Author: Brittni Chenelle
Rating: Four stars
“Who would have thought passing the torch could be such a dark affair?”
The Valkyries are down for the count, and I’m the only one who can save them. But getting involved might cost me my darkest secret. With lives hanging in the balance, it’s hard not to notice some of the Valkyries indulging in . . . ahem . . . carnal pleasures while the rest of us are forced to endure an eternity of pain and suffering on their behalf.
It’s not about friends or foes at this point. It’s whether or not the team is worth saving at all.“
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** Trigger Warning ** This review mentions suicide.
Irina is perhaps the most hard-hitting of all the books in the series so far, as it has some glaring ties to chronic illness, depression, and suicide.
Irina is a valkyrie who has the ability to heal, and for hundreds of years has tended to the wounds of others to save their lives after battle. However, this is one catch to Irina’s ability, which is she feels the pain of those she heals in order to heal them. After centuries of taking on the pain of others, Irina begins to feel that she wants to move on to the next life.
The role as healer once she is gone must fall on Argus, a very young valkyrie who has the enthusiasm to help but does not understand the weight of the responsibilities and personal sacrifice he will receive. Despite her guilt at passing on her gift to Argus, Irina is exhausted, numb, and unsure of her own opinions about the ongoing battle.
Irina’s struggle struck me hard. Her chronic pain, depression, and wishes to move on are hauntingly reminiscent of my childhood and teenage years, and for anyone who has experienced these things before, this book will be incredibly hard hitting.
The story does move along on Valerie’s path, too, but I did feel it got lost in Irina’s struggle, which is less about the author’s writing and more about my own personal experiences. The stakes raise with every book in this series, and the questions burn harder with very few answers. The case here is that once a question is answered, there are several more questions that appear. This series is building up to something big, I can feel it!
I would warn anyone struggling with their own mental health right now to proceed with caution with this book. I’m currently in a good place and while reading about these things can be haunting, I find a great deal of value in them right now. Books like this can be validating and helpful to a post-depression or recovery situation, but may open raw wounds for anyone experiencing these things currently.
While hard-hitting, Irina is a great read though, and is available on Amazon if you’d like to grab a copy.
Thanks for reading! Grab your copy of my book, Valkyrie Cursed, here!