Book Review & Giveaway: Between the Blade and the Heart

Between the Blade and the Heart (Valkyrie #1)
Published By: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
Page Count: 319
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Young Adult/New Adult - Paranormal

I love Norse mythology and I'm always looking for novels that put their own spin on the familiar tales. The Valkyrie lore is fascinating, so I couldn't resist giving this one a read. Amanda Hocking puts her own spin on the Valkyrie legend in a universe where immortals and mortals share the earth while the Gods watch from another realm. 

The main character, Malin, is the daughter of a Valkyrie and as such has inherited her mother's skills and abilities. The Valkyrie are assassins of sorts who are sent after immortals that need to be returned to another realm. I found this structure for the Valkyrie to be an interesting one. I also loved that this is a novel where the women get to be strong, take charge sorts. The ability to kill an immortal is not bestowed on the male children of the Valkyrie.

As with every novel, Malin's transition into her new role isn't an easy one and she soon learns that not everything is as it seems. She will be forced to learn hard truths and decide for herself where her true path lies. She also will have to battle with her heart when the handsome Asher steps on the scene. Malin will be forced to choose between her blade and role as a Valkyrie and her heart. The romance in this one makes me feel like it crosses the line from YA into New Adult territory.

Malin is in a constant state of choice throughout the novel on virtually every aspect of her life. As such, she is a bit grumpy and unlikable from time to time. I also wasn't thrilled to see a love triangle rear its ugly head, but it fit with the theme of choice.

With elements of urban fantasy, Norse mythology, and dystopia, Between the Blade and the Heart is my favorite Hocking novel to date.

One Last Gripe: Cliffhanger - ugh

Favorite Thing About This Book: The Norse lore

First Sentence: In the vast emptiness of space, the gods grew restless, and so they created the heavens above and the worlds below.

Favorite Character: Oona

Least Favorite Character: Marlow

Valkyries have one great responsibility: to return immortals to the afterlife by slaying them. As a Valkyrie, Malin has always known that the balance of the world rests on her ability to carry out orders. But when Malin discovers that her mother spared the life of an immortal who was destined to die, her world is thrown into chaos. 

Malin not only wrestles with the knowledge that her mother might not be who she thought—she’s also thrust into the path of a gorgeous blue eyed guy named Asher who needs her help slaying the rogue immortal who destroyed his family. The balance of the world is at stake. And, as Asher competes with Malin’s ex for her love and loyalty, so is her heart.


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.

Buy Links:

Social Links:
Twitter: @Amanda_Hocking

We have ONE copy of Between the Blade and the Heart up for grabs thanks to St. Martin's Press/Wednesday Books. This giveaway is open to US residents. You must be 18+ years of age to win. Reading Lark is not responsible for lost or damaged prizes. The publisher will be responsible for prize delivery.

The giveaway runs from January 2-9. Winner will be notified via email on January 10.


  1. I like books that utilize mythological characters.

  2. I was hooked on Amanda Hock 's first book, TRoll. It was an very unique portrayal of troll and their interactions of living with humans.

  3. First and foremost, I am huge into Norse mythology! Favorite TV show is Vikings even LOL. Good to know it crosses the line almost into Adult with the romance or I would get this for my twins who are a bit too young for that edge.


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