Monday, May 25, 2020

Warrior of the Wild - Tricia Levenseller

Summary: 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.  (Summary and pic from goodreads.com)

My Review: There’s something awesome about a book that features a female protagonist who is not just the normal human female. I mean, I am a normal human female, so I like those protagonists, but I also think it’s awesome to encounter a woman who is really different—someone who comes from somewhere completely different than I do. A woman who has different opportunities (sometimes positive, sometimes negative). A woman who plays a role that would normally be given to men. This is just such a book.

Levenseller has created quite the female character in Rasmira. She’s 18, so just like in our world, she is at the crossroads of childhood and adulthood. However, unlike in our world, she is part of an enmagicked kingdom that seems to have Scandinavian nuances, and she is set to become a warrior and the leader of her village. Both of these roles are usually for men, although she is a better fighter than all her male cohorts. I mean, already you can see that she’s probably a badass, considering she is a warrior. I really dig strong, brave female characters. I think it’s especially important to have female characters at this crossroads in their life be strong and smart and brave. Girls of all ages should read about women like this, right? I really liked Rasmira, too. She was smart and sassy, but also intelligent and teachable. She is faced with almost insurmountable odds, and a task that seems well nigh impossible, and yet she approaches it with care and determination that I really appreciated. I thought she was a good character to look up to, and the ending was very satisfying.

As with all good characters, Rasmira is not without her issues. She has relationship issues of various sorts with each of her parents, and as the only woman warrior in her cohort, she obviously faces some large obstacles. She is not unrealistically always positive without any doubts, and I appreciated being able to see her weaknesses and vulnerabilities. They made her seem more realistic.

The male characters in this book are good as well. Although some of them are straight up morons who like to mansplain to her, there are also strong men who were appreciative of who she was as a warrior and recognized her strengths and bravery. Although I do love me a good female character, I also like good male characters as well. It’s never a great read when it’s super weighted one way or the other—with the men being complete idiots or the women being complete idiots. I like idiocy and awesomeness to be spread out among all the genders, just as they are in the real world. J

I liked this story quite a lot. I found it to be really intriguing and different. The magic in this world was fun but not completely confusing, which as someone who doesn’t love high fantasy I appreciated. There were cool animals and some really cool land and environmental aspects. There were good monsters, too, which is always fun. I really liked this alternative view of Scandinavia, wherein it seemed familiar in the Viking-esque feeling of it, but also had some fun and surprising additions. The love story didn’t want to make me roll my eyes 500 times, either, which is always a good thing. I like love stories in a book, but I don’t like creepy old vampires hitting on children and things of that ilk. There were also some same-gender love stories, which I thought were incorporated well and naturally into the story and the world.

If you’re into YA or new adult fantasy fic, or even into historical fic stories with Vikings and warriors and cool monsters, you should check this out. I found it to be a fun, quick read, with good writing, a good story, and strong characters.

My Rating: 4 Stars

For the sensitive reader: There is some very mild language and romance. It is much cleaner than many other books in this genre.

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