I enjoyed this one much more than I thought I would. I received it in my Owlcrate box this month and I was very "meh" about reading it after seeing the summary, but not wanting to lose that new book smell I dove in without any expectations and surprisingly it kept me hooked from the moment I started it.
I say surprisingly because this is not the type of book I've been reading lately. I've been reading much more adult suspense/thriller because YA has felt very same ol' same ol' the past few months for me; strong lead character who saves the day even if they're kind of dumb, token love interest (or three), snarky side character who turns out to be a sweetie, overbearing parents....you get the picture. Even though this book had all the same elements as those aforementioned books the action was so incredible that it still kept me reading though.
Eelyn is part of a tribe called the Aska that has been at war with another tribe called the Riki for....I don't even remember how long, let's just say a long fricken time. They go to war because their gods don't like each other. Yup, you heard that right, just because their gods don't like each other these people constantly kill each other and play the part of pawns in a larger game.
This seemed pretty silly to me when I first started reading, but then when comparing it to different wars throughout history that started because of religious beliefs....yeah, not so silly after all, happens all the time.
I don't want to say this book was "action-packed" since that's such a cliche term, but yeah it was totally action packed. Something new was always happening rather than dragging out a boring scenario until it was beating a dead horse like so many other recent YA books.
Yes it has instalove, yes it has the token bad guy, the overbearing parent and also a pretty strong stockholm syndrome vibe but the action scenes feel super realistic and at least Eelyn holds her own in a fight instead of just relying on her allies to do all the dirty work. Doesn't hurt that I just finished Horizon Zero Dawn and I totally get an Aloy vibe from this girl and since Aloy kicks ass it made me like Eelyn even more.
I don't think this book will be part of a series, the ending seems pretty well wrapped up and it did have a good ending even though nobody died. I know that sounds morbid but come on! They're in the middle of a huge war and NONE of the main characters die. It's a bit too convenient for my taste but then again I'm used to Game of Thrones so I may be a bit more inclined to root for death than most.
All around it is a pretty good book, I definitely recommend if you're into vikings since this had a strong viking feel to it. Be forewarned though that there is a love story and it is one of those that has the classic beauty and the beast scenario hidden behind some armor and fancy axe throwing.
Rating: 3 out of 5