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The Valkyrie's Daughter

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The Valkyrie’s Daughter is a sapphic take on Norse mythology, focused around Sigrid – the only girl in the Valkyrie training camp without a flying horse, who is desperate to prove that she is worthy of something. I was excited to see what this book could do with the source material, and it does do a good job in that regard: the focus on valkyries in particular allowed for a relatively feminist take on the myths that gave us a wide variety of female characters and allowed them a chance to shine. There are also some fun horse-chase scenes that I really enjoyed.

However; overall, this book reminded me of a slightly aged up version of a Rick Riordan story. It would be a good fit for younger readers who are looking to make the transition from middle grade to young adult, or who have simply read all the available books in those series and are looking for more. But for an adult reader – or a more mature YA reader – there simply isn’t a lot to offer here. There is no nuance in Sigrid’s story – every emotion is telegraphed very explicitly on page – and the plot twists are all very predictable, regardless of whether the reader has any background in the original myths. It does hit the emotional beats well, especially in the back half of the book, when Sigrid’s family origins come into play, and the romance between Sigrid and Mariam is sufficiently sweet, but The Valkyrie’s Daughter isn’t quite the refreshing new addition to the genre I’d been hoping for.
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I was super excited about this book; I mean it’s about Valkyries, but unfortunately it just didn’t live up to it’s premise. The beginning of the book was ok but then it got slow and boring. I found myself looking at the percentage read and thinking, “I’ve only read 3% more, it felt like so much more.” The activity picked up at the end but by then I just wanted the book to be over. I didn’t care for how the relationship between Sigurd and Mariam was left, but I guess this is supposed to be a first book in a series.

I didn’t care very much for Sigrid. I found her very selfish and so obsessed with her destiny. The other characters were much better. I, of course, loved the horse Hestur, Fisk was cute, and even Mariam wasn’t that bad. Sigrid did grow by the end, but by then she had annoyed me so much, I was over it.

The ending was a little complicated but it was definitely something I was not expecting. And it left open mysteries to be solved in the later books. I just don’t think I’ll be reading them.

**Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC. The opinions expressed within are my own. “
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My go to genre is fantasy and so this book was definitely in my wheelhouse.  
     This is the story of a young girl, Sigrid, who is a stable hand who dreams of becoming a Valkyrie. 
 When her village is attacked, the attackers take a magic stone. Before they do, Sigrid briefly holds the stone and sees a glimpse of her future. The story then follows Sigrid as she sets out on an adventure to find the magic stone, the Eye of Hnitbjorg, and return it to her village. I loved the adventure and the relationships that developed between the characters. For people who enjoy fantasy, I would recommend this book. Happy reading!
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This book was an enjoyable read and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. The Norse mythology aspect is fascinating. I really like the main character, Sigrid, and found myself both rooting for her and feeling annoyed and angry by some of her decisions. One of my absolute favorite relationships in the book was between Sigrid and her horse, Hestur. For all those people who went through a phase of longing for a horse, I think they will be pleased by the descriptions of their bond and how well Sigrid cares for Hestur. The author does a wonderful job with sensory details. It is a quick and entertaining book!
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This book has been on my radar for quite a while! In fact, it's been on my radar for so long that it got a new title and cover design before it's release! This book used to be known as The Helheim Princess, if you've seen me mention it before.  

This is a Norse Mythology inspired Sapphic fantasy, and it was such a fun read! We follow Sigrid, who is a stable hand whose only wish is to become one of the fabled Valkyries.  In this world, you can only become a Valkyrie if you were bonded to a winged horse at birth, and Sigrid was bonded to a regular horse. She eventually sees a vision of her riding on the legendary eight-legged horse Sleipnir and decides that she is going to do everything she can to fulfill her destiny.

The characters were a big highlight for me, Sigrid is a total underdog and everyone underestimates her, and I loved her character development. Mirriam is an enemy Valkyrie that Sigrid frees to help her get to Helheim to find her destiny, and the way these two interacted was fun to read about. 

To me, this book seems like it would be perfect for fans of Percy Jackson and other series by Rick Riordan, as this read a bit more on the younger side of YA for me. Since I read so many dark fantasy books, and some pretty steamy romances the stakes were much lower than what I'm used to and the romance was more sweet than anything else. 

