Book Review: Valkyrie Rising

Warrior woman. Fantasy fashion idea.Ellie is looking forward to spending the summer in Norway with her grandmother Hilda. On the down side, she’ll have to put up with her brother Graham and his best friend Tucker. Graham treats her like she’s seven instead of sixteen, and Tuck’s bad boy charm will claim Ellie as yet another victim if she doesn’t guard her heart.

Dark looks and angry whispers await Ellie in the village of Skavøpoll. Young men have been disappearing, and the villagers blame Hilda and Ellie, claiming they’re Valkyries come to steal warriors for Odin’s army. A ridiculous notion to be sure, but even as Ellie dismisses the rumors, something awakens inside her. She discovers a family heritage steeped in Norse legends.

When Ellie’s grandmother and brother both go missing, Tuck is the only friend she has left. Ellie starts to see a different Tuck, one she can rely on, and it’s a good thing too. She’ll need his help to face what’s coming. If she’s going to rescue her family, Ellie will have to embrace her heritage and Valkyries are meant for battle.

Valkyrie Rising first caught my attention because the premise was different than my usual reading fare. I’ve read plenty of novels using Greek or Celtic mythology, but Norse not so much. Ingrid Paulson has a reader-friendly style and likeable characters, and she works Norse mythology into the modern world seamlessly, making me want to visit Norway just to see if I can catch a glimpse of old magic among the fjords and pines. I also have an urge to go shopping for fur-trimmed leather boots…

Valkyrie Symptoms, a short prequel told from Tuck’s point of view, will be available February 2013.

©2013 Kim Vandel

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