How do you kill a god?
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.
Okay so, it has to be said I picked Warrior of the Wild up after seeing people on booktube and bookstagram rave about how it’s a “unique”, “fun”, “easy read” with a Viking-inspired fantasy world. I love Norse history and mythology, and the concept of Vikingr straight-up dominating is just oh so good. I thought I would love it!…
…I did not love this book. I don’t know if I would call it Viking-esque either, because the only Viking resemblance is everyone only uses axes for weapons. Crossbows or bow and arrows? forget ’em. Slingshot? not here. Sword? yeah, nah. It’s an axe or nothing in this world.
Rasmira is a typical YA protagonist where “she’s not like other girls” in that she is the only girl to choose warrior as her career in the village. She is given an impossible task after she fails her coming-of-age trial (don’t worry she won’t let you forget it wasn’t her fault) and goes off into the wild to attempt to both survive and complete it. She meets two boys in the wild who help her survive and they all agree to help each other in some way accomplish their impossible tasks so they can all return home honourably. What’s frustrating is even though these are meant to be impossible tasks, the three warriors easily complete them with only minor inconveniences. Even more frustrating is the two boys, Soren and Iric (one the obvious love interest, the other a stereotypical snarky gay character), have been outcasts for a whole year and DON’T EVEN TRY TO COMPLETE THEIR MATUGR. Instead, they need our daring warrior princess to put the idea in their heads and provide encouragement, because she was bred to be a leader and I’m guessing this is the only way we thought to showcase this.
This is my first time reading anything by Tricia Levenseller, who I’d only heard good things about, yet sadly this was not it for me. I didn’t love the narrator’s voice, the characters are flat, and I found many of the descriptions of people and monsters made no sense. For example, the descriptions of the God, Peruxolo: “… with hair the colour of dark sunlight” (uh what colour is that?) and “Thick eyebrows give him, well, a godly look” (I didn’t realise thick eyebrows did that). Rasmira’s description of herself is equally frustrating: “I loved my hair, despite the fact that it’s more white than golden, like my mother’s and sisters’”, An early “subtle” way of separating her from other women even more. But why ash-blonde hair is considered worse than yellow is beyond me, especially when people pay a fortune on purple shampoo to get rid of yellow tones. There is a lot of telling instead of showing which I’m finding to be a big thing in young adult books for some reason. If that doesn’t bother you that’s totally cool. But, I don’t want info-dumps. I want to experience the story with the characters. I’m so sick of bad writing in these super popular books which are published by big publishing houses. Stop it. That’s what you pay your editors to address!Despite the typical YA tropes and characters, it has huge potential plot-wise that I honestly did want to see unravel. For me, the majority of the plot is very predictable. I guessed at how she might defeat the god within the first 50 pages, but I kept reading because I wanted to see if I was right; or if it’d end radically different from my predictions. But no, I was right, and everything else I predicted turned out true as well. Again, this isn’t a huge deal-breaker, it just made it kind of boring for me.
I buddy read this with my sister, Michaella (ofbooksandbooknerds), who is two years younger than me and enjoys Levenseller’s other works, and even she shared my disappointment in this one. Perhaps, this is just an off story for the author or something she was pushed to do without the time to flesh it out better, I’m not sure. But it is not for me. A lot of people really enjoy it though so definitely give it a go if you have it in your sights. I think I’m done with YA as a whole now though… yeah I don’t think this is my playground anymore 😅
RATING – 2/5 stars
Publisher – Macmillan Publishing Group
Author – Tricia Levenseller
ISBN – 978-1-205-23365-3 (paperback)
Leave a Reply