Soren Bearstar, everyone's favourite berserker and best friend, is the central thread connecting the first two novels and novellas, but in The Apple Throne we learn it's Astrid who holds the world together.
This novel explores power, strength, and the different forms they take. It is about how people who believe different things can live together without compromising their individual needs. It's a book about choice. Consent.
Astrid, who took up the role as Idris, Lady of the Apples, is a mortal goddess who offers the apples of immortality to the Asgardian pantheon. These apples must be "freely given," and therein lies the truth of The Apple Throne. Each time Astrid makes a choice, the text respects it. Reinforces that her choices drive the narrative.
We are a world of headlines and clickbait, so it's important we have stories that fight against over-simplifying political and personal conflicts. Stories that say something, succinctly and on the page, without it feeling like a command. The Apple Throne gives us a view of a world conflicted as our own, but says we can find our way through it. If we don't like the paths being offered, we can forge better ones.