Book Review: THE WOLF IN THE WHALE by Jordanna Max Brodsky

The Wolf in the Whale

Novels featuring Gods and Goddesses and mythology aren’t generally my go-to. But THE WOLF IN THE WHALE by Jordanna Max Brodsky, admittedly, attracted me based on the native Inuit character, Omat. I have been long fascinated by North American native culture.

The Wolf in the WhaleI also read with heightened interest, as my sister was – at the same time – listening to an audiobook about mythology amongst cultures, nations, and religions. She shared the audiobook’s parallels drawn between stories in the Bible and those in African, Norse, and Greek tales. I was hooked.

And in THE WOLF IN THE WHALE, you’ll get a taste of those incredible parallels as well. I was engrossed by the main character’s journey, but at the same time I kept thinking, “This author is brilliant; she must, indeed, be a scholar of mythology. She did SO much research. To so artfully braid a storyline with history and mythology and spiritual practices would be so difficult.” I was not surprised, in the author’s bio, to learn that she holds a degree in history and literature from Harvard.

I was blown away by Brodsky’s ability to weave together Inuit and Norse history, culture and myth. This story of a fierce Inuit character (Omat) and a Norse man (Brandr) is a bit of a nail-biter. The harsh landscape is often a foe, and battles and complications ensue at rapid-fire pace. The beliefs in various spirits and gods was fascinating. I’m so happy I read this book, which is ‘out-of-genre’ for me, one who – sadly – was not exposed to much mythology at all throughout my education. I shed some tears in this one, as well. Always the sign of a book that has emotional resonance.

Fans of mythology will gobble this story up, as will those with an interest in novels that thematically tackle the role of lore and storytelling in culture and daily life. THE WOLF IN THE WHALE is a story that parallels the author’s passions: it’s a story of respect for nature, history and storytelling.


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