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The Witch’s Heart

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  7,308 ratings  ·  1,584 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,
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published May 4th 2021 by Titan Books (first published February 9th 2021)
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Shayla I'd go beyond just "bi rep." Sexuality is almost entirely fluid, and gender gets a little bent, too. More to the point, the characterization is outsta…moreI'd go beyond just "bi rep." Sexuality is almost entirely fluid, and gender gets a little bent, too. More to the point, the characterization is outstanding, and drives all of the relationships in the novel.(less)
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 4.11  · 
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 ·  7,308 ratings  ·  1,584 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Dec 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Lucy Hudson
Nov 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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).
Jenny Lawson
Feb 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books of the year and my pick for the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club. It made me cry but in such a good way.
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
What a unique mash-up of genres in this book! I love a witch story, and I adore this cover!

Angrboda has been banished and even burned at the hand of Odin when she is found by Loki.

The two fall in love, and they have three children together. Each child has a destiny Angrboda keeps a secret until their futures are in danger.

The Witch’s Heart is an epic story, stunningly written, engaging, consuming, original, and awe-inspiring. The depth and marvel to the story, as well as the skilled writing, rem
Feb 17, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
↠ 4.5 stars

A witch twice resurrected and the god of mischief tempt the wrath of the gods in this reimagined tale of Norse mythology. Banished to live in solitude, the witch Angrboda can remember only fire and the fury of Odin; but when Loki Laufeyson, the god of mischief, appears one day outside the boundaries of her wood on errand to return her heart, she begins to see new possibilities. Long years pass, and throughout the changing seasons Loki returns and their love blossoms. Angrboda gives bi
Breanna Spiegel
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Genevieve Gornichec
Jan 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
1/26/2021: Hello, friends! We’re two weeks out from the US release of THE WITCH’S HEART, and I just wanted to drop by with some additional info before it’s out in the world.

CONTENT WARNINGS: burning alive, sutures, near pregnancy loss, childbirth (x3), family separation, torture

I wrote the first draft of this book for NaNoWriMo in 2011 and it’s still really surreal to think that it actually exists and people are reading it. Thank you so, so much for giving THE WITCH’S HEART a chance.
Alexis Henderson
I loved every word of this dark and epic novel. I can't recommend it enough! ...more
Maja  - BibliophiliaDK ✨

As a Dane, I am somewhat well versed in Norse Mythology (it being the mythology of my ancestors, after all) but I hadn't ever really connected with the witch, Angrboda. Perhaps because she is, in traditional Norse Mythology, never really described as anything more than the mother of Hel, Fenrir and the Midgard Serpent. So I was excited to see her expanded as a full fletched character. While you can't exactly call this 'accurate' - it is mainly a work of fiction - it
Lucy Langford
May 11, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5*** rounded up.

This story focuses on the witch Angrboda: her power as a prophetess and healer, her relationship with Loki, and motherhood to three beings that cause the Aesir much fear.

This is inspired by north mythology and so many of the tales have been weaved throughout this book, but from the perspectives of the women, especially Angrboda. It’s a tale of someone who is lost, found, loved, and feared. A tale of a witch who can foresee Ragnarok and doing anything in her power to keep this
Nov 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: big-yell-books, arcs
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
A clever and engaging reimagining of Norse mythology. Angrboda is a witch with the gift of seeing the future, a gift much desired by Oden. When Angrboda refuses to share the secrets of her gift with Oden he burns her not once, not twice, but three times. When he still fails he steals her heart and banishes her to the Ironwoods. It is in the Ironwoods where Angraboda crosses paths with Loki with who she forges a relationship. Loki pops in and out of her life and ultimately fathers her three child ...more
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2021, reviewed
2 stars

I think the Circe by Madeline Miller comparison is unwarranted (and insulting) because Circe is just on a whole different level from this book. I suppose the surface comparisons (book based on mythology centering on a witch character) are accurate, but should we judge a book by its inaccurate marketing?

