Cover Image: The Valkyrie's Daughter

The Valkyrie's Daughter

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Member Reviews

Overall, a good book. I liked the theming and plot progression. A bit of a slow burn, but it felt realistic. There was a lot of character growth as well.

It was the ending that got me. I had hoped for more of a happily ever after. It wasn't sad, by any means. It just felt underwhelming.
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Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an advanced review copy of “The Valkyrie’s Daughter” by Tiana Warner. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

I’m a big fan of this author’s ‘Ice Massacre’ series so I was excited to get to read this new book about valkyries. It read as a standalone but I wouldn’t mind seeing more books set in this world. 

The story follows a stable hand named Sigrid and this is definitely one for the horse girls. Sigrid doesn’t fit in with the Valkyrie’s and this is very much her story of realizing what she wants from life and finding out about herself and her past. She meets Mariam along the way and their relationship was very cute. It read a bit young for YA but I enjoyed it. I liked the friendships and Sigrid’s strong bond with her horse, Hester. 

The end was a bit repetitive with running back and forth and getting the necklace and losing the necklace and getting the different horses and losing the different horses. A lot was happening but it felt like the setbacks just kept piling on. I liked the quests in the book but the big climax scene felt like running around in circles.

Overall I enjoyed this book and would read more in this world. It was a fun journey and I’d be happy to revisit the world in another book. 

4/5 stars
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Thank you to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for an ARC of this book. All opinions in this review are my own.

Wow, this book. This book is really cool - while not 100% my cup of tea, it is still really good! Let me clarify - it is Norse mythology based (think Thor, Loki, Odin, etc.) which is not generally what I go for, I am much more into East Asian or Greek mythology, but for my first foray into Norse mythology this was a really cool book! 

This is a Sapphic romance, filled with adventure, horses, and finding out who you are truly meant to be. It was a great fantasy, with all of the characters having strong personalities & being very distinct from each other. However, that was a bit of the problem for me - I didn't particularly like the main two characters, I found them a bit bullheaded and annoying at times, which meant it could be a bit of a struggle for me to read this book. But because the book was so interesting, I would push through my annoyances because I wanted to keep seeing how the plot developed. I am really curious as to what happens next, so I will read book 2 when it comes out, and I think if you like Norse mythology or Sapphic books, you should definitely check this out.
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Fun fact about me, I LOVE everything Norse Mythology inspired, so of course my interest was piqued from the first moment I heard about this book!

I really like how the story played out and how lighthearted it was. Like I said, because I’m already interested in Norse Mythology, and in the setting upon which the plot was built, I think it was way easier to get into the story and enjoy it. I don’t know if someone who is not that into these types of stories would feel the same way. I just wish that the characters, and especially the relationships between them, were better developed.

Do you have any Norse Mythology inspired book recs? Looking forward to reading more books like that!!!

Thank you to @netgalley and @entangledteen for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review!
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In reading the description of this book, the idea of Valkyries, a mythical stallion and a treacherous journey had me intrigued immediately. Unfortunately, I had a difficult time really getting into this book and found myself picking up and putting down several times before I started getting pulled into the story.

I thought the world, creatures and twists were quite interesting. I'm not really into Norse Mythology so I'm not certain how much was pulled from that and how much was the author's creation. There were parts that kept me intrigued but there were several points where the pacing felt too slow. I am also a fan of romance and wished there had some additional focus on the relationship between Sigrid and Miriam.
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I really loved the tone of this book--it was so much fun even in the midst of an epic plot. The first chapter had me with that hilarious twist! I felt like the author really distinguished her voice in the Norse mythology category. I also really loved Sigrid and Mariam's relationship and how they grew together throughout the book. Honorable mention for best character goes to Sigrid's horse, Hestur!
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Thank you for letting me read this book. I am a big fan of mythology retelling and this one didn't disappoint. I loved to see the relationship the MC has with her horse.
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I really really enjoyed this story! 

I’m an absolute sucker for an underdog who is destined for nothing but steps up, makes a choice, and suddenly the weight of everything is on their shoulders!
Stories like that get me every time! 

This is a sapphic ya read that felt familiar and fresh at the same time! I definitely recommend for those looking for LGBTQ reads that enjoy YA! 

