Malin and her allies must stop underworld goddess Ereshkigal’s plan to release the dead on Earth in this sequel to Between the Blade and the Heart (2018).
Having recently lost Asher to the underworld, Kurnugia, Valkyrie-in-training Malin is tasked by Odin with recovering a legendary protective cloak and his missing weapon, Gungnir, which can kill any being and is currently in the possession of Baldur in Kurnugia. With her sorceress roommate, Oona, and a new ally, Valeska, the swarthy, winged daughter of an Alkonost (relatives of the sirens) and a Valkyrie’s son, Malin infiltrates the immortals’ afterlife. The heroes quickly overcome obstacles in many short action scenes. After completing their mission, they return to a world in crisis—sinkholes, extreme weather, and riots indicating the potentially apocalyptic situation. Making matters worse, Odin has made himself scarce. To figure out what’s going on—and how to stop it—Malin must dig into her dead mother’s secrets, uncovering more twists of fate. Luckily, her development over the first installment—learning that her mother’s lack of attachment to others isn’t an inherent Valkyrie trait—makes assembling her team of allies easier (and results in less romantic waffling). The sprawling, multicultural, multimythological world and its massive cast are explained in an extended glossary.
Fans of this fictional world will enjoy seeing more of it—and appreciate that the story’s conclusion leaves the door open for more adventures. (glossary) (Fantasy. 13-adult)