I'm reviewing The Witch's Heart as a hardcore Loki and Angrboda + monster fam stan, so I may be biased as I have my own headcanons/versions of how this would go. The first 150 pages are WEA
Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Generally, I do not engage with fiction based on mythologies or historical periods I am deeply interested in. I typically find the liberties writers take to be superfluous, and often the changes made are weaker than the original myths, facts, and characters and/or historical figures. Thankfully, the premise of The Witch's Heart by Genevieve Gornichec intrigued me, and the positive buzz on social media convinced me this was an exception I needed to make.

I could not be happier that I did. (Minor s
Samantha Shannon
I love books that fill in the woman-shaped gaps in history and mythology, and this is no exception. Very grateful to Genevieve Gornichec for gifting us such a rich and compelling story about Angrboða. ...more
Kristina (heartsfullofreads)
The Witch's Heart is a story filled with love, loss, forgiveness, and hope. For those of you somewhat familiar with Norse Mythology, I think you will enjoy how the author incorporated those myths into the book. Angrboda was a fantastic character and you will easily root for her. You will love and hate Loki throughout the book which is exactly how it should be.

Overall, the pacing for the book was good but part two did drag for me a bit. I just felt the plot sort of meandered for a little while. T
J.S. Dewes
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, female-authors
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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faves
I read this in one day and I am emotionally wrecked. One of the best books I've read in awhile ...more
Feb 12, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mythology
3.5 stars

I gravitate towards mythology stories like a moth to a flame. This is a book about a banished witch, Angrboda, who falls in love and marries the infamous Loki. Together, they have 3 children, and the story follows Angrboda as she tries to save her children from prophesied danger.

Angrboda’s love for her children is palpable and guides the story, and I also loved reading about her relationship with Loki. It was fascinating seeing the lengths she goes to to protect her children, and her re
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
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

In the tradition of Madeline Miller’s Circe comes Genevieve Gornichec’s debut The Witch’s Heart, a creative reimagining the life of the Norse mythological figure Angrboda. The world may know her as the lover of Loki and the mother of monsters, but this novel seeks to present her as something more—a fiercely passionate and driven woman who will do anything to protect her children.

In the beginning is fire and death; Odin the
Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
Full review to come on my YouTube channel:
A Norse mythology retelling of Angrboda that is equal parts good and bad. There is a very small handful of epic moments (all in the second half) that can certainly make it flashy, but its characters and plot are all just so uninteresting.
Feb 07, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This wasn’t very good.

I’m usually a *sucker* for a retelling of mythology. Which is why I started reading the ARC on edelweiss. Like I usually love to see what someone else’s take on it is, and then using it to talk about the present day in a clever way and I always feel like I learned something while having a fun time. “Gods of Jade and Shadow” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is one of my favorites that jumps to my mind.

This was not that.

It is definitely jumping on the post-“Circe” hype of feminist re
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
Female-focused retellings and reimagings have come into popularity recently. They were, until recently, mostly based on traditional Greek myths and legends: Circe; A Thousand Ships; The Silence of the Girls; Ariadne. But now that pool is expanding. Genevieve Gornichec's The Witch's Heart looks at Angrboda from Nordic mythology, a witch who gave the god Loki three children: Hel, ruler of the dead; Fenrir, the giant wolf; and Jörmungand, the world serpent.

Gornichec's writes Angrboda's story beaut
Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Genevieve Gornichec is a writer from Northeast Ohio. She earned her degree in history, but she got as close to majoring in Vikings as she possibly could. Her writing is inspired by the Norse myths and Icelandic sagas.

Twitter: @gengornichec
Instagram: @gengornichec

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“There is a difference between understanding and forgiveness. It’s possible to have one without the other.” 11 likes
“They say a witch used to live in these woods, a long long time ago,” she began. And this is what the little girl would tell her children and what they would tell their children long after the ones who came before were gone. “They say an old witch lived in the east, in Iron Wood. And there, she bore the wolves who chase the sun and moon. They say she went to Asgard and was burned three times upon a pyre and three times she was reborn before she fled. They say she loved a man with scarred lips and a sharp tongue; a man who gave her back her heart and more. They say she loved a woman too, a sword-wielding bride of the Gods; as bold as any man and fiercer still. They say she wandered, giving aid to those who needed it most, healing them with potions and spells. They say she stood her ground against the fires of Ragnarok, until the very end, until she was burned a final time. All but her heart reduce to ashes once more. But others say she lives yet.” 5 likes
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