Author: S.T. Bende
Series: The Elsker Saga, #1
Format: Kindle, owned
My rating: 3 / 5
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 warrior who's spent an eternity fighting for his very existence. Ull is an honest-to-goodness Norse god — an immortal assassin fated to die at Ragnarok, the battle destined to destroy Asgard and Earth. On top of being marked for death, Asgardian law prohibits Ull from tying his fate to a mortal. No matter what she feels for Ull, Kristia knows she's the one thing he can never have.
With Ragnarok on the horizon and a lunatic haunting her dreams, Kristia has to find a way to convince Ull that breaking the rules is the only way to survive; that defying the order he's sworn to uphold is their only chance to be together. And when someone starts asking the wrong questions, Kristia realizes the crazy visions she's had all her life might be the key to saving their realms... even if they end up costing her her life.
-- As seen on Goodreads
I love all kinds of mythology, but Norse mythology is a personal favourite of mine, and when I discovered Elsker, I knew I’d have to read it! I expected to be geeking out on all things Norse right from the beginning, so I was a little surprised that most of the mythology aspect happened later on in the book. I did like the way the Ragnarok myth was eventually interlinked into our modern world setting, but personally, I was hoping for more mythology, Godly skirmishes, and Norse myths coming to life.
The majority of the story focuses around Kristia and Ull, and their budding relationship. I really liked Kristia, and she quickly became my favourite character. I loved her attitude right from the start of the book, and I felt a connection to her narrative style straight away. She’s a little dorky, but very relatable and completely down to earth. I loved that she won’t back down, or be brow beaten by Ull. It was fantastic to see her stick to her guns, retain her self-respect and self-worth, and not be overly influenced by the Norse God in the corner.
Right now, I’m not too sure what to make of Ull. First impressions are so important, and I found it hard to get past what a douche he was at the beginning. He definitely does have his moments of niceness, and shows he can be sweet, caring, considerate and the perfect gentleman. But… he has a Jeb-like stubbornness that I personally find maddening! I understand that he doesn’t want Kristia to die at Ragnarok, and that’s certainly commendable, but let her make up her own mind! Find the middle ground and compromise, people!!
While I enjoyed the overall story, I feel like the build-up throughout the book lead to nothing. I was expecting something to happen… more about Asgard, or maybe a few skirmishes to show that Ragnarok is really and truly nigh. The next book in the series is built up excellently, but I feel the ending was a bit abrupt and a little disappointing. I plan on continuing on with the series, and I really hope that there will be a stronger Fantasy feel to the next one, without relying so much on the romance plot.