas. Spoiler! Tuli välja, et kogu lugu ...more
Jul 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This was certainly decent, but not up to the quality of the Last Viking series or Hrolf Kraki's Saga.
Nov 22, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
This should probably be at least 3* as the writing is ok. Fantasy / mythology with magic and swords just isn't my thing. But I've started to read Poul Anderson as I've hears so many great things. Never did really care about what the characters were trying to do or accomplish, so just abandoned after about 100 pages. Just felt like Tolkien wanna-be type of story that really didn't come close to pulling it off.
Aug 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2009
Quite few years ago now, I read Anderson's Broken Sword and immediately fell in love with his handling of Norse, Germanic and early British mythology and lore (using much of the same material Tolkien used, at just about the same time, but simultaneously ever so differently). As a result, I've picked up a few other books by him in the years between then and now, though they have, for one reason or another, been standing on the shelf unread.

Finally deciding to take War of the Gods off the shelf re
Feb 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2010
I wasn't sure whether to rate this lower or higher. It's not a perfect book, there are some strange mistakes for a veteran writer such as going back and forth in the timeline of a plot when one could have just as easily done everything for a certain time at once and perhaps accomplished things better, but for the most part I enjoyed this book.

Much fantasy is influenced by Norse mythology, but Poul Anderson is one of the very very few to actually use it in his fiction. Somehow, he's able to write
Jan 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Anderson does his best to take a legendary character (the protagonist is known only through the summary of his legends in Saxo Grammaticus...) and provide an authentic-feeling saga about him. Actually, the story seems to take place before the age of the viking expansion, perhaps the 3rd or 4th century AD. The story naturally includes a lot of mythic/supernatural elements, but then so do many of the real sagas. As in everything else I've read by Poul Anderson, the characters are all given realist ...more
Feb 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Poul Anderson takes some norse myths and tries to fashion them into a novel, with only luke warm results.
Despite the change in format, this doesn't read like a novel. It still reads like a myth and it doesn't quite work at this length.
It gets very dry and even with all the fantastic elements the characters stay fairly flat.
Interesting, as it was covering myths I wasn't familiar with, but there was no extra spark here. I could have gotten the same feeling story if I'd just bought a book of norse
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
When you know little about a subject it's always nice to find something which excites your curiosity to know more about it.
This happened to me with this book, though all I found out about this king (since yesterday) is greatly involved in myth which makes it harder to create a clear image of the man behind it.
However with or without the myth it seems to me like he was a great leader, and this work of fiction, despite its obvious fantasy, shows you that.
Jun 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves mythical tales.
I think this is a brilliant reinvention of the Norse myths. It was a great way to bring it to life and maybe understand how myths might have actually been told when the Viking culture passed these tales down through a verbal tradition. I am also a huge fan of Smiley's "The Greenlanders", so that might help you understand my interpretation.
Benjamin Elliott
Mar 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
I remember really liking this book when I read it in high school, but when I went to add it, the book description didn't match the things I remembered so I had to actually track down another copy to confirm it was the same book that I had read.

That is probably as telling as the fact I liked it originally. If you're interested in Norse mythology, I would probably recommend it.
Freddie Lynch
Aug 11, 2010 rated it liked it
I probably should have read this book several years ago as Anderson uses archaic language in the book which makes it rather difficult reading as I'm now used to the more "modern" language that all authors use. Still, it was an interesting book that deals with a relatively obscure historic individual - King Hadding the Dane.
Apr 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is probably not for everyone. The story is a ancient tale that the author fleshes out to make a memorable story. As always, Poul Anderson's writing is impeccable. The characters in Anderson's fanatasy that I have read tend to be brutal, not all of them, but the ones that are do so with zeal so read with caution.
Apr 11, 2007 added it
Shelves: never-finished
I started it, and the mythology was interesting, but at the time I wasn't looking for something with a more mythological storytelling style. I wanted a more straightforward narrative. Maybe I'll pick it up again some time.
Fredrick Danysh
Jan 05, 2012 rated it liked it
The story of Hadding, the Viking king. Fostered as a baby to a giant's family to protect him from his father's slayer, he returns to the Danes as a young man to avenge the deaths of his father and half-brother. This is the story of his adventures.
Jayalalita devi dasi
I highly recommend this book if you are a lady jotun hankering for a brief, sad love story.
Apr 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
If you've even a vague interest in Norse mythology, you must read this. It may very well help you understand the subject in a way you never have before.
Anthony Faber
Mar 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another of his Norse myth retellings. He's good at it.
Theo Logos
rated it really liked it
Jan 04, 2013
rated it really liked it
Oct 15, 2014
Ron Knouse
rated it it was amazing
Jan 12, 2018
Marco Apollonio
rated it it was ok
Oct 07, 2018
George Riggs
rated it really liked it
Nov 10, 2013
rated it liked it
Mar 06, 2009
Richard Willis
rated it really liked it
Jul 09, 2013
rated it liked it
Dec 27, 2008
rated it really liked it
Jan 03, 2018
rated it liked it
Mar 24, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Wolf and the Raven (Wodan's Children #1)
  • Eric Brighteyes
  • Land of Unreason
  • D'Aulaires' Book of Trolls
  • The Devil's Looking Glass (Swords of Albion, #3)
  • The Book of Ballads
  • Gods and Goddesses (The Enchanted World Series)
  • Thief Eyes
  • The Saga of the Jómsvíkings
  • The Broken Kings (The Merlin Codex, Book 3)
  • The Complete Pegāna: All the Tales Pertaining to the Fabulous Realm of Pegāna
  • Norse Code
  • O Filho de Thor - Volume 2 (Saga das Ilhas Brilhantes, #1.2)
  • The Lion Rampant (Kingdom #3)
  • Ice Land
  • The Ring of the Nibelung, Vol. 1
  • Beethoven's Skull: Dark, Strange, and Fascinating Tales from the World of Classical Music and Beyond
  • The Edge of Running Water
Pseudonym A. A. Craig, Michael Karageorge, Winston P. Sanders, P. A. Kingsley.

Poul William Anderson was an American science fiction author who began his career during one of the Golden Ages of the genre and continued to write and remain popular into the 21st century. Anderson also authored several works of fantasy, historical novels, and a prodigious number of short stories. He received numerous a