Happy New Year! And a happy book birthday to Amanda Hocking! Today is the release of Between the Blade and the Heart and I’m thrilled to be part of the blog tour! Between the Blade and the Heart was one of my most anticipated releases for 2018 and I’m so excited that I was able to get an ARC of it!
Title: Between the Blade and the Heart (Valkyries #1)
Author: Amanda Hocking
ARC received through NetGalley.
In a genre dominated by vampires and werewolves, I’m always looking to find Young Adult books that feature other paranormal creatures. One of the things that first interested me about the Between the Blade and Heart was that it contained both Valkyries and Norse mythology!
Between the Blade and the Heart was not exactly what I had been expecting when I first started reading. For some reason, I had expected a historical fantasy setting heavy with elements of Norse mythology. I think my assumption was based on the vagueness of the synopsis and the fact that I was unfamiliar with Amanda Hocking’s work. Instead, the book takes place in a near future setting with technological advances and was more similar to an urban fantasy novel. Not necessarily a bad thing, just not what I had been expecting at all! The story features many fantasy creatures from lots of different cultures and mythologies, in addition to the Norse mythology elements. I was really intrigued by the idea of modern day Valkyries and their roles in the world. I think the world-building in that aspect was really well done.
I thought Malin, our protagonist to be well-rounded and interesting, but I still couldn’t find myself connecting with her that much. I did have a slight issue, however, with the romance. The book does contain a love triangle – albeit a different sort of love triangle than what is usually featured – but a love triangle nonetheless. I found myself feeling like the relationships between the characters could have been developed a bit more. I also think that some of the side characters could have used more depth. The writing itself was really good and I found nothing to complain about the plot or pacing. The story is fast-faced, filled with action, and was definitely not a slow read. The ending sets up nicely for the sequel and I look forward to reading the next book in the series!
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.