Review: Viking Warrior Rising (Viking Warriors #1) by Asa Maria Bradley
Released: November 3, 2015
Reviewed by Sheena
Leif Skarsganger and his elite band of immortal warriors have been charged to protect humanity from the evil Norse god Loki.
Under attack from Loki’s minions, Leif is shocked to encounter a dark-haired beauty who fights like a warrior herself. Wounded and feverish, the Viking kisses her, inadvertently triggering an ancient Norse bond. But when Naya Brisbane breaks away and disappears before the bond is completed, Leif’s warrior spirit goes berserk. If Leif doesn’t find her fast, he’s going to lose himself to permanent battle fury.
But Naya doesn’t want to be found…and he’ll do anything to find her. Because they’re both running out of time.
Favorite Quote: “Can’t a girl wear something pretty without you getting ideas of bedding her?” Naya reached up, putting her hand behind his neck to pull him down for a kiss. She’d never get enough of touching him. Of trusting him.
Cue the trumpets! A new, cutting edge and smart paranormal novel and series starter that I can rally behind. I do not know what author Asa Maria Bradley has been up to all this time but thank goodness she created this paranormal/Norse legend/Sci-Fi world. I am not a Norse legend expert, but I could appreciate the work and research that is evident went into crafting this novel. The world building was interesting and well done, not overwrought or a bore-me-to-tears info dump that can plague some series inaugural books. On the contrary, Viking Warrior Rising came to play as it rises to top of the crop in a genre that has become quite bloated with novels and novellas that phone it in with cookie cutter plot devices and ridiculous predictability. What does this novel have that has been missing in some of the books I’ve been reading of late- Leif. Meet Leif- game changer and hero warrior who can rescue me anytime, because hello, Immortal Viking!?!
Naya is a beautiful woman, hunted since childhood who stops at nothing to protect her sibling from experimentation and the hellish fate that she bravely risks both of their lives to flee. The universe has other plans and puts an end to her wandering ways by placing Leif directly in her sights. Immortal, but taking one hell of an ass kicking, Leif is about to get his clock cleaned in a nearly permanent way, when Naya intervenes and brazens her way into saving him. An impulsive kiss damns them both (yes! yes, fate-mates! A beloved trope!) and even though she runs from him- this time she can not disappear so easily with a Viking hunk on her tail! I was a little bummed that a large part of the driving force behind Leif’s pursuit seemed to be wrapped up in duty, but by the end of the novel there was enough headway made that I believe Naya and Leif grew into a love match and not just a duty bound mating that was beyond their control. Not to mention the crazy self sabotaging that went on. However, for a while there, Leif’s honor and obligation was seriously killing the mood and messing with my swooning!
Good thing he is so hot I was too distracted by their chemistry to latch onto too much cynicism. heh. Let’s just say that the berserker, highly combustible spirit that initiates the bond is driven by Norse passion and these Vikings are a virile bunch!
She swung her legs around his waist and crossed her ankles behind his back. “I like the way your mind works,” she panted before losing herself in the sensation of his hardness rubbing against her core. Lief took the few steps across the room to the bed in record time and flung her down on the covers. He leaned back to tear his clothes off. “My mind hardly works at all when you are near.” She chuckled leaning back on her elbows, enjoying the view of naked flesh being revealed. She rose up on her knees and traced the ridges on his chest and abdomen. As her fingers trailed down toward his proud shaft, he captured her wrists.
“Be careful.” He smiled down at her. “I’m loaded and might go off any minute.”
She laughed. “You’ve been watching too many old Western movies with Harold.”
There was much I admired about Naya’s character as well. Her strength and refusal to be a victim or to allow her brother to be victimized was admiral. She projects a very protective spirit and wants to live her life on her terms. I sympathized with her plight and had I not been convinced Leif was absolutely the warrior king for her, I would have willed her to remain hidden for as long as she wished. But there were bigger things at play and the world- and Naya- needed Leif to totally not be lost to his baser battle lust for all eternity.
Aside from the comical and sensual antics that propel this “boy-meets-girl-girl-saves-boys-butt-boy-triggers-mating-bond-girl-runs-boy-chases- etc” plot, the action is top notch. There is a big, bad Norse god who needs defeating and the power and fighting is practically an illustration, the scenes are depicted so well. There is a great balance of romance and action, enough to where even those who do not exactly love romance would still enjoy this novel as it has a really cool sci-fi nuance that is not lost on the reader. Defeating Loki is not exactly a foregone conclusion as his minions are strong and plentiful and the danger authentic. There is a clear and yummy HEA but I am beyond intrigued and looking forward to seeing what comes next with this promising story arc. There is so much to discover and unravel when enjoying this book I dare not spoil it too much. Dark, fresh, fanciful and fast paced, this novel is a great first installment in a very interesting series. Fans of paranormal, battle action, sexy romance will not be disappointed…because, vikings!