Reviews for A Fate Inked In Blood

by Danielle L. Jensen

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

The mortal daughter of a god fights to become the mistress of her own fate in this tightly plotted series starter. Twenty-year-old Freya has spent her entire life hiding her ancestry. In her world—a take on medieval Scandinavia—the Norse pantheon blesses mortal babies with drops of the deities’ own blood, imbuing them with fractions of divine power. As the daughter of Hlin, Freya is the shield maiden prophesied to “unite the people of Skaland beneath the rule of the one who controlled her fate.” After her abusive first husband learns her true identity, he turns her over to the jarl, Snorri, who grants him a divorce so that Snorri may marry Freya himself. Snorri believes his new bride is his key to becoming Skaland’s king. So does his beloved and cunning first wife, Ylva, who desperately wants to see her own son on the throne, but it’s Bjorn—the jarl’s firstborn, Ylva’s stepson, and the child of Tyr—who’s in line to inherit. Snorri appoints his heir as Freya’s personal bodyguard, not knowing that his son happens to be the object of his new wife’s forbidden affections. As for the shield maiden, she barely has time to consider her hopelessly complicated position in Snorri’s court, with other jarls beginning to launch attacks on her people, determined to steal her away from her new husband. All these men are certain she’ll crown a king, thereby determining the fate of their entire nation, but they’ve forgotten one very important rule: The children of the gods aren’t bound by fate. Jensen offers a vibrant and perfectly paced novel that’s sure to delight readers of historical fantasy. Although some of the writing reads a little too contemporary at times—an early passage in which one character is dubbed a “narcissist” is a prime example—the tension among Freya, Bjorn, and the rest of Snorri’s court is simply irresistible. A captivating first installment in what promises to be a compelling, feminist Viking fantasy. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.