Book Review: “Shield-Maiden: Under the Hunter’s Moon” by Melanie Karsak


It is time to discuss my thoughts on the second book of “The Road to Valhalla” series by Melanie Karsak. If you have yet to check out how this whole journey started, click here, and you might want to skip this post, so you don’t see any spoilers.


When the gods play in mortals’ lives, the only certain outcome is uncertainty. Especially when that god is Loki.

In the course of a night, I found out my entire life was a lie. Now, Yrsa, Eydis, and I will set off to recover Tyrfing. I must leave Dalr—and the dream I’d shared with Hofund—behind. Eydis is sure the gods have plans for me. I hope she’s right. For on the distant island of Bolmsö, the last of my father’s line is besieged by enemies, and only the blood of a berserker can make things right again.

taken from Goodreads.

Once I finished the first book, it didn’t necessarily take me long to get into the sequel. The one thing I was a bit worried about was the sheer number of pages it had compared to the other but then I got over it and was able to enjoy the continuation of Hervor’s story.

Some people have never experienced feeling unconditional love from their families, even in the same case as Hervor, as her mother does in fact adore her truly, but she has never been of sense and mind up until the end of the ‘Howling Moon’ and so she has relied on other people for care and protection but now she knows the truth of her parenteral side and she intends to make it known within herself but to others as well. You could look at this in the same way of Jon Snow finding out about his heritage on season six and seven of “Game of Thrones”.

Although the plot is based around Hervor proving herself worthy of others around her, you still have the comical side with characters like Eydis and newcomer Utr. They were a nice separation of the serious events happening all over.

“The gods have surely brought you here, Hervor.”

There was one part of the story, and everyone was getting ready for an upcoming battle, and there was a tiny scene that puzzled me because I wondered if it was plausible for this character–who is fictional I know–to actually know and understand the measures it took on the battle itself. Eydis had explained that she had received a vision of a certain Trojan horse that was moved into the other side’s camp, however it was not hollow on the inside, and everyone was massacred once the ruse broke.

The story of the horse was featured in Homer’s Odyssey and although it is still unclear whether or not the horse even existed, they time the war between Greeks and Troy to be around 1194 to 1184 BC. If you are even more curious to learn about the myth, you can click here. After finishing my research, I went to look into the sagas of Hervor and I found that her story is placed sometime in the 13th Century BC, which is fairly close to the story of the horse, so with that, it seemed like a clever way to connect both sides of history into this series.

Despite all of this, I realized as I was searching for everything that I was just like Hervor in this book. It can be difficult to decipher between myth and truth. There were a lot of speculations who Hervor’s father was in the beginning and it has been interesting for me to wonder about the these two settlements; the Vikings were brutal warriors and ruled the waters with axes, shields, and sheer strength in their bodies plus knowing they will be drinking in the halls with Odin in Valhalla as they dead on the battlefield wasn’t a bad passing, whereas the Greeks lived in massive cities of concrete buildings and sophisticated armor with swords and horse drawn chariots. I mean, certain parts of history do have a way of repeating itself.

I never meant to doubt Melanie’s information or overall work, but from the moment I read that paragraph, I found it odd but then of course I let it fester in my head as I continued reading and knew I would eventually look everything up to my curious heart’s content and that’s what happened. I feel better and pleased to learn more about how our ancient selves lived, and thought you, if you are like me and love history, would appreciate the insight too!

Have you read ‘Under the Hunter’s Moon’ by Melanie Karsak yet? If you have, what were your favorite parts of it?


My Spring Day Review

lightsoutI have had a very good and relaxing Thursday. You know those days where you don’t have any plans planned out for that specific day, but when the opportunity shows up you instantly go right for it. That’s how my day has come to be and the fun part is that it was like that from the time I woke up this morning. When I go to bed at night, I usually tell my mom that if she gets up early in the morning to wake me up too so I don’t sleep all day. Sometimes she does and sometimes she doesn’t. Well, this morning she woke me up at 9:30am and took me to the bathroom and while I was just trying to gain every muscle in my body again, she told me that she got me a surprise for breakfast. I started guessing what it was and my first guess was pancakes, but she told me “nope” and after my second guess I kind of gave up because I don’t eat much for breakfast, but funny thing was my first guess was right. She had something she was going to do if I didn’t say it, but it was the first thing that popped into my head.

My mom took a nap an hour after I ate and she slept until noon. When she got up I had lunch and we have these microwave meals that I always get confused with, because there are two had use the color green on the packaging, but anyways I used to LOVE the Swedish Meatballs, but one time I had it, it tasted like straight butter. It was just disgusting! I hadn’t had it for several months until today and I was a bit worried about it again but as I took the first bite the love I had for it came back. While I was eating, my dad decided to get his bike out and go on a short ride. After that, I let my belly rest and then probably an hour or two later, my mom put me in my wheelchair so I could go outside to visit with the babies and Bootsie (who looks like she could explode at any moment). I couldn’t find Wren anywhere while I was out the first time and when I was on the porch, I was looking the sky, the neighbor’s trees, but I wasn’t liking the bugs all that much. My first thought was, “Well, I now understand why I never go outside.” I know it’s a stupid excuse and considering my age, but I know some of these bugs that fly around can sting you and I can’t defend myself as well as everybody else so that’s why I basically got in panic mode everytime  I’m outside. When I was in the backyard, hardly anything came around me besides Bootsie. The bugs were too busy trying to run from both Midget and Grumpy. They’re used to being inside, so these bugs are like the perfect outside toy for them. It’s funny when everytime I move around in the yards, Bootsie, Grumpy, and/or Wren follow me. Midget is an independent cat; she doesn’t care all that much! She’s been taking lessons from our inside cat Oliver I think.

My parents were wanting to take a motorcycle ride, so my mom took me to my nana’s while they were gone. At her house, her yard was just full of wild onions, now it’s got a bunch of wild flowers or some would call them “weeds.” I love to call them “spring flowers” because that’s basically the only time they come alive. Anyways, our yards don’t have as much as she does and the trees are starting to really bloom, lots have their early leaves out and as they drive down the road, they look so pretty! My nana and I just talked for about different things and somehow I didn’t get to have my ice cream. Tomorrow I will though! I just have to remember the stuff I have to do for her first.

When my parents came back, my mom took me home and when we went around the block (because they blocked our normal way) I saw that one of my friends was home from school and I asked my mom if I could get in my wheelchair and go over for a bit. She said “sure” and when I got home, she saw me off to the side of the block. When I got over there I felt free but worried because there was a lady over there and I felt like I was interrupting them, but they said I was fine. This weekend, they are hosting an Easter party. It’s a pretty big deal for me because I basically get to be a kid again and they got a Piñatas  , I haven’t done that in a long time. It’s going to be fun watching their littlest one go find eggs as this is her first year of doing it. I found out what “Mama” was making and the list is engraved into my brain that I’m literally hungry right now, but it is my dinnertime anyways. I don’t want to have soup tonight, but I might have to. Have a good Thursday evening!