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Cover image for Loki's wolves
Loki's wolves

1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2013.
Physical Description:
358 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.
Series title(s):
"Matt Thorsen is a direct descendent of the order-keeping god Thor, and his classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke are descendents of the trickster god Loki. When Ragnarok--the apocalypse--threatens, the human descendents of the gods must fight monsters to stop the end of the world."-- Provided by publisher.
Reading Level:
Middle School.
Added Author:


Call Number
J Armstrong, K.

On Order



Calling all fans of myths, action-adventure, and the Percy Jackson series - don't miss this first book in the Blackwell Pages trilogy from bestselling authors K.L. Armstrong and Melissa Marr.
While thirteen-year-old Matt Thorsen has always known he's a modern-day descendent of Thor, he's been living a normal kid's life. In fact, most people in the small town of Blackwell, South Dakota, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt's classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke. No big deal.
But now Ragnarok is coming, and it's up to the champions to fight in the place of the long-dead gods. Matt, Laurie, and Fen's lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team, find Thor's hammer and shield, and prevent the end of the world.
In their middle grade debut, bestselling authors K.L. Armstrong and Melissa Marr begin the epic Blackwell Pages series with this action-packed adventure, filled with larger-than-life legends, gripping battles, and an engaging cast of characters who bring the myths to life.

Author Notes

K.L. Armstrong & Melissa Marr had been friends for several years before they found themselves spending hours talking about mythology and monsters. One sleepy morning, they took their fascination with myth and their love for tackling video game monsters and decided to write the Blackwell Pages.

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-Loki's Wolves brings Norse mythology to the modern world. Matt Thorsen, the son of a police officer, lives in the shadow of his older brothers, feeling as if he can never measure up to the expectations of his family. Growing up in a small town in South Dakota surrounded by stories of Norse mythology, Matt knows about the gods, their powers, and Ragnarok, the legend of the end of the world. What he soon finds out is that as a descendant of the Norse god Thor, he has been chosen to stand in as the leader in the final battle. It is up to Matt to convince two troublemaking cousins, Laurie and Fen Brekke, who are descendants of the trickster god Loki, that they must join together and find others who will each bring different skills and abilities and help the three in their the quest to save humans. The characters move from one adventure to another, fighting trolls and unseen forces, with friendships being forged and strengthened as each obstacle is passed. The background and explanation of the legends are clear and a natural fit to the story and dialogue, bringing life to lesser-known Norse mythology. The story moves quickly from the very beginning to the end. The final chapter leaves loose ends, and readers will certainly want the sequel. Recommended for those who enjoyed Rick Riordan's "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" series (Hyperion), and younger readers who have not yet been introduced to contemporary adaptations of mythology.-Denise Moore, O'Gorman Junior High School, Sioux Falls, SD (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Bestselling urban fantasists Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr combine forces to produce a solid fantasy about contemporary descendants of the Norse gods. Thirteen-year-old Matt Thorsen lives in a South Dakota town dominated by Thor's distant family, and he has always been somewhat smug about his superhuman heritage. However, Loki's descendants, including cousins Fen and Laurie Brekke, resent the Thorsens' domination. Then the three learn that Ragnarok is coming and that Matt is to reenact Thor's battle with the Midgard Serpent. Matt, Laurie, and Fen, who is a shape-changer like Loki, seek out other descendants of the gods, aided by the Norns and the Valkyries, but opposed by various werewolves and trolls. Arm-strong and Marr have fun seeding their characters with the strengths and foibles the gods are known for (Fen and Laurie divvy up the best and worst parts of the trickster god Loki). This rousing, fast-paced adventure, first in the Blackwell Pages trilogy, will please readers who loved John Stephens's Books of Beginning and Rick Riordan's modern-day twists on ancient myth. Ages 8-12. Agent: (for Armstrong) Sarah Heller, Helen Heller Agency; (for Marr) Merrilee Heifetz, Writers House. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

The apocalypse is coming, and only the gods can stop it. One problem--the gods are dead. The gods of Norse myth might be dead, but their descendants live, and in Blackwell, S.D., most residents are descendants of either Thor or the trickster god Loki. When Ragnark, the apocalypse, arrives, 13-year-old Matt Thorsen will be the champion of the gods. He is charged with finding descendants of other gods, forming an alliance and facing off against the monsters of the apocalypse. Unfortunately, the prophecy says that the champions of the gods and the monsters all must die if the world is to be reborn. The narration alternates among the three third-person voices of Matt, Fen, a descendant of Loki, and Laurie, his cousin. It is so methodically constructed that readers will welcome the action Ragnark will offer. However, this volume is but the debut of a trilogy, and readers will have to await future volumes to tie the tale together. Since Norse myths are not as familiar to most kids as Greek and Roman tales, readers will probably want to check out the series' website, which provides additional information (incomplete at time of review). Norse mythology brought to life with engaging contemporary characters and future volumes that promise explosive action; ideal for Percy Jackson fans who want to branch out. (Fantasy. 8-12)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Norse mythology intrudes on the modern world as Ragnarok (the apocalyptic battle between gods and monsters) approaches, but no gods are left alive to fight for the world's survival. Now their descendants, including three middle-school kids from South Dakota, must challenge the monsters in the final battle. Chosen to represent Thor's clan, 13-year-old Matt joins classmates Fen and Laurie, descendants of Loki. After consulting the Norns and the Valkyries, they search for the other young god counterparts as well as magical weapons. The third-person narrative looks at each main character's strengths and insecurities as they attempt to work together. Comparisons with Rick Riordan's novels based on Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythology are inevitable, but this series aims at a somewhat younger audience and features characters who are, at least so far, considerably more human than godlike and more anxious than cocky. While setting up the series takes time, there's plenty of action to quicken the pace. The first volume in the Blackwell Pages series will please many fans of mythology-based adventures.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist

