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The Heart of a Valkyrie (The Vinland to Valhalla Saga #1) by Melanie Karsak: A Book Review

The Heart of a Valkyrie (The Vinland to Valhalla Saga #1)

Author: Melanie Karsak

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Publisher: Clockpunk Press

Release Date: March 5, 2023

Pages: 290

Source: This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Born hearing the call of Valkyries.

     Dreaming of distant shores.

     Torn between the past and the future.

     Destined to become a legend.

     Iceland, 976—Freydis Eiriksdottir, born to a völva mother and berserker father, lives a quiet life on her remote farmstead in Iceland. Busy dreaming of the sea and haunted by the loss of her mother, she has no idea what the Norns have in store for her. When her father, Eirik the Red, marries the daughter of a powerful chieftain, the course of Freydis’s life changes forever.

     Deciding that Freydis would be better off with the gothar, Eirik sends his only daughter to serve the Norse gods. Freydis learns the ancient ways and discovers that her world is endangered—a rising new religion threatens to reshape everything.

     Amidst the uncertainty, a distant land beckons Freydis. However, as Freydis forms a close bond with Brien, an Irish thrall, she confronts the harsh realities of their world.

     Readers will relish this sweeping Viking saga that chronicles the life of Freydis Eiriksdottir. Dive into The Vinland to Valhalla Saga, a thrilling Viking historical fantasy series by New York Times bestselling author Melanie Karsak.

     My Review: Freydis Eiriksdottir was a female Viking explorer and warrior. She was the daughter of Erik the Red and was the sister of Leif Erikson. Heart of a Valkyrie focuses on Freydis’s early years. When Erik the Red remarries, Freydis is given to the Norse priesthood. Freydis has dreams of sailing to a distant land. Will Freydis be able to fulfill her longing to leave Iceland and sail to a new one?

     I had heard of Freydis Eiriksdottir due to the hit tv show, Vikings. She was one of my favorite characters. When Mrs. Karsak released a novel about her, I quickly put on my Viking hat and devoured it in one sitting. Because it shows her early years, it has not yet shown Freydis as the strong Viking warrior. Instead, she is an uncertain girl. She has to adjust to leaving her father and adapt to a new life. Freydis eventually grows into a devout and confident priestess. The only downside is that she has some anger issues and is rash at times. Nevertheless, Freydis was a very compelling and engaging character.

     Overall, this novel was a fascinating coming-of-age story about a legendary Viking. I loved all the characters. They were very complex and realistic. I also like how the author wove supernatural elements into Freydis’s story! There were some flaws in this book. I thought that the novel was a bit repetitive at times. I also thought the love story could have been fleshed out more. I also had a hard time pronouncing many words and would have liked a pronunciation guide included. Nevertheless, The Heart of a Valkyrie is a mesmerizing novel steeped with magic and mysticism! It is a very fast-paced novel that will enthrall from the moment you read the first page! If you are a fan of the Vikings, you must not miss this book! I can’t wait for more Freydis! I hope the sequel comes out real quickly! I recommend this for fans of Avelynn, A Thousand Years, and Ascent!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


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