Hearthfire is Ada Palmer’s new Viking Mythology–focused novel series, with two books planned and an estimated publication date for early 2026, from Tor.
One of the goals of the series is to use a lot of the latest new scholarship on Viking myths and culture. A lot of fiction based on mythology draws, very naturally, on the versions the author grew up with, which usually means versions that are at least 30 years out of date, and since children’s books tend to lag behind adult books in terms of using updated material, they often repeat versions that are as much as 70 years out of date in terms of modern scholarship. As a scholar at a major research library, Palmer puts her access to the latest interpretations and discoveries at the service of readers and the fantasy fiction community by including the latest awesome research in her version of the Viking cosmos.
The series also works to focus on the anti-nationalist, anti-Nazi, anti-white-supremacist sides of the latest research, since Viking culture has been heavily coopted in our present moment by the alt right. It is a great moment to zoom in on the aspects of real Viking culture that blow white supremacist readings out of the water, aspects like its focus on disability; on gender fluidity; on weakness, compromise, and cooperation; and on racial mixing and interdependence. All of these are themes which are huge in the original sources and help prove how ahistorical and distorted the coopted readings are.
In Hearthfire, Palmer will tell a great story while also providing some refreshing healing to a corpus of stories which has taken a battering.