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The Witch's Heart

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  114 ratings  ·  70 reviews
When a banished witch falls in love with the legendary trickster Loki, she risks the wrath of the gods in this moving, subversive debut novel that reimagines Norse mythology.

Angrboda's story begins where most witches' tales end: with a burning. A punishment from Odin for refusing to provide him with knowledge of the future, the fire leaves Angrboda injured and powerless,
Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: February 9th 2021 by Ace Books
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Genevieve Gornichec Hi, Sandy! My publisher is handling ARC distribution via NetGalley, and it's still available to request right now! Thank you so much for your interest…moreHi, Sandy! My publisher is handling ARC distribution via NetGalley, and it's still available to request right now! Thank you so much for your interest!!(less)

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Average rating 4.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  114 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Dec 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wowza! It was freaking marvelous!
This is not retelling folks, this is epic, heartbreaking, powerful reimagining of Norse mythology by bringing a new character , adding more modernist approach and rewrite the story around her! It’s unique, riveting, moving, intriguing!
This is not only Loki and Angrboda’s love story. This is a woman’s standing for herself and her motives to do whatever it takes to protect her children fulfill their destinies even though her enemies are the more threatening and p
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I really really loved this story that reimagines Norse Mythology in a beautiful yet approachable way. I didn't want to put this one down and even got a little sad when it was over.

The story follows Angrboda, a witch who survived a burning by the Norse gods and hides in a remote forest. However, her attempts to be alone are thwarted by a loyal huntress and Loki who help her start a new life in a dark cave. It doesn't remain dark for long as she falls in love with Loki and soon they start a beaut
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to get an advanced reader copy of this book, and I'm thrilled because this is a stunning, beautiful tribute to the women who are often voiceless in myths. Gornichec's prose is heartfelt and honest, and there's something akin to magical realism in this novel--yes, it's set in a world with magic, but the lush simplicity of it all really stays with you.

Angrboda is a rich and resilient protagonist and the women of myth who surround her--Skadi, Sigyn, Gerd, and more--really come to
Lucy Hudson
Nov 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is fantastic.
Honestly, when I started it, I was a little underwhelmed. There is a slow start, following Angrboda through her everyday life in the woods as a witch who cannot remember the lives she has lived. But then the book becomes un-put-down-able. An epic tale that spans thousands of years, love, heartbreak, tragedy, and of course the end of the world, this book will pull you in and leave you with tears streaming down your face (at least, it did to me).
Nov 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I. Love. This. Book. Ilovethisbook.

Mark your ever-loving calendars for February 9, and then pick yourself up a copy of this beauty!

THE WITCH'S HEART is the story of Angrboda, a witch possessed of many secrets, three children (two of whom are large animals), and the least reliable husband in all of Norse mythology. We follow Angrboda through an epic, apocalyptic, deeply moving journey as she finds out who she is, what she wants, and how much power she really has.

I was excited about this book bec
Dec 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
i have to assume that this is going to be incredibly popular with the same people that made madeline miller popular, i.e. a readership of mainly cis women who love ao3 and being talked down to by their authors. it is a similarly easy read. what i WILL say is ms miller occasionally pulls out a Line that earns its place in the italicized-beneath-the-picspam canon, whereas this book has the worst dialogue i have read all year.

what hangs me up about most retellings of myths and legends is the sense
Breanna Spiegel
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book utterly consumed me. When I wasn’t reading it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. In canonical Norse myth, Angrboda is only briefly mentioned as the giantess who births Loki’s three monstrous children. In The Witch’s Heart, she transforms into a powerful tragic figure, a witch who has altered the course of the world and suffered as a result. Her strength as a mother is brought to the forefront, all the more impressive for the nature of her children. Disparate elements and canon pillars ...more
Alexis Henderson
Dec 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved every word of this dark and epic novel. I can't recommend it enough! ...more
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What Madeline Miller did for Circe, Genevieve Gornichec does for the Norse giantess witch, Angrboda. Known for nothing more than being the mother of three of Loki's infamous children, Gornichec brings this woman, mother, and warrior into the world's radar. An epic story of love, loss, and destiny, Angrboda is woven into a complex individual, a devoted mother, and a loyal lover, until her whole world falls apart and she must face her cruel past. ...more
J.S. Dewes
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: female-authors, arc
This book was absolutely incredible. I’m not sure the experience can be adequately put into words, but I’m going to give it my best shot. :)

The Witch’s Heart features a captivating plot, an expansive cast of characters, incredible dialogue, and it abounds with humor and heart. It takes the broad strokes of mythology you’re familiar with and humanizes it, shaping it into a fascinating perspective that roots you in its grasp and pulls you along to the riveting, powerful ending.

Normally in a premis
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this in one day and I am emotionally wrecked. One of the best books I've read in awhile ...more
Oct 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec is an excellent novel that is full of rich imagery, Norse mythology, and was utterly captivating from beginning to end.

This story brings to light Angrboda, a figure that was only mentioned in passing as the woman that gave birth to Lodi’s offspring, and passed over from there. Here, she receives an intricate, emotional, and passionate story that is so unique and impressive, the reader feels as if this telling must be from ancient sources itself.