New York Review of Books Review

WANT to write a middle-grade fantasy adventure series? It's easy! First, conjure up a plucky, prickly team of three - children who have to learn to trust one another and work together. Make the stakes really high; saving the world is always good. Use lots of wisecracking humor. Ensure the parents are absent (dead, missing, away - you'll figure it out). Invoke classic themes and figures from folklore and mythology, but don't bother becoming slavishly wedded to them. Be sure to include an intellectually or physically butt-kicking girl. Do I have a problem with these rules? I do not. Girls should play a role in saving the universe. Teamwork is important. Trust is a gift in our cynical, selfish world. But turning these rules into a book that's both fun and well written is quite a trick. A writer has to create characters we'll come to love, build a vivid world, ratchet up suspense, keep up a propulsive and pulpy momentum, use language deliciously, and spark enough excitement and imagination to get us to Book 2. The world-saving team in "House of Secrets," by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini, consists of the Walker siblings Brendan, age 12; Cordelia, 15; and Eleanor, 8. Their story starts with a bang: they're driving with their parents to see their umpteenth potential home in San Francisco, interrupting one another as their parents talk to a perky real estate agent on speakerphone. It's quick, funny scene setting that gives you a sense of each character (Brendan is the jokey man of action; Cordelia is a book-loving smarty-pants; dyslexic Eleanor just wants a horse) and a sense of place - the Walkers are headed to Sea Cliff, a fancy neighborhood overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. They're forced to move in the aftermath of a mysterious accident that cost their dad his job, and they expect 128 Sea Cliff Avenue to be a dump like every other house in their price range. Instead, it's a huge, gorgeous Victorian confection, and oddly enough, it's dirt cheap. The house turns out to have belonged to "a well-known obscure writer" (Cordelia's words) named Denver Kristoff; its library is full of Kristoff's out-of-print tales of armor-clad warriors and pirate ships and dashing Great War fighter pilots. But it doesn't take long for an evil witch to appear and for the contents of the library to swirl together into a terrifying (yet exciting) gallimaufry. "Like a Denver Kristoff mash-up," Brendan says. Kristoff's characters come to life, furniture explodes and, oh yes, the Walkers' parents disappear, leaving only a smear of blood on the wall. Columbus and Vizzini know how to keep a story moving. Every chapter ends in a cliffhanger. There are a lot! of exclamation! points! There are a zillion pop culture nods - Lady Gaga, Scooby Doo, 4G cell service, Hot Topic. How well these references will age I'm not sure. (I did enjoy the passing notion that Lunchables are so terrifying, even rampaging warriors refuse to eat them.) While I appreciated the jokes and the ultracinematic explosions and chases, I kept thinking about that smear of blood on the wall. Death is treated jokily here; nearly every time Brendan kills a baddie, he makes a Bondian quip. ("Let's see how you handle that, manorexia," he tells a skeleton.) But death in the Harry Potter series feels real and sad, which makes those books something more than a slam-bang adventure. A sense of loneliness, responsibility and melancholy hangs over the fun. "House of Secrets" lacks a sense of stakes. While "House of Secrets" aspires to Potterdom, "Loki's Wolves" yearns to be Riordanesque. Rick Riordan is the reigning master of ancient mythology in a modern-day setting, with his middle-grade novels covering Greek, Roman and Egyptian gods. K. L. Armstrong and M. A. Marr have stepped into the Norse mythology gap. Here, our three heroes are Matt, Fen and Laurie, middle school students in Blackwell, S.D., a tiny town filled with the descendants of Norse gods. Matt Thorsen is the sheriff's son, a star athlete who wears a hammer pendant and tries to do the right thing. He doesn't feel as confident as he looks; when he's chosen to fight the giant serpent Midgard to prevent the dawn of a new ice age, he's terrified. He teams up with the cousins Fen and Laurie, both poor and from broken homes, both descendants of the trickster god Loki. Together they go on a quest to find Mjolnir, Thor's full-size hammer, and other mystical objects that will help them fight the serpent and prevent Ragnarok, the end of the world. As in "House of Secrets," there's a ton of action: a fun trip to Mount Rushmore, a tornado, a Viking raid. A wolf is punched in the face. Unfortunately, words from Norse mythology come so thick and fast the book sometimes feels like a Wikipedia entry. Fimbulwinter, Hnefatafl, Nidhogg, Sigrblot, Skoll and Sol, Mani and Hati, Vetrarblot! (I need some mead.) They feel superimposed, a substitute for a real sense of place or character. As in "House of Secrets," there's little emotional resonance. Maybe that makes sense; after all, mythology is inherently two-dimensional. Maybe, sometimes, a lively story can be enough. Nuance isn't easy. Marjorie Ingall is a columnist for Tablet magazine.