Also by this author: Aces Wild: Sin City Collectors, Ante Up, All In
Phoebe Meadows has one thing on her mind: Free her mother.
For the last month, Phoebe has been training in the Valkyrie stronghold readying for battle. But when she stumbles into a secluded valley after a day of grueling practice, she’s given a dire prediction. Phoebe must leave the stronghold immediately with the aid of the giant, Junnal, to rescue her mother from the dark elves. If Phoebe fails, Leela will be transported to a place that can no longer be reached.
Leaving Fen behind threatens to undo her, but Phoebe stays true to the mission. Along the way, she allies with the god Baldur and an old white elf mage. Together, they storm the realm, and with the help of an angry wolf and her Valkyrie sisters, they just might stand a chance to free the valiant shieldmaiden.
But Phoebe soon learns that in order to save her mother, she might lose something too precious to sacrifice…
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The Phoebe Meadows series is exciting, fun, and addictive. This is my first Valkyrie series, and I am thoroughly enjoying it every step of the way. The writing is what I have come to expect from Amanda Carlson and Freed sucked me in just as quickly as the first book, Struck, did.
Freed picks up about a month or so after Struck ended. I was worried that I had forgotten some of what was going on, but as usual, Carlson reminded me without rehashing the whole story. Phoebe’s main goal in this book is to free her mother from the dark elves. Every adventure Phoebe goes on feels like an epic quest, full of different supernatural elements and Norse mythology. I’ve learned quite a bit about the Norse beliefs just through this series already. Obviously, Carlson puts her own spin on things but doesn’t get so far off base to damage the basic principles of the stories.
One of the things I love about Amanda Carlson’s books is how strong and witty her female characters usually are. She really knows how to write strong women that while they enjoy having their men around, aren’t reliant on them to achieve their goals. There are no damsels in distress waiting for their princes to save them in her books.
Something that made me glad I’m not a Valkyrie was the description of the armor they wear. It all sounds super uncomfortable and stiff and makes bras seem like the most comfy things every created in comparison.
I love how Carlson incorporates the different mythological elements into her books while keeping them all interwoven in the story. They each rely on the other in some way, whether it is in a good way or bad. There always has to be a villain, so someone has to do it. I liked the introductions of Baldur and Callan. They were fun characters.
As usual, my only complaint is that it was over before I finished reading. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. It went far too quickly for me, but that’s my fault for reading so fast. At one point I even made a conscious effort to read slower just to make it last longer.
Overall, Freed is a very enjoyable sequel to Struck and I can’t wait for the next book in the series. I would recommend this series to anyone with even a vague interest in Norse mythology or anyone who enjoys reading about strong women with a fun sense of humor.