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…
What I liked: In Freed, Ms Carlson picks up almost where Struck finished. I enjoy that aspect of any series. Phoebe and her crew are preparing for the mission to free her mother, Leela. They know where she is but getting there and getting out is another story.
While Phoebe is practicing her fighting skills, not very many in the Valkyrie stronghold seem interested in helping her learn. It’s left to her lover, Fen (Loki's son who can turn into a huge wolf), her Aunt Ingrid (another Valkyrie) and Tyr (her half-brother and the god of war). Well, all that changes in a heartbeat when Phoebe bonds with her unexpected weapon. It seems Odin is still trying to help Phoebe in any way he can and the weapon more than proves that to the other Valkyries.
Since Phoebe is such a young Valkyrie, she hasn’t “come fully into her power” and some of the not so nice Valkyries are more than willing to take advantage. Right away, Ms Carlson offers up the “mean girl” of the crew. How Phoebe ends up dealing with her is fantastic. The battle captain of the Valkyrie, Ragnhild, is more than willing to train Phoebe but the training is cut short when a friend from the first book, Huggie, arrives with a message and a mission for Phoebe alone.
That’s when all the intense action starts. From this point right until the end, take a breath and hang on because it’s non-stop drama and many surprises. Ms Carlson also takes this time to introduce a few new characters that I immediately fell in love with. I was almost afraid to like them because what happened if they turned out to be more bad guys!
The Norns show up just when we think things are finally going Phoebe’s way. Past, Present, and Future do not want Phoebe to live but they can’t interfere directly due to Odin’s power. They are cunning though and figure out a way to damn Phoebe in the eyes of the rest of the gods of Asgard. (I really can’t wait for those three to get their comeuppance)!
What I didn’t like: I might be a bit biased here so bear with me. I love Fin. I especially love Fen and Phoebe together so I didn’t like that the majority of the book took place with them apart. However, there was a reason and things have a way of working out but you have to wait for it.
I love the premise for the Phoebe Meadows series. Learning a little in each book about all the gods of Asgard. The different powers they have and then there are the demigods and all the different species populating the story. If you love fast paced fantasy, you’ll love this series.
I was provided an ARC for a fair and honest review.