Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Who do I love?
You may have seen this yesterday but if not, have a gander. THAT my friends is the cover of Dianne K. Salerni's new book, The Eighth Day, coming from Harper/Collins next year. I have had the pleasure of reading this book in a few of its incarnations and boy, do I love this book. I love Jax who discovers Grunsday - an extra day between Wednesday and Thursday - and Evangeline, the secret girl who lives next door. I love Riley, Jax's reluctant guardian who happens to possess the voice of command (and yeah, that's every bit as awesome as you think it is), and Tegan, who I would've LOVED to have had as my bff. So keep this title on your radar because it just might be the next big thing.
But wait there's more...Today is the The Norse Gods Blogfest, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh to celebrate Siv Maria Ottem's birthday AND the release of her new book, Secrets of the Ash Tree. Siv will be giving away a signed copy of her book to one lucky person. Special points if you visit her NEW WEB PAGE and like her Facebook Author page.
And now, without further ado, my favorite Norse God...
Yeah, sorry, I couldn't decide who was my most favorite Norse God...so I cheated a little and chose Yggdrasil, the famous tree, which is almost like a god.
To see what I mean you must first imagine the world as the Norse did, like levels stacked one atop the other. At the very top was Asgard, the realm of the Aesir or warrior gods and where Valhalla - the hall of the dead - was situated. Vanaheim, the home of the Vanir or fertility gods, was here, as well as Alfheim, the home of the light elves.
Midgard was the second level and the realm of men, surrounded by an ocean, and encircled by the terrible world serpent, Jormungand. Here also was Nidavellir, where the dwarves lived, and Svartalfheim, Land of the Dark Elves.
The third level is Niflheim, the world of the dead, where it was always winter and ever night. Hel guards the gates and the dragon Nidhogg lives here along with 'other unnamed serpents."
The axis for these three worlds is Yggdrasil, a timeless ash tree which will even survive the end of the world, and whose roots are connected to everything. Also known as a "Guardian Tree, Yggdrasil nourishes, and suffers from, the animals that inhabit it, feed it, and attack it." The Norns in turn care for it by drawing water from the spring of Urd, "and they besprinkle the ash so that its branches shall not wither or decay."
Beneath one of its roots is the Spring of Mimir whose "waters were a source of wisdom. Odin sacrificed one eye to drink from it." Seeking greater wisdom, he then hung from this tree for nine nights, his side pierced with a spear, so that he could learn the wisdom of the dead. Finally, Yggdrasil is so great that when Ragnarok (the end of the world) comes, "the ash tree will tremble and a man and a woman who hide within it, Lif and Lifthrasir, will survive the ensuing holocaust...and stand alone at the end of one cycle and the beginning of another in the world of time and men."*
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for reading to the end of this extra long post!
* from The Norse Myths - Introduced and retold by Kevin Crossley-Holland