I’ve been in a weird reading funk lately, in which I’ve mostly been in the mood to just binge-read adult romance (specifically, romantic comedies). I know why I’ve been in this funk (Life Stuff), and as much as I’ve been enjoying adult rom-coms lately, I’ve also been missing YA and being in the mood to tear through the unread YA books on my shelves.
So thank goodness for Tricia Levenseller, whose newest book, Warrior of the Wild, was so fantastic as to break me out of that funk! I devoured this book, and now I just can’t stop thinking about how much I loved everything about it.
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 honour, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year or die trying.
I loved everything about this Vikings-inspired YA fantasy. The lush, richly-imagined fantasy world where fierce warriors do battle against ravenous creatures, and the lines between magic and science are constantly blurred. The incredibly endearing, complex characters. And the vivid plot that follows Rasmira and her companions from outcasts to revolutionary heroes.
So imagine Wonder Woman and Lagertha (from History’s Vikings) had a baby, their love child would be Rasmira. I absolutely love the way she cherishes her warrior status, while also still enjoying (or at least longing for) some of the more traditional trappings of womanhood. She’s denied the latter by her father, but seeing her learn that she can have BOTH made me whoop with delight. (Yes, you CAN be a pretty princess in a sparkly gown and ALSO slay the dragon.)
I also loved her journey as a character. Being betrayed at her trial and then outcast by her village (and her own family) is horrifying, but through the experience, Rasmira grows, discovers who she can (and wants to) be without her father’s influence, and uncovers some shocking truths about her world and everything she’s grown up believing.
This is, of course, still a Tricia Levenseller book you guys, so there is also kissing — and OH YES, it’s good kissing and with a worthy partner. I don’t want to spoil anything, but let me just say that I ADORED the characters introduced in this story who become friends (and more) with Rasmira. They had color, diversity, and action to the book, and I love the book all the more for their presence.
Warrior of the Wild is just a fun ride; it’s got action and romance, fierce and complex characters, and a plot that keeps you racing through the pages of this fantastic standalone. Look for it in stores on Tuesday.