This is a fun book about a girl learning who she is and what she wants in life and has a great adventure with a few twists along the way! Definitely recommend this one, especially if you're looking for a lighter read!
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First of all thank you so much for the e-arc !!!

Now, to the review.
I’m going to be completely honest with this one because oml, I tried my best, I PROMISE I TRIED MY BEST.

The book itself it’s good, it’s fun and I gotta love the representation, but it doesn’t really bring anything new to the table NOT in the aspect that it’s warrior women (god bless) and not men, I LIVED FOR THAT.

It  just felt looong, can’t really explain how.

Anyway, I will definitely give the book another chance, going to blame my first impression in how my mind was everywhere whilst reading it, so I will be getting it !!

But for now my rating is 3 stars.
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Thank you Netgalley! I received an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

The Valkyrie's Daughter by Tiana Warner revolves around Sigrid, who wishes more than anything else in the world to be a valkyrie. She works as a stable hand until one day her home town gets invaded and she finally has the chance to prove her skills. 

First things first, the story was absolutely easy to get into it! Since I am a mood reader I sometimes have problems to find my way into a book within the first few pages, but not with this one. I felt like I knew Sigrid even before I read the book. The characters overall were very relatable, likable and written deeply. I am kind of sad the book is over for now. I will miss them for sure. 

Almost forgot! I loved the LGBTQIA+ representation here! Not gonna spoil to much :)

The book doesn't stop for a second. If you think you have a few pages to digest all you have read before, you are wrong! There is so much happening, but not so much you are feeling overwhelmed. And prepare yourself for all the twists and turns. Oh dear, I haven't still recovered from them. 

Overall, a solid read! I hope there will be more very soon!
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The Valkyrie’a Daughter by Tiana Warner explores the story of Sigrid, a female stable hand, who yearns to join the esteemed Valkyries. She is bullied by the junior Valkyries, girls her same age, for her inability to become a warrior due to her bond with a Midgard (Earth) horse instead of a typical winged horse. She finds some friendship amongst the other stable hands, but she secretly trains with her horse to prove her worthiness. One day, everything changes when the kingdom is attacked by other Valkyries, dire wolves and Night Elves. Sigrid rushes to battle, attempting to stop an enemy Valkyrie who attacked the kingdom’s seer for a precious stone that grants visions of the future. In the fight, Sigrid receives a vision of herself leading the Valkyries on the legendary Sleipnir, Orin’s eight-legged horse. Fueled by hopes of a great future, she slips away in the middle of the night to follow the Valkyrie who stole the stone. She is soon captured by another band of Night Elves, but finds the Valkyrie, named Miriam, also captured though without the stone. They form a tense alliance to escape the Night Elves along with a smaller, bullied Night Elf, named Fisk. The three escape and make their way towards Hel, where the stone is being held by its queen, past a series of dangerous obstacles. Their bond grows, but upon their arrival, Sigrid realizes she was misled to Miriam’s true intentions. The  queen of Hel actually sought her for her connection with Sleipnir and ability to utilize his power to travel the nine worlds, with which she hopes to overthrow the king of Vanaheim, Sigrid’s home. She then is forced to confront the prospect of her destiny or carve her own.

The book followed a fairly expected plot, though the relationships between Sigrid and her horse as well as between her and Miriam were enjoyable. The romance was a slow burn that had an enjoyable, though not immediately obvious, conclusion. It was not the point of the book, which I really appreciated. The battles were well-described and exciting. The author did a great job making the mythology understandable and relevant to the plot. She did not excessively world-build for the sake of it. She even adapted certain elements to suit the story in a way that made sense with her version of the world. A fun read-alike for fans of Rick Riordan, Norse Mythology and Cemetery Boys by Aidan Thomas.
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2.5 stars Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC! First, I’m quite pleased to see a fantasy novel with Norse mythology and a LGBTQ+ love interest. It’s about time I read a book for young readers and see that. It had some action in it that younger readers would love also. While I loved those aspects, the overall story development and interactions left some things to be desired for me. The things Sigrid was saying and thinking just seemed too juvenile. Part of the story dragged for me towards the end, & I found myself skimming. I also wasn’t feeling the plot twist.  So, yay for diversity because it had all the sappy feels of the average YA just with the girl having feelings towards another girl, which was refreshing, but meh on dialogue and characters overall. Very clean. Not too much violence. Good for even middle grade readers with just some kissing
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The Valkyrie's Daughter was OK, but certainly did not live up to the blurb/synopsis.

