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Book Review: Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson

Valkyrie Rising really caught me by surprise. It’s well-written, set in Norway (so cool!) and has edge to it. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.

Book Review: Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson

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valkyrie rising ingrid paulson

Title & Author: Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson

Genre: YA Fantasy – Norse Mythology

Release Date: October 9, 2012

Series: 1st in a planned series

Publisher: HarperTeen

How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher


“Nothing ever happens in Norway. But at least Ellie knows what to expect when she visits her grandmother: a tranquil fishing village and long, slow summer days. And maybe she’ll finally get out from under the shadow of her way-too-perfect big brother, Graham, while she’s there.

What Ellie doesn’t anticipate is Graham’s infuriating best friend, Tuck, tagging along for the trip. Nor did she imagine boys going missing amid rumors of impossible kidnappings. Least of all does she expect something powerful and ancient to awaken in her and that strange whispers would urge Ellie to claim her place among mythological warriors. Instead of peace and quiet, there’s suddenly a lot for a girl from L.A. to handle on a summer sojourn in Norway! And when Graham vanishes, it’s up to Ellie—and the ever-sarcastic, if undeniably alluring Tuck—to uncover the truth about all the disappearances and thwart the nefarious plan behind them.

Deadly legends, hidden identities, and tentative romance swirl together in one girl’s unexpectedly-epic coming of age.”

Mythology with an Edge

Things that immediately peek my interest when reading a book description:

  • Exotic locales – check, Norway
  • Strong female heroine – check, black combat boots and all
  • Exciting twist I haven’t heard before – check, Norse mythology
  • Romance (no brainer) – check and check

I knew I was bound to like Valkyrie Rising from its premise alone, but this book really did surprise me. Like, I knew there would be awesome fighting scenes and an interesting take on legends of valkyries, Odin and Loki (who you may remember from The Avengers 😉 ).

What I didn’t expect was how three-dimensional the book felt. Ellie is the aforementioned stronge heroine…but she doesn’t feel that way. Her older brother Graham is the perfect kid – he’s smart, popular and attractive…not to mention ridiculously over-protective.

Ellie struggles with her relationship with him, and I liked seeing how she handled his overbearing nature and seeming perfection.

After Ellie and Graham are sent to Norway for the summer with their grandma, they realize not all is well in the small town where they’re staying. Young men are going missing, and it’s tied to a trio of gorgeous girls who seem to mesmerize the town.

There was only one tiny thing that niggled in the back of my mind. Graham’s best friend, Tuck has teased Ellie forever, but as they spend time together in Norway, seems thing to shift between them. Tuck’s a bad boy though, and Ellie’s always stayed away from him because he seemed to go through girls like new clothes.

Tucker seemed to reform his ways pretty easily and quickly throughout Valkyrie Rising, but I liked him and her character a lot. There’s a great playfullness to his and Ellie’s relationship, and it adds a lot of humor in the story


I really enjoyed the action-packed fighting and descriptions of the small towns and awesome landscape of Norway. Valkyrie Rising was a very satisfying, exciting read.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.