“...an impressive book that may serve for a long time as the standard work on the subject.”
—Jenny Jochens, Speculum
“Mitchell has not ‘only’ furnished us with a comprehensive analysis of magic in the Nordic Middle Ages, in between two ‘bookends’, he also sets us on the track of how other shelves in the library of cultural history can be reorganized.”
—John Ødemark, Arv
"This excellent book aims to rectify a lacuna in the study of Nordic witchcraft beliefs […] To do the subject matter justice requires both a deep understanding of the history and social structures of the region and period, and an ability to work with a huge and varied corpus of source materials. Mitchell is exceptionally well suited to the task. "
— Tracey Sands, Scandinavian Studies
"This the first interdisciplinary book about witchcraft and magic in the Nordic Middle Ages is a tinderbox that challenges established views in research in the field. But first and foremost, it is a study which in an exemplary manner connects the relationship of magic in the Middle Ages with the persecution of magic in the Nordic countries in the 16th and 17th centuries. With this book, we have in other words gained a more complete and holistic understanding of the witchcraft phenomenon and of reactions to the phenomenon's manifestations."
— Rune Blix Hagen, Historisk tidsskrift
"…an important landmark in the study of Scandinavian witchcraft…"
— Clive Tolley, Saga-Book
"The most impressive aspect of Mitchell’s excellent study is his deft use of the full array of sources available for medieval Scandinavian magic—above all the spectacular examples of saga literature, but also law codes and trial records, sermons and ecclesiastical accounts, visual art and archeology. Each comes with its own problems, which he nimbly negotiates while weaving together an effective overall analysis…"
— Michael D. Bailey, The American Historical Review
"…witchcraft and magic involve issues that cut across disciplines, and Mitchell has produced a solid, impressively interdisciplinary contribution to our understanding of them."
— Edward Bever, Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"…an enjoyable, informative read. Highly recommended…"
— A. E. Lykam, Choice
"…in opting for a history of mentality approach, [Mitchell] greatly opens the range of available source material […] this well-written book will be of great interest to specialists (and students) of Old Norse culture and history as well as to historians of European magic. Finally, this is a text that ought to interest students of religion, who have here an excellent study of 'religious' change."
— Nicolas Meylan, The Journal of Religion
"…a clearly written, sophisticated consideration of the dynamics of popular and elite cultures of religion, witchcraft, shamanism, and magic during the medieval period in the Nordic region."
— Emily E. Auger, The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture
"The starting date for Professor Mitchell’s thorough and subtle analysis is the year 1100 […] The material assembled here is rich, varied, and often unfamiliar. The socio-historical picture Professor Mitchell draws from it will be of great value not only to scholars of Scandinavia but to anyone interested in the complex history of European witch-beliefs."
— Jacqueline Simpson, Folklore
"a comprehensive and enlightening survey of beliefs and narratives concerning supernatural aggression in medieval Scandinavia […] an effective and evocative bridge through the long and richly storied era that begins in the pre-Christian Viking Age and ends in the Reformation."
— Thomas DuBois, The Journal of English and Germanic Philology
"The special significance of this book, however, is in the way it uses its textual and methodological resources to redirect our attention from the usual terrain of Nordic cultural history. While Nordic magic has enjoyed plenty of attention from other historians (work which underpins much of Witchcraft and Magic), this book constitutes something of an intervention in the field."
— Stuart McWilliams, Preternature: Critical and Historical Studies in the Preternatural
"Mitchell's book provides an excellent overview of research and at the same time shows in a convincing manner how popular conceptions of witches and sorcerers changed in the North during the Middle Ages."
— Lars Lönnroth, Svenska Dagbladet