Title: Loki: Where Mischief Lies
Author: Mackenzi Lee
Genres: YA Fiction, Fantasy, Retellings, Marvel Universe
Pub Date: 9/03/19
Before the days of going toe-to-toe with the Avengers, a younger Loki is desperate to prove himself heroic and capable, while it seems everyone around him suspects him of inevitable villainy and depravity . . . except for Amora. Asgard’s resident sorceress-in-training feels like a kindred spirit-someone who values magic and knowledge, who might even see the best in him.
But when Loki and Amora cause the destruction of one of Asgard’s most prized possessions, Amora is banished to Earth, where her powers will slowly and excruciatingly fade to nothing. Without the only person who ever looked at his magic as a gift instead of a threat, Loki slips further into anguish and the shadow of his universally adored brother, Thor.
When Asgardian magic is detected in relation to a string of mysterious murders on Earth, Odin sends Loki to investigate. As he descends upon nineteenth-century London, Loki embarks on a journey that leads him to more than just a murder suspect, putting him on a path to discover the source of his power-and who he’s meant to be.
“Loki was convinced everyone loathed the feasts but no one dared say so for fear of appearing small-minded. Being quite confident of the size of his mind-large-and his ability to walk in heels, he was comfortable saying it.”
Hi, hello, YES YOU! Could I have a moment of your time to tell you about this Marvel masterpiece? It features everyone’s favorite god of mischief, and the author has portrayed him as canonically intended. I knew this book would be enjoyable, but I wasn’t sure just how necessary it was until after I finished. Sure, this is a story that follows closely to what you already know about Odin, Thor, Loki, Amora, and Asgard in general, but it also grasps tiny fractures in Loki’s early existence and brings to light seemingly small moments that alter the course of what we know about his character.
“Is that meant to be a threat?” Loki asked. “If so, you might try and make it a little less tantalizing. Who says I want a place in the court of a king who hits himself in the face with his own hammer?” “That was one time!” “And yet it’s burned in our hearts forever.”
Loki: Where Mischief Lies is such a gem because it combines fresh perspective on the aspects of norse mythology that we already adore. The Loki/Thor banter is present throughout, the tumultuous relationship between Loki/Amora is engaging, and the heartbreaking exchanges between Loki/Odin wrench emotions even after the book has finished. I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, but these three elements ground the traditional tales while the author adds her own spin on a new adventure, which gives the story a fast-paced, if a bit predictable, nature.
“Loki didn’t know what to say. He knew what it was to be cast out and unwanted and taunted for the fabric you were stitched from. To want to find strength and pride in the things that made you you in spite of the world telling you that you should hide them. It was a particular kind of dissonance that was hard to understand until your ears rang with it.”
This wouldn’t be a Mackenzi Lee original if it didn’t dissect the significance of the LGBT community and it’s plight in historical fiction, so the reader receives a needed dose of learning all around. One of my favorite scenes in the novel came during the above mentioned quote, where a male character on earth is discussing his hidden status of being a gay man. Loki can’t fathom why Midgard isn’t as open-minded as Asgard, as Loki is also LGBT and considered just as acceptable in his sexuality and gender as Thor is in his heterosexuality. I feel it’s fair to mention also that, while Loki’s pronouns in the book are masculine, it’s mentioned at one point that he feels equally comfortable as male or female, being both simultaneously and my assumption making him gender-fluid.
Knowing that this is the first book in a three part series, I went in under the guise of each book being a standalone that featured different characters in the marvel universe, but upon finishing this one I’m left wondering if it may not be the end for Loki’s character arc via the author? Or perhaps she chose to leave things a bit open as a segue into what we already know will happen? Either way, I was very pleased with this read and highly recommend it to any Marvel fan.
*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy via NetGalley.