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Epilogues for Lost Gods centers on the aftermath of Ragnarok. Sigyn has built an inclusive city of survivors, ushering in a new age of acceptance and prosperity. But there are those who would see her way of life destroyed. Asgard is rising from the ashes of civilization and they continue to follow the old ways. Sigyn is faced with bowing to their power or being destroyed. Determined to preserve the town of Vanaheim and the people entrusted to her care, Sigyn journeys to Helheim to seek aid.
Each day Loki journeys to the gates of Helheim, hoping it will be the day Sigyn joins him and Narvi. Year after year, he never loses hope of being reunited with her. But the days lay heavy as guilt and PTSD plague him. A silent agreement lies between Narvi and Loki, to never bring up their tragic past. Each contains their emotions rather than processing what has happened. And their mental health remains an ever-present challenge throughout the story. Cat Rector has such an in-depth way of describing Loki’s inner turmoil and translating it into physical manifestations. But Narvi is there to help him through the darker moments. The pain each share is enormous, and watching them struggle through it is heartbreaking.
When Loki learns about the possibility of a second chance at life, he immediately latches onto the small thread of hope presented to him. With war looming on the horizon, he and Narvi will do whatever they can to help Sigyn. But does the person who began the end of the world really deserve a second chance? The weight resting on Loki’s shoulders should not be his to bear alone, yet he holds himself solely responsible for Ragnarok. And there are many in Helheim who blame Loki and help reinforce his negative thoughts. But despite it all, his love for Sigyn drives him forward and empowers him to seek a second chance.
But this isn’t just Loki’s story. While he and Narvi embark on their journey, Sigyn prepares her city for war. Working to the bone and mentally draining herself, she keeps herself too busy to reflect back on Loki’s final moments. And while she and Loki have always had a complicated relationship, she still loves him. Yet Sigyn finds herself questioning if Loki’s love is what she truly desires. The potential to start another relationship, one free of heartache and trauma, tempts Sigyn. But she constantly pushes her feelings aside, burying herself deeper into work and preparations for war.
Love can be a complicated mess, and Cat Rector does a wonderful job of showing the different types of love one feels. Including the tenuous balancing act of moving from one relationship to the next. Grief and trauma are also portrayed in brutal clarity and the effects they can have on those who do not face them. Both Loki and Sigyn will have emotional hurdles they must overcome in order to move on with their lives. Whether it be with each other, or finally parting ways.
Epilogues for Lost Gods is a fitting conclusion to the Unwritten Runes duology. With Loki and Sigyn’s futures hanging in the balance, readers will be set on finding out if their paths will once again be united. And along the way, there will be plenty of battles, close calls, and emotionally wrenching scenes. I’m sad to see their stories come to an end.
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