"Action packed fantasy thriller"
Following his journey as an Argonaut, Hal comes home to
settle down in a mundane environment though he still wants
wealth. His hope of boredom ends before he reaches his
destination as he finds his path blocked by a strange
looking fire. He plans to go around the magical induced
flames, but first talks with a melancholy man called
Baldur. The stranger tells Hal that he expected to attain
Valhalla by dying in combat, but instead sits on the wrong
side of the flame that contains his beloved Valkyrie
Brunhild and a treasure. Unable to ignore the possibility
of wealth, Hal joins Baldur on his quest to get to the
When the gnomes begin their annual trek to Valhalla, Hal
and Baldur follow. However when they reach the fabled
city, the partners are shocked to find Valhalla in ruins.
Woden seems mentally incompetent, and Thor and Loki are
missing. Someone has to lead the Valhalla warriors in
combat against the invading giants. Alas Hal and Baldur
become embroiled though the former wants gold while the
latter desires his Valkyrie.
The Fifth Book of the Gods, GODS OF FIRE AND THUNDER, is an
action packed fantasy thriller. The story line follows the
exploits of the key two characters driven in different
ways. Though overall quite an exciting extension to
mythology, the plot at times feels disjointed yet this
engaging tale will please fans of the author and Norse
mythology lovers with its creative force.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted July 21, 2002
In the first four volumes of the Book of the Gods, Fred
Saberhagen brought a new perspective to the classic gods of
Greek mythology. Now the legendary creator of the Berzerker
and Lost Swords sagas turns his gaze northward toward an
entirely different pantheon of immortal deities . . . the
fearsome and ferocious gods of Valhalla. Haraldur the
Northman once joined Jason on his fabled quest for the
Golden Fleece, but now he wants nothing more to do with
gods and adventure. Returning to his homeland for the first
time in many years, he hopes only to settle down on a farm
of his own-until he comes across an impenetrable wall of
eldritch fire and a lovesick youth determined to breach the
wall at any cost.
Behind the towering flames, he is told, lies a beautiful
Valkyrie trapped in an enchanted sleep, as well as,
perhaps, a golden treasure beyond mortal reckoning. It is
the gold that tempts Hal to agree, against his better
judgment, to assist the youth in his quest.
But to find away past the fiery wall, they must first brave
gnomes, ghosts, and the wrath of the gods themselves. For a
mighty battle is brewing, and Hal soon finds himself caught
up in a celestial conflict between Thor the Thunderer, Loki
the Trickster, and, most powerful of all, Wodan, the
merciless Lord of Battles!