Okay I was not expecting a Norse inspired fantasy that didn’t specifically deal with Valkyries and I was so into it! Thanks so much to the wonderful team at Fantastic Flying Book Club for allowing me on this blog tour and for being amazing as always! Click on the banner for the full schedule and stay tuned for my review.
When Lena’s younger sister Fressa is found dead, their whole Viking clan mourns—but it is Lena alone who never recovers. Fressa is the sister that should’ve lived, and Lena cannot rest until she knows exactly what killed Fressa and why—and how to bring her back. She strikes a dark deal with Hela, the Norse goddess of death, and begins a new double life to save her sister.
But as Lena gets closer to bringing Fressa back, she dredges up dangerous discoveries about her own family, and finds herself in the middle of a devastating plan to spur Ragnarök –a deadly chain of events leading to total world destruction.
Still, with her sister’s life in the balance, Lena is willing to risk it all. She’s willing to kill. How far will she go before the darkness consumes her?
Elizabeth Tammi was born in California and grew up in Florida, but is currently double-majoring in Creative Writing and Journalism as an undergraduate at Mercer University in Georgia. When she’s not writing, you can probably find Elizabeth at work for her university’s newspaper and literary magazine. Her other interests include traveling, caffeinated beverages, and mythology. You can find Elizabeth online on Tumblr at (annabethisterrified), Twitter at (@ElizabethTammi), Instagram at (elizabeth_tammi), and at elizabethtammi.com.
Death, Sexual Assault (near rape), Murder,
Bisexual, Chinese (minor character)
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club, Netgalley, and Flux for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
Okay like I was mentioning in the beginning, I was so freaking not expecting this to be a Norse mythology saturated book that didn’t fully involve Valkyries because most of the ones that I read were about them. This one got so interesting because it dealt with death, but more on the human side and what someone would do in order to save someone that they love with all of their lives. What kind of deal would you take in order to save them?
I will say that I was extremely sad at how little we got to learn about Fressa before she ends up being killed under mysterious circumstances – Not a spoiler FYI, it’s in the synopsis – and I was honestly dying to see more of her before that! It seemed like it was getting good with Fressa and then all of a sudden she’s just dead. And no real cause of death that could be found on the body.
Lena – full name Magdalena – was extremely broken after finding her sister dead. And I could totally understand it because right before that happened, there was really bad drama between her and their family. All because of the responsibilities of being a Chief’s daughter and all that. Ugh, I hate rules.
But anyway, after finding her sister dead without any explanation, she and her mother completely shut down. Her father goes off to blame some other clan for Fressa’s death even though he literally just got back from a year of being away from home, and that’s the closest to being normal that this whole family can feel. Lena ends up somehow meeting Hela, the Goddess of Death, and she makes a deal to exchange her sister’s soul for another soul, so Fressa can come back to life.
Not to mention their village has been encased in darkness for some reason earlier than usual, and apparently the end of days are coming. So that’s another problem.
I feel like Lena had to basically fight against her nature to heal, since she has been the apothecary’s apprentice for years. But under Hela’s deal, she somehow has to bring her a soul. And how else can you bring a soul to the Goddess of Death except… killing? And then the whole Ragnarock thing as well… is Fressa’s soul so much more involved in this apocalypse than everyone thinks? Especially since the knife that their father gave Fressa when he came home somehow lit up at her touch, and gave the message “Master of the Wolf”. Whatever that means, right?
I was just really into this novel, and I’m surprised that I went through this so quickly. I was so intrigued by Lena’s journey, and honestly I don’t know how she was able to go through something like this. Although I do know that if I were in her place, I don’t think I would have done it any different. Maybe certain things that I didn’t agree with, but I would have done whatever it took to get my brother back, especially if I felt like he wasn’t supposed to die. And under the circumstances that Lena found Fressa, there was no way she should have died. It just didn’t make sense.
Apparently this is Tammi’s second book, and while I haven’t read her debut yet, I felt like this was done really well, and I thoroughly enjoyed my journey reading this novel.
You may have guessed from my other favorite quotes that I’ve done with other books, but my favorites aren’t always the ones that give hope or joy. Sometimes I like the quotes that just make you feel some sort of emotion, whether it’s good or bad. That’s what makes it memorable for me, anyway.
Oh man, is that the truth or what, am I right?
This was the saddest thing for me about Fressa when she was alive. I mean she was such a powerful warrior, even more powerful than the other men in her village, and that’s what made people not want to be friends with her? How freaking rude. I know this was back in the old times or whatever, but I mean women being stronger than men isn’t a reason to have her isolated from having true friends.
There is so much more power in will rather than just having the tools to actually do something. That’s the lesson that I get from this line, and wanting to do something to the point of doing whatever it takes to get it done means way more to me.
This line gives me the creeps because it’s so true! Plus I may or may not be afraid of the dark because I gave myself the worst nightmares ever when I was younger so there’s that too.
I mean… I get it. Their father is rarely around, literally going on raids for a whole damn year. I wouldn’t respect him either, if I were Lena. Just saying.
I think about this whenever I think about someone not in my life anymore, like my grandpa or my cousin, or my uncle. Those that made an impression in my life and now they are gone. I can never see them again unless I see them again in heaven, or whatever is left after death. And I have taken it for granted that life will always go on, and when the news of their deaths shocked my world, I didn’t know how I would go on. I don’t know if I could if I lost my mother, my brother, my grandma, my husband. I would probably shut down like Lena and her mother, and not know how the world could continue existing without them.
Clearly this book made me feel pretty emotional as well! Just in a totally different way from others. I love when books have me explore different feelings that I don’t always show to the world. I guess that’s a little way for me go learn more about myself, through the journeys that I take when reading all of these books. It’s really fun! And now it’s time to rest my head, because I’m feeling a major headache coming on again, and this is not going to be fun.
Until next time, fam!