Title: Between the Blade and the Heart (Valkyrie #1)
Author: Amanda Hocking
Publisher: Wednesday Books, 2018 (Jan 2)
Genre: YA Fantasy, YA Mythology
**I received an ARC of the book free in exchange for an honest review**
I have always been a fan of Amanda Hocking. She’s got this knack for telling a story. I have read her Wake series, Freeks, and now this one; I have planned to read her Trylle series for a long time. When I was invited to participate in the blog tour, I was thrilled! (Big fan of Wednesday Books over here 👈)
Such a cool cover. And when I read it was about Valkyries, I was like, “HELL YES!!”
Here’s the official summary:
When the fate of the world is at stake…
Loyalties will be tested
Game of Thrones meets Blade Runner in this commanding new YA fantasy inspired by Norse Mythology from New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking.
As one of Odin’s Valkyries, Malin’s greatest responsibility is to slay immortals and return them to the underworld. But when she unearths a secret that could unravel the balance of all she knows, Malin along with her best friend and her ex-girlfriend must decide where their loyalties lie. And if helping the blue-eyed boy Asher enact his revenge is worth the risk—to the world and her heart.
Malin is a Valkyrie. She’s born of a Valkyrie and a Mortal…and it’s in her blood to kill immortals when she gets the orders. Her mother Marlow has taught her everything there is to know about being a Valkyrie and is one of the best in her own right. Though she’s distant, Malin knows it’s only because Valkyries don’t love. They aren’t mean to love.
An image of a Valkyrie that I think is a damn good representation
One night, a man breaks into her apartment and accuses her mom of doing the one thing a Valkyrie is never supposed to do: let one of her assignments live. Because of her actions, his own mother was killed at the hands of the man she spared. Though Malin can’t believe her mother would fail in her duties, Asher, the man who broke in, has compelling evidence.
When Malin confronts her mother, Marlow admits the mistake. Though horrified, Malin knows she must make it right. She must kill the man her mother let live. However, once a man survives a meeting with his maker, he becomes invincible. Rumor states he cannot be killed. But damned if Malin is going to let that stop her.
Hoping to avenge his mother, Asher insists on helping Malin. And though Malin doesn’t want to accept help…she can’t help feeling for the haunted young man. To top it off, she starts to feel something for him. But from what’s she been led to believe, Valkyries can’t love.
Or was that another lie from her mother all this time?
Is It Classroom-Appropriate?
I think the book is a little racy for the classroom. There are some pretty passionate scenes between Malin and her ex, Quinn, as well as some scenes between her and Asher. I think the material is ripe with amazing mythological references…so it’s a shame it couldn’t be used in a classroom setting. However, this doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value outside an educational setting.
So when it comes to using it for a curriculum, I give Between the Blade and the Heart…
This doesn’t mean it’s not a good book. It just means I wouldn’t use it in a classroom setting. At least I wouldn’t.
As I don’t see a Lexile score, I’m going to use my best judgement here. There’s no cussing, so that’s good. No explicit scenes really…just some steamy stuff. With all that in mind, I would probably stick with 15 and up…not too young but still YA level.
I would comfortably recommend for high school level reading for fans of mythology and kick-ass heroines. There’s diversity with Malin being bisexual…she admits that she has dated guys and girls. That’s a relatable quality for young people who are trying to find a character with whom they relate. I would have no problem having it in my class library for after class reading.
I enjoyed Between the Blade and the Heart like I have enjoyed all Hocking’s books. Though it does take awhile to develop, it does develop. It’s not the greatest book I’ve ever read, but it was another good read from an author I will always read.
I’d give the book ★★★★☆ overall. Good read…just not a great read.
Since it is a good read, I am happy to run a giveaway for this one!!
The prize is one finished paperback copy of BETWEEN THE BLADE AND THE HEART, U.S. entries only. Runs until January 21st, 2018!!
Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway here: Giveaway from Wednesday Books for a Paperback Copy of Between the Blade and the Heart
Here’s a little info about Amanda Hocking and some links as well…
Amanda Hocking is the author of over twenty young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Trylle Trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her love of pop culture and all things paranormal influence her writing. She spends her time in Minnesota, taking care of her menagerie of pets and working on her next book.
Author Website: http://www.worldofamandahocking.com/
Please enter and I hope you give this one a chance! Giveaway goes for two weeks, so plenty of time!! See ya later, bloggerinos!!