What we were promised was a queer Norse mythology novel in which the fate of the nine worlds rests on an orphaned stable hand (the latter part of which had me thinking of Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain (suitable for young readers, but which if anything are more rewarding to a mature reader). What we instead got was Rick Riordan-lite, a slow-moving book with choppy writing, stilted dialogue, and a "love" story that really doesn't go anywhere (it takes until the end of the books for the characters to kiss, and then they just...go their separate ways, to different worlds, with a "see ya later!"). The conflict introduced at the start of the book (Sigrid trying to find her place, constantly being snubbed by the valkyries, etc.) just mostly gets dropped. Suddenly the valkyries decide that she's fine, and then the goes back to being a stable hand and just hides Sleipnir in the woods? Absurd!

Overall, this was moderately interesting but nothing special, not terribly well plotted or well written, okay for a young reader who likes fantasy but generally forgettable.
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I had wanted to love this, but the main character was so ridiculous in how she felt like she could only be a Valkyrie. People literally called her on it, being like, you can do something else, and she absolutely refused. Also, making the awesome warrior women absolutely horrible and mean made me really angry. I had a hard time wanting the main character to get her dream when she sucked and so did all of them.
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The Valkyrie’s Daughter is a YA fantasy inspired by Norse mythology. Stablehand Sigrid has spent her whole life wanting to be a Valkyrie but is instead looked down upon because she was paired with a regular horse at birth, not a winged mare. During a battle that she’s not supposed to be fighting in, Sigird sees a vision of herself riding along with the valkyries on the legendary eight-legged Sleipnir. The only problem is the general won’t let her go along on their mission. So Sigrid takes a chance on Mariam, an enemy valkyrie who reluctantly agrees to lead Sigrid to Helheim so that Sigrid can fulfill the vision and find her cosmic purpose. But the truth about her birthright might be more than Sigird thought.

This was an enjoyable book. The world was well fleshed out and incorporated many mythological figures as the characters traveled. There was a good amount of action that kept the story moving. I ended up really liking the three main characters although it took a little bit. Sigrid was irritating at times, a bit naive and ignorant but she grew throughout the story and I really liked where her character ended up. I love Mariam and Fisk, and I liked the dynamic that the group grew into. There were plenty of reveals that really tied the story together and made Sigrid’s original vision come full circle. Overall, I thought it was a really good book and I will definitely be picking up the other books in the series when they come out!
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Who doesn’t love an underdog story? Maybe I’m biased as I am in Norway now visiting musea and well known places with Viking relics and Norse mythology, but this was the perfect book for me to read (even with the limited time I have to read).
I have to mention, this book is inspired by Norse mythology and liberties are clearly taken, but I liked the fictional world that is created by Warner.

Sigrid is a stable hand who wants to be (and feels she is destined to be) a valkyrie.  I liked how Sigrid’s character grows throughout the book. At the start I got a bit  of a mean girls feeling, as the Valkyrie juniors (and various others) were mean to Sigrid without any good reason, but this high school vibe changed soon and my favorite part was when the real adventure of traveling into different worlds started.

There is a small sapphic enemies to lovers YA romance between Sigrid and Mariam. It’s sweet and very PG and I look forward to see how it develops further in the following book(s) because it’s very slow burn and this was only the beginning. At the start of the book the romance was a little bit too much tell and too little show for me, but it improved during the story. Mariam is a fierce character and as this book is written in third person with one POV I found myself wishing for Mariam’s POV as well. Also Fisk’s POV (a side character) would have been interesting to read. If there is only 1 POV I prefer first person, in this case I would have really liked multiple POVs. 

Another character that should be mentioned is Hestur, Sigrid’s horse. He’s great and they have an awesome bond. This is definitely a book for horse lovers. 

In short, if you like strong women, horses, Norse mythology, and a sweet sapphic romance you’ll likely enjoy this action packed YA book. Recommended. 

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Valkyrie's Daughter was a fast and fun read, about a Valkyrie unlike any other, one without a winged horse. Sigrid grows up with a normal brown horse instead of a white Pegasus, and is shunned by her peers for it. They treat her as a servant and their instructors refuse to train her. Sigrid isn't happy with this status quo, so when she sees a vision of riding on Sleipnir, Odin's horse, in the middle of the Valkyries, she is willing to do anything to make the vision true.

