19 DECEMBER 1885, Page 24

The Champion of Odin. By Frederic Hodgetts. (Cassell and Co.)—

The "Champion of Odin" is one Hahkon, a Swede, who, from being a shepherd boy (though, indeed, he is of princely birth), rises to be a leader of warriors. He comes over with the Danish invaders of Eng- land in King Alfred's time, is taken prisoner, and is baptised, but fluctuates between Odin and Christ, till he wins his way into the clearer light. One of his first steps in this final advance of his is his recognition that the Christian forgiveness of injuries is a nobler thing than the heathen revenge. It is, perhaps, strange that what is the most difficult of the Gospel precepts should have been the first to be learnt. The book is full of matter, and shows both careful study and a considerable power of assimilating and utilising the knowledge acquired. And, as may be supposed, it has some striking scenes. We may cite as an instance that in which Habkon is taken into Luna (the Etruscan town which he has mistaken for Rome) as a sick man who would fain die within reach of holy things. The Vala, or

prophetess Fulda, is one of the most effective figures. •