Author: Tricia Levenseller
Narrator: Marisa Calin
Audiobook Length: 9 hours
An eighteen-year-old chieftain’s daughter must find a way to kill her villages oppressive deity if she ever wants to return home in this Viking-inspired YA standalone fantasy from Tricia Levenseller, author of Daughter of the Pirate King. How do you kill a god? As her father’s chosen heir, eighteen-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: To win back her honor, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year or die trying.
Warriors of the Wild marks my third Tricia Levenseller novel and I cannot wait to start my fourth and beyond. I first heard of this author because of The Shadows Between Us, yet that is the novel I have not yet read. I had Daughter of the Pirate King recommended to me, so I gave it a chance and became hooked on this author’s stories. There is some predictability in some places that is to be expected of the genre, but there is still a lot of mystery that keeps the reader hooked. This is a standalone novel that was a great mix of fantasy and reality.
Rasmira is a warrior in training. Out of her parents’ six daughters, she is the only one that chose the warrior path and her father cannot wait for her to pass her trial and become one officially. Her coming of age trial that every member of each village must complete (each village conducts their own, but the process is the same). She is a strong warrior that should have no problems passing the trial; however, she fails after she is sabotaged. As no one admits to being a witness, there is no way to prove that she did not fail and must be sent into exile to complete a mission. If she completes it, then she can be welcomed back. If she cannot, then she will either live in the wild forever or die trying.
Her mission is to kill the god, Peruxolo, that terrorizes the villages. She is determined to complete the task and return to become a warrior and, eventually, take over as leader of the village. Along the way, she meets two boys in the Wild that have also been exiled after their own trials. Soren and Iric were exiled together after they both failed the same trial. Soren lost his trial, so his friend, Iric would not have to be exiled alone. Their story is very sweet and I love that they have a lot of issues, but the two boys work through them in their own way and in their own time. Reluctantly, Rasmira becomes a part of their team and she gets to know them. Iric is gay with a boy he loves back home and wants more than anything to return. He is sarcastic, but sweet and I loved his character. Soren is very sweet and a skilled warrior in his own right. The three of them each bring their own skills to the table and with three tasks to complete and all wanting to return to their villages, they must find a way to complete them.
The story is Viking-inspired and is not directly a Viking story. There are similarities to the world of Vikings enough to easily picture the world as some of the weapons, villages, and general setting are comparable. The entire story is narrated by Marisa Calin, who not only voices all the characters well, but also does a great job fitting the overall story. The story itself is divided into parts, as well as, chapters. Each part fits the general topic of the story (example – part one is Rasmira preparing and failing her trial, part two is her first experience in the wild, etc.). The writing itself is easy to follow and the general plot is interesting without being overly complicated.
There is a lot of character development in this story. The majority of it occurs in Rasmira, but I liked that both Soren and Iric grew, too. The general pacing of the story is a little slow at first just because a lot of detail is given to setting up the trials and how everything fits together. The story picks back up when she first enters the Wild and the readers are introduced to all the creatures. It slows down slightly toward the middle, but it is due to a lot of focus on the characters. It picks back up again to give a satisfying conclusion. It does seem a tad rushed as I would have preferred it all extended a little, which is difficult to fit in a standalone, so it is hard to fault it. It just says more about the story because I wanted more and could easily read/listen to an extended version of this novel.
Overall, I love Rasmira as she was strong character. She goes through a lot of emotion in the beginning that she now has to deal with and try to find a way to move forward. She is a very intelligent and caring character and I love the bonds that she forms with both Iric and Soren. The three of them worked hard with a lot of trial and error about forming their plans. They learned from their mistakes and tried to use their heads rather than just hoping everything would work out. It is a satisfying story that is perfect when you want to read something fantasy-related without being too involved. Even though it was simple in one way, it had enough detail and character development to make it complex. It was a great balance and easily I will pick up another Tricia Levenseller to read without question!
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