BOOK REVIEW: Steel Hand, Cold Heart
by Rachel Menard
ABOUT THE BOOK (from Amazon):
On the island of Helvar, women rule. Sixteen-year-old Carina has trained for most of her life to belong to the coveted Daughters of Hel, the steel-handed Viking warriors who provide souls to the Death Goddess in exchange for the prosperity of their island. Gaining her place hasn’t been easy. She was not borne of the island, but another spoil from another raid, raised by the island chieftain. There are many who would see her fail, and on her first raid, she does. She doesn’t kill a priestess she should have.
Carina needs to prove her worth or risk losing her place. Before she can, her arch-nemesis drugs her wine and sends her off the isle as a captive of three foreign boys. But what is Carina’s greatest misfortune may turn out to be her greatest gift. The young men are taking her to the jewel of the Southern Isles – Fortis Venitis, a place no other Daughter of Hel can venture. Carina can place Hel’s claims on the Southern isle and return to Helvar with the spoils, a victor.
However there are many obstacles to pass before she reaches her goal. Like her rune stone that everyone keeps trying to steal, the mismatched pirates from a country that no longer exists, and the priest with his poison that melts flesh from bones. But the most dangerous obstacle of all are the odd feelings she’s developing for her victims, especially the knife-thieving captain Nik. That could make it difficult for her to kill him in the end.
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I always worry when I connect with an author personally and then read their book. I worry that I won’t like their book and then will feel bad reviewing it. Fortunately, that was NOT the case with this book!
I met the author, Rachel Menard a few weeks ago on TikTok. I featured her on my blog and did a giveaway for her book. Afterwards, I decided to read her book, Steel Hand, Cold Heart.
It’s a YA book, which also made me nervous because that’s not a typical genre for me, but again I was not disappointed. I’m happy to say I was very impressed with this book from the very beginning. The author definitely hooks you into the story, and it’s hard to put it down once you start.
I’ll be honest, there was one part of the storyline that was a little odd for me (a little bit of mild sexual content that just seemed unnecessary). I didn’t quite understand why it was there . It was fine…I just didn’t really understand the purpose for it in the overall plot.
In the end, I gave this book 4/5 stars. It’s definitely an enjoyable read.