Time for my tour stop with MTMC Tours to talk about The Goddess of Nothing At All by Cat Rector!
THIS BOOK, OH. Just imagine me lying on the ground in a pool of my own tears as I try to recover from this incredible tome. If you like Madeline Miller’s Circe and Song of Achilles — you need this book immediately. It’s Norse Mythology, but make it full of lgbtqia+ characters and world-shattering romance and heart-pounding twists and beautiful writing.
LET’S TALK ABOUT NORSE MYTHOLOGY
Okay so characters like Thor and Loki are pretty well known, thanks to Marvel and Rick Riordan. But this takes it to a whole new level, from a completely fresh angle too. This is mythology done rich and clever, adhering to the original myths but also weaving lives for characters who never had a chance at the spotlight. The story is told by Sigyn, wife of Loki, and she’s the daughter of Odin but he refuses to acknowledge her or even make her a true goddess. We follow her story from when she first seeks out Loki to help her with her magic, all the way to the finale of Ragnarok. I recognised a ton of the myths in here, but not all the characters. It was such a riveting to read.
Um, I cannot help but adore Sigyn. She is constantly discarded, overlooked, and trod-down and she just gets back up and TRIES HARDER. Her story feels familiar for how our society treats women: a brother does a tiny thing and gets rewarded, she does 100 x more and gets nothing for it. Sigyn is also super queer and super dimensional. She is flawed and sometimes horrible, and sometimes gorgeous and wonderful. There were times I was mad at her 😭 but I also understood her rage.
Also there is Loki. The book starts with Sigyn travelling to find him, desperate for someone to teach her more magic so she will finally be recognised by Odin. She and Loki end up locked together — she keeps him “under control” while in Asgaard, and he teaches her magic. But control Loki? The Trickster god of lies?! HA. If you like tragic and wickedly clever morally grey disasters – you’re going to love Loki. I ADORED LOKI. I just love love how he was written. You see his addiction to trouble, but also the way he’s SET UP to fail. To be punished. To be blamed. Part of him has this dark wicked streak, but part of him just wanted a soft and happy life with Sigyn too 🥺 I loved how the book delved into trauma responses and the psychology of a spiral downwards. When you expect someone to be evil, you often drive them to it. And the cruelness that dogs Loki his entire life broke my heart. Like I’m sorry, but I understood why he made the choices he did 😭 (There were some times Sigyn walked away that made me so angry– hE NEEDED HER. But again, everyone here is flawed.)
Also there’s so much sass and quips between Sigyn and Loki. Not to mention absolutely a beautiful blossoming love story (the book is really sweet…before it rIPS OUT YOUR HEART). Also they are both so queer, so so queer. Loki is utterly genderfluid and pan or bisexual and so is Sigyn?! So they are perfect together 😭💛 I also loved the unconventional family dynamics (even under bad circumstances) and just…well you know, Loki gives birth to a foal but it didn’t even feel that weird 😂😭.
Also there are so many secondary characters to adore! I loved Idunn with her magical apples, and later on Hreidulfr was like my new surprising favourite. Also Váli and Narvi 🥺💛💛
The gods, unsurprisingly, were utterly toxic piles of monsters. But I also love love reading about them. They call themselves gods and rulers and just be the absolute worst.
It is a huge book, so it has a methodical pace and has much to chew over. By the end there are a LOT of characters, so it is a lot to hold in your head. What I loved was the way it built everything. The ending was heart-rippingly powerful because we had all that time exploring who Sigyn and Loki are in the beginning. And, again, I was just so impressed at how it seamlessly flowed from one part of the mythology into the next.
There is also some serious gore and darkness, and just horrific things happen to so many characters. But there is also power to the underdogs and vengeance too. I love how it all played out.
There is a story of queer rage and joy. It is packed with vengeance and love, trauma and the iron will to keep on. Gripping and powerful, it will fill up your whole heart.
Head over to my instagram for the intl giveaway too!
Perhaps you know the myths.
Furious, benevolent Gods.
A tree that binds nine realms.
A hammer stronger than any weapon.
And someday, the end of everything.
But few have heard of me.
Sigyn Odindottir has spent a lifetime trying to prove to her father that she’s ready for a title, but no amount of training or study has done the trick. In a last-ditch effort to change Odin’s mind, she turns to the one person she probably shouldn’t.
Loki’s reputation for deceit and mischief precedes him, but so does his skill for shapeshifting, scheming, and lighting things on fire with the snap of his fingers. If she can keep him under control, Sigyn stands to learn a great deal. Maybe enough to crawl out from the shadows of her brothers.
