Another Genesis. . . and not without echoes; a nether-gentleness, a certain majesty, a mythic tragedy--the story of Balder, son of Odin, symbol of Good. ""While he lived, men held to hope, set their sights high. . . . With his death, control vanished, the balance of nature was destroyed, and every evil passion and force was unleashed."" Ragnarok, they called it, the final destruction of the world: Odin ""had created the world and all things in it. . . but he could not preserve it from Ragnarok. . . without knowing the sources of evil."" This, the epic of the Icelandic Eddas, envelopes the Norse pantheon--its past-past, present-past, and future-past; unlike Padraic Colum's younger Children of Odin, In the Morning of Time does not individuate the legends. Instead it projects with teleological energy a unit that begins ""Before the Storm"" and ends not until after, ""in the morning of the new time."" The mythology lessons are here for the learning: the gods' names and functions, the life at Valhalla, the Nordic themes of nature and evil (elaborated in the Afterword); but the book is essentially a novel, and, from its strong jacket forword, a resonant one.