Book Review

The Valkyrie’s Daughter

The Valkyrie’s Daughter

  • Author: Tiana Warner
  • Genre: YA Fantasy
  • Publication Date: July 26, 2022
  • Publisher: Entangled Teen
  • Series: The Helheim Prophecy #1

Thank you to NetGalley and Entangled Teen for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

CONTENT WARNING: bullying, violence, death of an animal

A thrilling, intricate, and romantic #OwnVoices LGBTQ fantasy that builds on Norse mythology into a beautiful story all its own.

For as long as Sigrid could remember, she’s wanted to become a mighty, fearless valkyrie. But without a winged mare, she’s a mere stable hand, left wondering who her parents were and why she’s so different. So when the Eye shows her a vision where she’s leading a valkyrie charge on the legendary eight-legged horse Sleipnir, she grabs the possibility of this greater destiny with both hands, refusing to let go.

Too bad that the only one who can help her get there is Mariam, an enemy valkyrie who begrudgingly agrees to lead her to Helheim but who certainly can’t be trusted―even if she does make Sigrid more than a little flustered. As they cross the nine worlds, battling night elves, riding sea serpents, and hurtling into fire to learn the truth about Sigrid’s birthright, an unexpected but powerful bond forms.

As her feelings for Mariam deepen into something fiery and undeniable, Fate has other plans for Sigrid. What happens when the one thing you think you were meant to do might end the nine worlds?

I loved the idea of merging queer fantasy into Norse mythology, with a hefty dose of valkyries, which is what initially drew me to this story. After recently finishing a full binge of Vikings and The Last Kingdom on TV, I was fully primed to love this story, but unfortunately, it fell a bit flat for me. 

Sigrid’s character is a rough one to like. For so much of the book, she’s selfish, self-centered, and so overly focused on herself that she completely ignores all of the people around her. It made it hard to really empathize with her fully, and to get behind her when she finally starts to change, which doesn’t even happen until the last 20% of the book.

I wound up liking some of the other characters better than Sigrid, especially Mariam and Fisk. These two wind up having more of a found family dynamic, and accepting each other’s quirks and weaknesses, as well as highlighting the strengths that they have. It stood out in a stark contrast to the way that Sigrid treated them, despite the slow burn romance that was simmering between Sigrid and Mariam.

The writing depicts the setting beautifully. I was able to picture everything in my head effortlessly. However, the conversation felt a bit stilted and jarring, and there’s a decidedly modern flair to the conversation and even, at times, to the descriptions. It made it a little difficult to stay immersed in the story. In addition, it reads a little on the young side of YA.

The pace is a little slow, and I was lucky enough to be reading another book at the same time, so that kept me motivated to read. I kept finding myself putting the book down, and pushing myself to pick it back up. The story didn’t really pick up in pace until the last quarter, and that’s honestly what redeemed it and increased my star rating for it. This is the first in a series, but everything felt pretty wrapped up by the end of this book, and I don’t think I’ll keep reading this series.

5 replies »

  1. That’s a shame because reading the synopsis I was like yes please lol! Valkyries, the Nine worlds… sounds fun! I do have issues sometimes when the dialogue in a story like this feels too modern. It takes me out of the story. Anyway, sorry this one was a little disappointing but thanks for a great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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