Valkyrie

Valkyrie

Book - 2013
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"Freya is dreading turning fourteen - that marks the official end of her childhood and when she takes up full duties of a Valkyrie - a collector of souls from humanity's battlefields. But Freya is unlike any other Valkyrie. She doesn't want to follow in the footsteps of the legends before her. As she observes from Asgard, she tries to understand what it is to be human: to make friends with girls her own age and laugh with boys, without the fear of causing their death with one touch. Little does she know that her dreams will soon be realized: on her first battlefield mission, Freya reaps the soul of a soldier with unfinished business that will send her to the human world on a deadly quest. And there she must battle both ordinary and extraordinary enemies to create a new VALKYRIE legend."--From publisher.
Publisher: London : Hachette Children's, c2013.
ISBN: 9781444907551
Characteristics: 343 p. ; 20 cm.

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Gwen7154
Apr 18, 2017

I love this book and the rest of the series, although this library does not have the 2nd or 3rd books. A wonderful story, enticing and spellbinding.

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blue_deer_398
Feb 16, 2017

I LOVE this book so good I recommend!!

This book is about a girl who becomes a Valkyrie to go and recoup people but she makes a promise to check on one person's family. Review by Tehya Wiersma.

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black_falcon_465
Dec 05, 2016

This book was not great. The plot rushed in places and dragged in others. It had no main style and kept changing throughout the book. Nothing much happened and although it kind of leaves you with a cliffhanger, the overall mediocre writing makes you feel as though you don't need to continue the series. It was definitely not young adult and is really quite juvenile, I would say anyone eight and up could read it. It uses the whole Norse Valkyrie thing, but never really incorporates much real Norse mythology, in my opinion.

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hannad14
Apr 13, 2016

it`s a good book about family and our world sometimes it`s a harsh cruel place yet we find hope so what i am saying it is a good book .

FindingJane Mar 09, 2016

“Valkyrie” is a bit of a jumbled mess. Is this a romance, a coming-of-age story, an action-adventure plot or a YA novel about the new girl fitting in at school? It’s supposed to be YA but comes off as being a tad juvenile, possibly because the heroine herself hasn’t been trained to restrain her emotions. She mostly says what she thinks, without censorship (although she does learn to practice deceit), and has no problem taking up arms and walloping the bad guys. For all that she’s supposed to maintain secrecy, Freya is too prone to letting mortals see her without her invisibility helmet or with her wings unfurled. In spite of her advanced years, Freya does seem too jejeune to handle human relationships and a bit too peeved that no one actually knows what a Valkyrie is.

The book also plays merry hob with what Norse mythology tells us about the gods. (Since when do Valkyries have wings, anyway?) Loki’s trademark red hair is entirely absent, there are only five Valkyries instead of the traditional nine or twelve and each of them is spawned by a different mortal father instead of being aspects of Odin himself. Each Valkyrie has a raven but the pair that accompany Odin, Hugin and Munin, are entirely absent.

The book also fails to ask any of the important questions. Freya wonders why the mortal warriors culled to be at Odin’s table want to spend all their time eating, drinking and fighting. She’s bored and annoyed by the repetitive behavior since it confirms her opinion that mortals are nasty, violent and stupid. She doesn’t ask why Odin is bothering to gather mortal warriors to begin with or why he encourages the fierce combat they engage in every single day.

Certain mythology explains that Urd, a Norn goddess of Fate, had warned Odin about a terrible doom that would overtake the gods, a final war to end all wars that would see the destruction of Asgard and the deposition of Odin himself (he’s supposed to be eaten by Fenrir, a vast wolf). Odin then charged the Valkyrior to bring him the finest of Midgard’s warriors after their deaths. These slain warriors were to form a vast army, one that Odin hoped to use to battle hellish forces that would attack Asgard during Ragnarok, the supposed end of days.

So all these warriors were basically pawns in Odin’s scheme to maintain control of Valhalla and the constant battling they did was to keep them in fighting trim for that far-off grim future. Whether the warriors were themselves aware of what Odin planned for them was uncertain. The fact remained that Odin cared little for human beings in general. Only the fate of warriors interested him. That’s why Valhalla was reserved for Earth’s soldiers. Nowhere else in it were there the souls of human poets, architects, writers, comics, cooks, musicians, etc.

Does the book mention any of this? No, it does not. Perhaps this cunning scheme of Odin (which might piss off the slain warriors if they ever learned the truth) is something that will be revealed in upcoming sequels. But such complexity or adherence to Norse myth doesn’t seem likely.

Loki is up to his usual tricks. He’s playing a deep game, one that involves Earthly destruction. But, without knowing anything about prophecy, his actions really don’t make any sense.

But Freya fights like a badass; she’s like Xena with wings. She also comes to a gradual understanding and love of humanity. Her journey from contempt to compassion leavens the novel somewhat from its ungainly sprawl. In spite of its uncertain tone, this series entry has a tender heart. Read it for that and try to forgive the rest.

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black_panda_249
Jan 28, 2017

black_panda_249 thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over

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