With Shield and Ink and Bone

Casey L.
Young Adult

A coming-of-age tale of Liv, a young Viking warrior who swears to avenge the death of her parents and brother. Left for dead, she prays for help from the Gods. However, being left alive isn’t at all what she expected. Yet, she’s determined to kill the evil Ferris Wolf, and to do so, she must join forces with another clan. A young clansman named Calder sets out to warn others of Ferris, and in doing so, crosses paths with Liv. Together they work to seek justice in whatever way necessary.

An extremely well written tale of Vikings and the struggle by the young adults to become fierce warriors just like their ancestors. The action is intense, if not a little over the top graphically. The battle scenes could have been just as easily accomplished with less blood and guts, especially given the young age and inexperience of both Liv and Calder. Despite having barely completed her training, Liv fights at the level of a seasoned warrior, which makes her skills somewhat unbelievable. The romance develops a bit too quickly between the extremely likable Calder and the inexperienced and somewhat impatient Liv. Given their young ages, a bit more doubt and discovery would have taken this story to another level. The story unfolds evenly for the most part, with a bit of a slow-down in the middle of the book, which picks up again to a very satisfying, if not heart-tugging, conclusion. For fans of Viking and Norse tales, this one is a keeper.

N.E. Kelley