A really interesting survey of the impact Norse mythology has had on culture from the time it was first written down in Iceland onward to the present day (or at least the date of publication, earlier this century).
First off there's a look at what we know about Norse myth from written sources and archaeology, noting the problems and uncertainties associated with each and the vast yawning absences in our knowledge that look to be forever irreperable. The most important stories from the written stories are outlined - necessary information for the next part of the book, which surveys how Norse myth impacted all aspects of culture, social, political, artistic in a progression from the 13th Century to the 21st.
O'Donoghue restricts herself only to the "highlights" in order to fill in trends and register the most impactful social and artistic movements. This is no doubt essential for a book aimed at a popular audience, with a length restiction, however, I could have wished for both more detail and a more comprehensive discussion, at the risk of ending up with a longer and more academic book.
The Boyhood Deeds of Cu Chulaind
Celtic heroes were mostly a precocious bunch and Cu Chulaind is a prime example, able to beat the other boys (all three fifties of them (at once)) at any feat of prowess and kill with his bare hands a dog that all the adult warriors are scared of. He goes on to single-handly defend Ulster from the assembled forces of most of the rest of Ireland for days.