When I requested a review copy of “Beyond the North Wind: The Fall and Rise of the Mystic North” by Christopher McIntosh I thought I was getting another general overview of the Norse religion and maybe some rune talk. What I got is so much more!
McIntosh discusses “the North” from every perspective imaginable. Its physical locales, its mystical realm, its past populations and current residents, and their belief systems.
“Beyond the North Wind” spends a lot of time discussing Hyperborea, a land from Greek mythology that was home to a race of giants who lived “beyond the North Wind”. The Greeks thought that Boreas, the god of the North Wind lived in Thrace, and therefore Hyperborea indicates that it is a region beyond Thrace. Unbeknownst to me, Hyperborea is much like Atlantis. There’s much discussion of whether it was a real place, if it is a real place, was it the same as Atlantis and/or other ancient mythological lands, etc. It’s interesting to see all the theories, far-fetched or not, about a land that’s entirely new to me.
McIntosh bookends the ancient past and mythological with a nice survey of the resurgence of the North in popular culture: television shows, comic books, music, and of course everything Thor. Not to mention the adoption of many of their spiritual practices among modern citizens around the globe. Vikings and runes of old, now new again.
Christopher McIntosh has presented a thoughtful overview of the North that I would encourage anyone to check out.
The author has a short video for the book you can watch below.
You can learn more here.
Shop your local indie bookstore <--- This is an affiliate link to IndieBound, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase the book I will make a small commission.