Thor: Dueling with Giants (Tales from Asgard #1), by Keith R.A. DeCandido (Mar. 2016, Joe Books Inc.), $9.99, ISBN: 9781772751970
Recommended for ages 12+
A new series of prose novels gives Asgardian fans more tales of Thor, the Warriors Three… and Loki, the eternal troublemaker. Dueling with Giants pits Thor against the Frost Giants when they seek revenge for a perceived slight against them by Odin. Little do the giants realize that a certain trickster’s been pulling all the strings the entire time… can Thor save the day?
Dueling with Giants is fun reading for any fan of the Marvel adventures of Thor and Co.: there are no other Avengers in this story, but they do get a brief mention. Loki’s here, providing just enough malicious trickery to keep the story moving along, and I was happy to see some hilarious banter between the Warriors Three, especially Fandral’s jabs at the self-titled Lion of Asgard, Volstagg. I was even more excited to see that the next chapter in the trilogy will center on Lady Sif, who really, really needs some more character study, especially since Marvel went and canceled Thor’s origin book, Journey Into Mystery, just as it was developing into a brilliant Lady Sif book.
The language and one or two standalone situations in the book suggest a slightly older audience than middle grade: I think it’s great for middle schoolers and above. Add it to collections where you’ve got comic fans, Marvel fans, and fans of fantasy that may have moved on from Rick Riordan but prefer more myth-based fantasy than current YA hot picks.
If you’re a fantasy fan – especially if you’re in a dedicated fandom – you know Keith R.A. DeCandido’s name. He’s written novels in the Supernatural, Star Trek, Sleepy Hollow, and Heroes universes; to name a few, as well as his original and prolific body of work. His author website provides links and more information about his work.