Be wary of one who would do anything, though. Sigrid is selfish and self-centered in most ways, without much empathy toward others. Her emotions are huge and her narcissism strong, not thinking about what battle she's leading the Valkyries on, just happy that she's leading it. She walks into Hel's realm without question or her companions, just blindly following what she believes is her right. She doesn't even really like Sleipnir or riding him, but she still thinks of him over the horse she trained from birth. Sigrid is quite the unlikeable character, but that doesn't slow down the story or stop readers from connecting with her.

What does cause a disconnect is when the readers end up wondering more about the happenings in Sigrid's world then she does. For example, Ratatosh the Ferryman is missing and the characters make off with his all-powerful boat, but don't stop to wonder where he is.  There are other going-ons that readers pick up on too, but because Sigrid doesn't, they can't be followed up on. It's a little awkward when readers want to turn their attention to a different part of the world than the character is going. 

All in all, there was a lot of issues in Valkyrie's Daughter, but it was still a fun read with a well-paced plot and interesting mythological components.
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CONTENT WARNING: bullying, violence, death of an animal

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.
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Thank you Netgalley and Publisher for this Arc!

This was such a fun read! I have always loved Norse Mythology and I adored this refreshing take on this world.  

Sigrid is a stable hand. But she is a stable hand for the Valkyrie warriors who practice drills daily on their beautiful flying horses.  The thing about Sigrid, though,  is that she truly has a heart of a Valkyrie and she knows she would be fierce if given a chance.   

When Vanaheim comes under attack, Sigrid takes off on her trusted (and really awesome) horse.  She almost saves the Eye, a tool for prophecy but in the process she sees a vision and when she attacks, she unfortunately kills a rider's horse and is overcome with grief.  The Eye has been stolen.  However,  this does not stop Sigrid from pursuing her future that she briefly glimpsed in her vision.  

This book was a blast! I loved the look into Norse Mythology, the enemies-to-lovers Sapphic romance, and, of course, horses! 

Out July 26, 2022!
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This was a fun book and will go a long way with mythology and marvel readers. I highly recommend this for YA libraries.
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I'm a big fan of Norse mythology, so I expected to enjoy this a little more than I did. I do think that some of my students who are lower-level readers would be interested in this. As an adult reader, I found getting over the anachronistic mix of Norse mythology and a more modern language and setting was too much for my entertainment. I did not end up finishing this book because I could not feel any sort of connection with the main character. I often end up liking more simplistic YA protagonists, but I didn't know anything about Sigrid almost twenty percent into the book except that she (for some reason) wanted to be a Valkyrie and liked horses. Just not for me.
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this was a really fun book!
it definitely does not take Norse mythology seriously, so if you're a die-hard fan this book probably will not be for you. also, it is not historically accurate whatsoever (looking @ you dialogue), so if you go in understanding that you shouldn't take this book too seriously I think you'll have a lot better time with it.

Sigrid is a sympathetic protagonist. she grew up a stable hand in a barn full of valkyries and has always longed to join the group. she sees a vision one day of her riding Odin's eight-legged steed and she embarks on an adventure to make it happen. I liked Sigrid because she messes up multiple times; she is not a perfect hero by a longshot, but she still gets there eventually.

the horse characters were honestly my favorite part. there were some slow sections of this book and overall it felt a little bogged down by the length, but it covers a big story and doesn't leave you on a cliffhanger so I suppose I can let the length stand. will be happy to rec this to teens who are looking for more animal-human bond books too.

thank you to NetGalley for the arc!
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It's certainly nice to see Norse mythology get the queer YA treatment in The Valkyrie's Daughter, but that is unfortunately its main draw. Underneath the smattering of Norse words and ideas, there is quite an unremarkable tale of a classic YA chosen one outsider, which is easy enough to read but not a standout. I have no issue with diverging from "true" mythology (because that is basically a nonsense idea), but it is quite hard to make sense of this world, which on the one hand has some very niche references and on the other hand doesn't feel like it is going for much of a Norse setting at all. The central valkyrie idea as magical horse girls is fine as an innovation, but it ends up landing with a really weird gender essentialism (even though it accepts queerness). I honestly wish this had just embraced a Norse-flavoured "girl and her horse" style narrative and made that central, because I feel like that could have made for a charming (and possibly MG) book rather than the fine but forgettable read we have.
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