I personally would have liked a bit more emotion and character development, this was definitely more of a plot driven read, which will appeal to many but isn’t what makes a five star read for me personally!
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Really loved this one a lot. It gave me a lot of Viking vibes which I am all for. I highly recommend this to everyone.
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This is a Sapphic YA adventure settled in Norse mythology. I think fans of Magnus Chase who want LGBT rep and female main characters will enjoy this story. I think it's best suited for a young YA audience, perhaps just coming out of middle grade books.

Personally, I was not a big fan of the writing style. It went from one big event to the next without much of anything in between including emotions or reactions from the characters. I also wasn't a fan of the way that everyone's hardships were compared.

However, I do think that kids who want a fast paced adventure will enjoy this book. I didn't particularly dislike it, I just thought it was very average.
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I am a huge fan of books who can take myths and legends and interweave them within a story while ALSO working to take the known and…make it their own.  The Valkyrie’s Daughter is one such book. 

While discussing destiny vs choice, it also tells a great story of a young lady who is not destined for much of anything - until one day she is. And how she manages to make her destiny her own by bending some rules and absolutely shattering others. 

It’s a classic Cinderella story, but one where the prince isn’t the savior - and isn’t wanted anyway.
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Ok, so I really enjoyed the Norse mythology aspect of it and the story line that went with it. It was the characters that I couldn't take. Sigrid and Mariam, our protagonists and their feeling for one was just such a good story, well written, until you get to the romance budding between these two young girls. It felt very middle schoolish and immature. all the talk about fluttering hearts etc., were just really cringe worthy in my opinion. It was super awkward and I just skipped past those parts. It made the characters lack depth and I felt no real connection to them. I will though probably try the next book because I did enjoy the mythos in the story. Perhaps the romance will mature better in the next book.
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This book was really good! One of my favourite aspects was the writing. Tiana Warner manages to make you forget you are reading...which is the sign of a great book. 

While this isn't my usual style of book, I still found myself engrossed in the story and following Sigrid's story.
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I have quite enjoyed the current sub-genre of fantasy that uses mythology as a base, and this is a very good representative of the genre. Based on Norse mythology, this book is the story of Sigrid, a foundling who becomes a stable hand while dreaming of becoming a Valkyrie. There are some alternate interpretations of Norse mythology - for example, in this novel, Valkyries are born at birth rather than being reborn after death - but they work for the story, and the basic weave of Norse mythology is clearly evident within the setting, characters, and plotline.

Sigrid was found in the Valkyrie nursery on Vanaheim as an infant, paired with a male colt, where baby Valkyries were paired with female winged horses. Uncertain what this difference meant, the inhabitants of Vanahalla, the court where she is found, raise her as a stable hand, allowing her to train her horse while she cares for the flying horses of the junior Valkyries born around the same time. But Sigrid wants more: she wants to be a Valkyrie, not just care for them. Her chance comes when Vanahalla is attacked by the forces of Hel and a treasure is taken, and she takes the chance to travel to Helheim with her faithful horse Hestur to try to retrieve it. During her journey, Sigrid learns more about herself, and life, than she realized there was to learn - about friendship, family, and a bit of romance.
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I love this premise. I love Norse mythology. I love the whole concept of Valkyries. What I was very disappointed with was the execution. 

This book feels like Mean Girls with fantasy elements, but not as clever. It’s a big story with lots of history and mythology diminished to petty warriors and a hypocritical goody-goody main character with dreams and a destiny too great for the protagonist we meet. 

The prose isn’t beautiful enough for the subject matter or serious enough to match the stakes we’re told exist in this world. The worldbuilding is more info dumps than action unraveling, and the action we get doesn’t feel as significant as I’m sure the author intended. I know this is YA, but it feels more juvenile even than middle grade – save for the developing romance and characters getting the hots for each other.

I tried, I tried so hard, but I just didn’t care enough to continue. 

2 stars for potential.

