The introduction begins by explaining the Viking culture and three-tiered strata. Crossley-Holland explains that Myth 5 in his book explains this strata and that the eddaic poem, "Rigsthula," is the source of information. Viking lifestyles and religions are touched on giving the foundation for how the literature sprang from the culture. I went back to reread the introduction and got more out of it the second time. While reading the myths I flipped back and forth between each story and the notes in the back of the book. I found that when I was confused as to who was whom, the author explained the contradictions as well as put the myth in an understandable context. The myths are not always sequential and sometimes the peoples names changed or I wouldn't understand that it was Odin in disguise. I had many "ah-ha" moments. Overall I enjoyed the book, but it took more concentration than usual and I found by the end I just wanted to finish it. At least the story goes out with a bang. Literally.