Author: S.T. Bende
First published April 20, 2013
When Kristia Tostenson transfers to Cardiff University, she never expected to fall in love with Ull Myhr, a Norse God and immortal assassin. As their relationship blossoms, Kristia realizes that loving an immortal comes with a price.
With enemies lurking in the shadows, Kristia’s visions may be the key to saving Asgard and Earth from destruction during the battle at Ragnarok. Will Kristia be able to embrace her newfound powers and save the realms she loves?
Elsker is a thrilling tale of love, sacrifice, and the power of destiny.
About the Author
S.T. Bende used to live in Manhattan Beach, where she developed a fondness for Peet’s Coffee. She also studied Shakespeare in Europe, where she discovered her love for McVitie’s cookies.
Her Scandinavian heritage and a patient Norwegian teacher inspired her to write her popular YA Norse fantasy series, including Viking Academy, Ære Saga, Elsker Saga, and Alfheim Academy. She’s also a big fan of Star Wars and has written children’s books for the franchise.
S.T. is an experienced IP writer, having written multiple books for Disney-Lucasfilm Press and other licensees. She hopes to work on more beloved IP projects in the future.
When she’s not writing, she fantasizes about skiing on Jotunheim and Hoth. Check out S.T.’s website (), newsletter (), or follow her on Twitter @stbende.
Elsker by S.T. Bende is a gripping romance novel that seamlessly weaves together Norse mythology with modern-day settings. First published in 2013, the book is part of the hugely popular young adult fantasy genre, perfect for readers looking for a thrilling escape into the world of the divine.
The story is set in contemporary California and is told from the perspective of Kristia Tostenson, a devoted college student at the University of California, Berkeley. Kristia is instantly smitten with Ull Myhr, a mysterious and magnetic exchange student from Norway, who is at the college for a semester.
As their relationship grows deeper, Kristia learns that Ull is not just an ordinary student, but is actually the Norse god of winter, whose true purpose on Earth is to protect humanity from the dark forces of evil who want to plunge the world into eternal darkness. The novel’s author, S.T. Bende, has an extraordinary flair for storytelling, and the result is a page-turner full of action, romance, and mythical elements that will keep the reader invested in the story from start to finish.
Regardless of whether you are familiar with Norse mythology or not, Bende does a fantastic job of immersing the audience into a world of gods and goddesses without making them feel overwhelmed or confused. One of the strengths of the book is the character development done by Bende.
Kristia is a relatable and complex heroine who’s easy to root for. She’s not just a lovestruck girl reduced to a damsel in distress.
Instead, she’s a well-developed character with a deep understanding of herself and what she wants out of life. Moreover, Ull is not just an unattainable god but also a well-rounded character with his own insecurities and vulnerabilities.
The pacing of the novel is fast, but not too fast, never lingering too long on any one piece of the puzzle. Bende’s prose easily conveys the emotions and actions of the characters and contains enough description to clearly depict the settings accurately.
Furthermore, the themes explored in the book are timeless, such as the power of love, friendship, and finding one’s true identity. Apart from these strengths, some limitations of the novel could be its predictive and formulaic fashion.
The climax is quite easy to foresee for those familiar with tales of mythology, which can be frustrating to readers looking for jaw-dropping moments. That said, this book is a top-notch choice for teens and young adults in search of a fun and accessible entry into the Norse mythology genre.
Ultimately, Elsker is an enjoyable read that portrays the universal motifs of love, loss, and sacrifice in a captivating and imaginative way. Hence, it’s recommended for a reader who likes endings that are satisfying and complete, and they will give this novel a rating of 4.5 out of 5.