DNF at 50%.
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“The Valkyrie’s Daughter” by Tiana Warner is the perfect place to start for a young reader interested in fantasy or Norse mythology. The first book in what promises to be an adventure-filled series, readers are led on a quest by our fierce and determined heroine, Sigrid. Left alone at birth with no one but her trusted horse Hestur, Sigrid is raised to become a stable hand and cares for the Valkyrie’s winged mares.  Sigrid dreams of being a Valkyrie. Each day Sigrid lives vicariously through the Valkyrie teams. She trains on her personal time with her non-winged horse in the hopes that one day she’ll be able to join the prestigious team in some capacity.

“Sigrid, you’ve been thinking of life as either being a valkyrie or not being a valkyrie. Maybe there are other options. Maybe there’s another destiny that’s perfect for you.”

“The Valkyrie’s Daughter” is based on (the nine worlds/realms, magic and sorcery, Gods) isn’t very well known. Warner tells readers in her Author’s Note that of what we know of Viking society comes from medieval Christian historians and records kept by their opponents, which is most likely biased.  Warner wrote this story with a very specific audience in mind. Knowing that it would be found by young fantasy writers, the focus isn’t too deep into the nitty gritty realistic history. Instead there are subtle details weaved through the pages to make sure the reader can follow along with the subject matter while being part of the constant action.

“The gods created the valkyries to maintain balance and peace in the nine worlds, and that purpose called to her more than anything. She wanted to travel with them through the upper and middle worlds, to provide help in emergencies, and to fight and defend innocent lives from the evils of the lower realms. She wanted the reverence that came with being a guardian, a protector, a valued member of the best warriors in the cosmos. Most of all, in her heart, being a valkyrie was her destiny.”

Reviews should be honest, so I’ll share that while I loved the adventure and quest that Sigrid, Mariam and Fisk are on, there were also parts of the story that caused me some stress. A young reader most likely wouldn’t be bothered by the below but as an adult, I was irked by the following:

The title doesn’t really seem appropriate. Unless this is foreshadowing for a future book, I feel it’s misleading. Sigrid’s  birth rite and family history are a HUGE plot point, and the title should reflect as much.
The underlying romance felt flimsy. The pairing was to me felt unrealistic. Sigrid killed Mariam’s mare in the beginning of the story, but then uses Mariam to help her follow what she believes is her destiny and they fall in love along the way? Maybe my cynical heart imagined that Mariam would turn on Sigrid at the first opportunity to spite her.
The timeline of events once Sigrid meets Elina. Without giving too much away, the timing felt very off. Fantasy should get a little detailed and in-depth, and the plot points during that time were rushed and then drawn out in the wrong places.
All things considered, “The Valkyrie’s Daughter” is a good place to start for a fantasy novel. I hope that with the next installment, Warner keeps the level of adventure at the current high pace, but takes the time to build out the world a little deeper and structure the plot points slightly more dramatically to keep readers on their toes.
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I finished the book right on time and I'm so glad that I did! From the beginning I was hooked, I instantly fell in love with Mariam and Hestur. The story included great lessons for people of all ages, and I can easily see this book being a hit. 

I was slightly disappointed that there were characters who were mentioned but never appeared. I also wanted more content about Sigrid and Sleipnir's relationship. But overall, I enjoyed this book immensely and I will be recommending it to my patrons.
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"The Valkyrie's Daughter has all of the elements of a superhero story.  Sigrid's life may seem frustrating but deep below the surface there is a bad ass Valkyrie clawing to get out.  The setting for the story takes her to the gates of Hel and back where she is beset with demands and guilt as she searches for answers to questions she doesn't even know she has.  Add the spice of love and attraction and you have an adventure story that shines with Sigrid's ability to fight her way through challenges, just like a Valkyrie.
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I honestly ran out of time for reading this book.  It is still on my TBR list but at this time I am trying to finish up a few other books on my shelf.  I may pick this up at a later date.
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This book had a great premise but slightly fell through with the plot and the fleshing out of the main characters. The side characters felt more natural and were more interesting to read about than Sigrid. 

As someone born and raised in Norway, I'm always looking for good Norse mythology retellings, but, again, this fell short. The world-building hinges a lot on already acquired knowledge, which seems counterintuitive to the main demographic. This results in a world that feels flimsy and struggles to advocate for and explain itself.
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