Pros: Wonderful adventure and fight scenes; strong female characters
Cons: Formulaic aspects
Rating: 4 out of 5
In book one of The Valkyrie, Bree and her sister Ana joined the Undercover Protectorate. They chased down their nemesis, Ricketts, and got the antidote to the poison he’d hit them with. In book two, both sisters were working hard to train to join the Protectorate as full members. During a test, Bree realized the portal to the Fae realm, which lies within the forest surrounding the Protectorate’s castle, was cursed. She and Cade, the Celtic god of war, journeyed to the Fae lands to find out the problem, then led a raid to deal with it. In Linsey Hall’s Pursuit of Magic (Dragon’s Gift: The Valkyrie Book 3), Bree has to come to terms with the fact that her new powers as a DragonGod are battling it out inside of her, and if they aren’t “fixed”, she’ll eventually lose them all, along with her soul. She goes on a quest to speak to a seer, only to find herself fact-to-face with the Norns, the Norse fates. They tell her she’s a Valkyrie, and that she must travel to the realm of the Valkyrie if she wants to learn how to fix her powers.
This book holds up well to the rest of the series. There’s plenty of fighting, adventure, trials to be overcome, and so on. All of these are delivered with aplomb. The fight scenes are still my favorite parts of these books, and they’re one of Hall’s greatest talents. There’s a lot of Indiana-Jones-like adventure, and of course every good-guy group Bree comes across insists on putting her through trials to make her prove herself. It’s something that’s a bit overused in these books, but it makes for great stories and scenes, so it’s hard to complain.
The Pugs of Destruction get a little more involved in the action this time. We also get to see Cass, Del, and Nix come into things (as a reminder, it’s about five years after the events of their books). Cade is giving in to his feelings for Bree, although Bree doesn’t want to move too quickly.
We do get a hint as to what happened to Bree and Ana’s sister, Rowan. She’s been mentioned often enough that she had to show up eventually, and I figured that much like Cass, Nix, and Del, we’d end up with a threesome here. I still assume things are going in that direction.
I don’t have as much to say about individual aspects of this book as I do with some of them. Suffice it to say, we get more of all the things we’ve come to count on Linsey Hall to deliver. The female characters are strong and most of the characters have depth. Those aforementioned fight scenes are creative and attention-grabbing. There are plenty of dangers, and new and unusual powers to complicate things. All in all, a good entry into the series.