War of the GodsPoul Anderson
The story of Hadding is one of the darkest and most violent to come down to us from the old North. An enigmatic figure, Hadding has remained a mystery to mythologists and folklorists for a century and a half. Aside from incidental mentions, there are only a few sources that give us any solid facts about the great Danish king, whom many compare to King Arthur himself.
Poul Anderson has extensively researched the legend to piece together as much authentic material as possible. He gives us a feel for life as it was in that wintry land, the way people ate, talked, and lived, down to the very gods they worshiped. And in the cosmic framework of that era, kings were generally felt to be descended from the gods themselves.
Hadding's story, however, starts off humbly, when his father, a Danish king, is slain shortly after his birth. Hadding is raised by giants far from his rightful throne until the day he feels he must regain his legitimate place in the land of the old North. His adventures border on the unbelievable, but by such men is history wrought, and Hadding's history was destined to become legend.
Poul Anderson (1926–2001) was born in Pennsylvania of Scandinavian stock. He started publishing science fiction in 1947 and became one the great figures in the genre, serving as President of the Science Fiction Writers of America, winning many Hugo and Nebula awards, and also winning the Gandalf (Grand Master) Award.