Full of e
Sep 23, 2020 marked it as to-read
I see Loki, I read.

Nov 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to the publisher and to Netgalley for getting me an ARC for review! I have had this book on my radar for months and was so, so excited to have a chance to read it.

I wrote a much longer, gushier review here.

This is the story of Angrboda Iron-Witch, Sorrow-Bringer, first wife of Loki and mother of “monsters.” This is the story of a woman thrice burned, thrice reborn. This is the story of the gods who lived before Asgard and the gods who lived after. This is the story of Ragnarok. Gornichec
I loved the premise of this book: take an obscure female figure in Norse mythology (here, Loki's lover Angrboda, the mother of Hel, Fenrir and Jormungand) and retell the legends from her point of view as a witch, mother, and prophetess dwelling along in the Ironwood, culminating in her attempts to subvert her own prophecies of Ragnarok. I love retellings like this, and for the most part this book executes the concept very well. Many other readers have compared the book to Madeline Miller's CIRCE ...more
Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As soon as I met Angrboda, I was in. This story is a retelling of Norse Mythology and Ragnarok and how the characters make everything come to pass. The novel is also really about love and different kinds of love. Angrboda knows magic and she teaches it to Odin, except he wants to know the future. When Angrboda refuses to teach him prophecy, the gods burn her thrice and stake her heart and thus begins a story that grabs you and doesn't let you go. I read this over just two days and when I wasn't ...more
Kal ★ Reader Voracious
Yeeaa... I am going to need this debut featuring a a banished witch who falls in love with Loki right now.
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Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Omigosh, this was amazing.
Delirious Disquisitions
Sep 01, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: adult, fantasy
This is going to be so fucking epic I can feel it in my bones!!! Cannot wait to read this!
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: galley, mythology
Many thanks to Netgalley for the advanced reader's copy. I loved this book! Gornichec tells a story that fleshes out the life of Angrboda (or Gullveig, Mother Witch and other names as well), who was the mother of Loki's children who bring about Ragnarok. But she was so much more. A great character study and a really interesting take on Norse Mythology and on those goddesses and giantesses that only get mentions in most Norse mythological works. Angroboda is a fascinating character and the re-int ...more
M.J. Kuhn
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I just finished my ARC this morning and I IMMEDIATELY had to share how awesome it is in review form. If you are not yet hyped for this book... GET THERE. I was completely and fully transported into the story from the very first paragraph, and I was in love with Angrboda by the second. Every character in this tale was so incredibly complex and vivid. I laughed, loved, and grieved right alongside the titular witch, Angrboda. DO NOT MISS THIS ONE.
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
*This book was given to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review*
This is my jam! All the stars! A Norse Mythology retelling that readers who loved Madeline Miller's Circe or April Genevieve Tucholke's The Boneless Mercies will devour. I'm in love with Angrboda, I'm in love with Loki, I'm in love with Skadi, and now that the book is done, I'm a complicated mess. Fully committed to booktalking this until I'm told to stop.
H.M. Long
The Witch's Heart is immersive and rich, delivering the familiar tales of Norse mythology from the fresh perspective of Angrboda, wife of Loki and Mother of Monsters. Angrboda is an honest and relatable protagonist, unyielding in the face of burnings and betrayal and challenges - and the gods who brought them about. Even the secondary characters are incredibly well-developed and vivid, from the multi-faceted trickster, Loki, to the buff bi bestie with a sword who may or may not be out to kill hi ...more
Jerold Farver
Sep 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This the kind of story that you hope you're able to find. Norse mythology has been worked almost the bone, but this novel sparkles with original and clever use of esoteric details that make it a good story.
There are non-graphic adult encounters that you hope will work out, but as they do in real life, not as well as one might hope.
Amanda Karsh
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A lovely slow paced retelling of the Viking gods with a different perspective. Even knowing the story’s this Is still full of surprises.
Shelley Parker-Chan
Do you remember that feeling of being a kid with a big book of myths and legends on your lap, and how it was this utterly transporting experience that swept you away into a time before the present world? This book is THAT. A witch, and the Norse gods, and ends and beginnings
Lacy Baugher
Jan 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2021
I’m already certain this is one of the best books I’ll read this year. A lyrical retelling of Norse mythology, I devoured “The Witch’s Heart” in a single day because I just couldn’t bring myself to stop reading. It deserves space on your shelf next to “Circe” and “The Song of Achilles”.

Full review coming closer to publication but this is a must read for 2021. Thank you Ace Books and NetGalley for the ARC.
Sep 24, 2020 marked it as to-read
I'm shaking because I've always wanted an Angrboda-centric novel so this is likely my most-anticipated book of 2021. ...more
Oct 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: singles-read
Angrboda's story begins with her being burned three times and having her heart ripped from her body. After escaping this torture she runs to Ironwood to heal and remove herself from the eyes of the Aesir. While starting her new life she is found by Loki, who has found and returns her heart to her and makes friends with Skadi, the female giant/trader. Loki and Angrboda fall for each other and see each other through the birth of the mythological beings, Sleipnir, Hel, Fenrir and Jormungandr. Being ...more
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