As Sigyn’s story weaves through the Norse myths, she finds there’s more to Loki than she understood, and perhaps more to herself as well.
When Ragnarok comes, what will she regret?
This unique take on Norse Mythology follows Sigyn through the stories we know and love, challenging the ideas of right and wrong, fate and choice, love and loyalty. Featuring imperfect characters, an LGBTQA+ cast, and a rollercoaster of emotion, The Goddess of Nothing At All asks “What if we’ve been on the wrong side all along?”
Cat Rector grew up in a small Nova Scotian town and could often be found simultaneously reading a book and fighting off muskrats while walking home from school. She devours stories in all their forms, loves messy, morally grey characters, and writes about the horrors that we inflict on each other. Currently, she lives in Belgium with her spouse. When she’s not writing, you can find her playing video games, spending time with loved ones, or staring at her To Be Read pile like it’s going to read itself. The Goddess of Nothing At All is her debut novel. Website | Instagram | Goodreads | Twitter
Hi Cat! Thanks for chatting with me today about your novel, The Goddess of Nothing At All! Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey and how your book went from first idea to finished novel?
Thanks for having me! Mine isn’t a glamorous publishing journey. I grew up loving and writing stories, but I always thought it was something that was out of my reach. It wasn’t until I was 27 that I started imagining that career for myself. I’d spent time trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I had two college degrees, had moved across the planet, and I still felt like I hadn’t found my purpose, and everyone else had. Then I started reading a bunch of Norse mythology books and asking a lot of questions.
Norse mythology comes from a set of cultures that never really wrote anything down. The stories we do have come from oral storytelling and survived hundreds of years before they were put on paper. Because of that, there are big holes where other myths used to be. I had all these questions I couldn’t find answers to. Why did Loki help end the realms? Why did Odin not choose other paths? Why do we know nothing about Sigyn?
I knew I’d never get the answers, so I started writing my own. It was a very, very bad first draft. Like really bad. That draft was thrown out and replaced with another. And another. Over four years of learning to hone my craft, getting feedback from phenomenal writers, and continuing to work even when I felt hopeless, this book was slowly born. And honestly, it’s hard to believe it’s finally going out into the world.
SO glad you discovered a love for storytelling and mythology because your book is just a masterpiece 😩👌🏻 I’ve always loved reading about Norse mythology! Can you tell us about a few of the legendary figures who make an appearance in your book?
The character that we view the story through is Sigyn, who you’ll learn more about soon, but in the mythology, she was the wife of Loki. We spend most of our time with the two of them, but you’ll also get to interact with some major gods like Thor, Odin, and Freya, as well as a cast of lesser-known, more…misfit gods like Idunn, Hod, and Lofn.
The novel is about a lot of different things, but I wanted to give other mythological characters a chance in the spotlight. There are plenty of stories about Thor, the most revered god of the common folk of ancient Scandinavia, but what about Idunn, the woman who grew the apples that let the gods live forever? What about the quiet, less adventurous ones? They deserve some attention too!
Sigyn is a headstrong woman. She’s the youngest of her family and has been fighting to earn a title from her father, Odin. Her siblings all have titles, but after decades of trying, she keeps hearing that she hasn’t earned it yet. So she turns to Loki, who has a reputation for stirring up trouble, a choice that she may or may not find herself regretting. It all gets…a little darker from there :B
While not everyone will resonate with her, I’ve had a lot of female and non-binary readers tell me that her journey was familiar to them. Working hard to earn something they can’t quite reach, feeling unheard, unworthy. But Sigyn is the kind of character that gets back up and keeps going, no matter how unbearable things get. And I hope that people can resonate with that too.
Retellings offer so much room for interpretation, and no two retellings will be exactly the same. I’ve loved the flood of female-led and LGBTQA+ mythology books in the last several years. There’s so much evidence in the myths themselves and from history that these stories already existed, but they aren’t the versions we get to hear. Sigyn’s name appears twice in the small bit of Norse myth source material that we have, and it says almost nothing about who she was, or what happened to her. Getting to imagine a life for her and give others the chance to imagine their own versions, that’s the most thrilling part of it for me.
If I were looking for a stress-free visit, I’d head right to Idunn’s house. She’s easily the kindest soul in the city. She’d be a great host with lots of food and good stories, and I’d go home happy. But I’m a fool, so I’d probably visit Loki and Sigyn, because they’re the ones I care most about. I’m sure my adventure would end with me waking up in a ditch somewhere because that’s what hanging out with Loki gets you.
I’d love to see the mountains, though. Scandinavia has such beautiful fjords and mountainous landscapes, and I’d definitely bribe someone to take me to some.
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