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Book Review: A Modern Day Hávamál by Donngal mac Ronain

Book Review: A Modern Day Hávamál by Donngal mac RonainA Modern Day Havamal by Donngal mac Ronain
Pages: 46
Published by Independently Published on August 11, 2019
Format: eBook
ISBN: 978-1089612797

A Modern Day Havamal is a fresh and new take on the words of Odin presented in many previous translations. This book is designed to offer the Havamal in a easy to understand and current take on the English Language. Modern followers of Norse Heathenry, Asatru and other pagan paths should find this version of the Havamal to be a good read and deliver the spirit of the words of Odin in a new way.

As a novice of Norse Heathenry and Norse Mythology, I was excited to start reading Donngal mac Ranain’s interpretation of the Hávamál in a modern context. Gone is the old school patriarchal ideology, in with a new gender neutral and more approachable book of Odin’s wisdom.

“[59] If you have work to do, get up early and get it done. If you lay there and do nothing, you will lose more than time.”– Odin

What I loved about the book was how easy it was to read. It was something that did not need to be deciphered. Older versions can be hard to follow because they are written in an older English. Personally, I’ve had issues trying to wrap my head around older translations because they are full of language and ideas from many generations ago. With Donngal mac Ronain’s interpretation, I was better able to understand and contemplate those stanzas without scratching my head and looking up the meaning.

I enjoyed reading his interpretation of the stanzas. They made me laugh, they made me contemplate, and I thought about how they related my life today. It was down to earth and, at times, very humorous. I felt like I got to know Odin as a person.

What I Didn’t Like

With all forms of moral guidance and religion, there will be topics you’ll disagree with. I found myself, on more than one occasion, disagreeing with a stanza or two. However, those particular stanzas might meet with someone else’s ideology and might be very meaningful. A line I rolled my eyes at could be extremely meaningful to another. I also consider myself a non-conformist so that may have something to do with it.


Loved it! I believe that not only is this book a good read for any aspiring follower of Odin, but for anyone seeking philosophical guidance. I’d recommend this to anyone interested in Norse Heathenry, Asatru, mythology, history, or anyone interested in philosophical wisdom. Odin’s words of wisdom touches on morality and how to behave towards one’s fellow man. It’s easy to read for the modern audience.

I did not always agree with the author’s interpretation of the Hávamál as I believed it steered away from the culture and time of which it was written. However, he did proclaim a few times that this was not a 100% translation, but rather, his own interpretation. With that, I do think that he did a great job at modernizing and eliminating the patriarchal message of previous translations. It was easy to read and I’d highly recommend it.

Is it Worthy of Valhalla?
The Characters
The world
The plot
The cover
The writing

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author and/or publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions, thoughts, reflections, and ratings are my own.

About Jennifer King

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