VALKYRIE by Kate O'Hearn


Age Range: 8 - 12
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As a Valkyrie, Freya is charged with bringing the chosen warriors to Valhalla, where they spend the afterlife drinking, feasting, and battling, but she finds violence horrifying and longs for a different life.

In this regard she is unlike her mother and sisters, who find serving as Odin’s shield maidens honorable. Freya’s first reaping matches her with African-American soldier Tyrone, who likewise wants nothing to do with the festivities in Asgard. He elects to pass through the Gates of Ascension and enter heaven. But before he departs, he makes Freya promise to take care of the family he is leaving behind. Freya’s only hope of leaving Asgard is Loki, Odin’s trickster son. On Earth, Freya finds friendship, purpose, and some surprising allies. However, Loki is up to his old tricks. Soon Freya finds herself at the center of a battle between the forces of Asgard and the humans she has come to love. While this alternative look at Norse mythology is intriguing, the earthbound narrative is decidedly not. Freya is a confusing mix of mythological being and angst-riddled young girl. The repetitive plot lacks energy and originality, and the ending is similarly lackluster and predictable.

An interesting premise that never comes together. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 2nd, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4814-4737-9
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Aladdin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2015


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