The Valkyrie’s Daughter

Entangled Teen. Jul. 2022. 400p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781649371485.
Gr 7 Up–Sixteen-year-old Sigrid wants to be a Valkyrie more than anything. An orphan bonded to a wingless horse, she works as a stable hand, anxious to prove herself. So, when the prophetic Eye shows her riding the mythical eight-legged Sleipnir into battle, Sigrid jailbreaks Mariam, an enemy Valkyrie, to help her make the perilous journey to Helheim. But what awaits her there is not what she expected, and Sigrid is confronted with the price she must pay to fulfill the destiny she always dreamed of. The book centers Sigrid’s character development and her budding relationship with Mariam, with a supporting cast who are depicted with varied skin tones, sexualities, gender identities, and backgrounds. Anachronistic dialogue and straightforward language allow for the vivid worldbuilding moments and fast-paced action sequences to really pop, while the vagueness of the prophecy heightens the suspense in the final third as Sigrid becomes increasingly desperate to manifest it. The novel works well as a standalone, but the promise of a new mission, returning characters, and more worlds to explore will spur fans on to the sequel.
VERDICT A colorful coming-of-age action-adventure exploring themes of trust, sexuality, family, and fate against a Norse mythology–inspired backdrop, this book will round out the worlds on a high fantasy shelf and serves as a good introduction for new readers of the genre.

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