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Thor's Wedding Day    by Bruce Coville order for
Thor's Wedding Day
by Bruce Coville
Order:  USA  Can
Full Cast Audio, 2005 (2005)
Hardcover, Audio, CD

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* * *   Reviewed by Lance Victor Eaton

Cross dressing gods, talking goats, and drunken giants make Thor's Wedding Day one to remember. Based on the Norse poem, The Thrymskvitha, Coville delivers an energetic tale, with comedy and drama, that will have youngsters and adults following along with bemused or anxious looks upon their faces.

As Coville admits in his Afterword, he has taken artistic liberties in his rendering of this fairly short poem, in order to stretch it into a nearly three hour performance. Thialfi, Thor's Goatboy, tells this story of revelry and rivalry. Having played a cruel trick upon Thor, Thialfi was sentenced to servitude to the god, and has spent the last three years taking care of the goats that the mighty thunder god uses whenever he is traveling, or for errands.

Upon waking one morning, Thor cannot find his magical hammer, Mjolnir. His brother Loki, a master trickster who appears soon after to assist in the search, discovers the hammer has been stolen by Thrym, one of the giants the gods must constantly confront to protect Asgard, home of the gods. Thrym requires that Freya, goddess of love, marry him in exchange for Thor's hammer. When Freya will have nothing to do with this, Loki schemes that he and Thor should disguise themselves as Freya and the bridesmaid, along with the essential goat-girl to fool Thrym and regain Mjolnir. Of course, plans just never turn out the way one expects, even if you are a god. Thialfi is left to track down Thor's hammer before the wedding - or even worse, the honeymoon - begins.

Full Cast Audio proves again that they are the crème de la crème. Even though by today's standards Thor's Wedding Day might be considered a short audiobook, they go full force to provide quality listening. Coville, president of Full Cast Audio and author of this book (his 91st for those who are counting) and his co-producer Daniel Bostick make all the right decisions, including casting twelve year old Ryan Sparkes as the goatboy Thialfi.

Known for his initial work on the Moongobble and Me series where he established himself as a talented vocal artist and the youngest narrator in the industry, Sparkes proves his talent as he navigates listeners through the majority of this story. His youthful energy does the audiobook justice. Like all good narrators, his tone dictates the mood of the story and he knows how to deliver the text just right. Whether it is due to the directorial influence or not, Sparkes' performance demands its own kudos. Tim Fox voices Thor in a stout though partially burlesque voice that works well given the story's context. Thor's booming voice contrasts nicely with Graydon Brown who delivers Loki in a calm lighter voice hinting mischief and calculation. Full Cast Audio also proves again, that it knows just where and when it can toss in a song without it being over the top or feeling out of place. Complete with sound effects of a grosser nature, the audiobook is sure to leave listeners amused if not outright laughing.

Thor's Wedding Day combines more outrageous characteristics of the Norse gods and goddesses than one would necessarily associate with them. But Coville's crafty narrative allows for us to respect the gods, while appreciating the humorous and entertaining plot elements. For those looking for something light and fun to hear, this audiobook more than delivers.

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