Wednesday, 25 July 2012
'Valkia the Bloody' - Sarah Cawkwell
Valkia the Bloody I'd the story of how a young girl becomes a feared warrior and eventually the a consort of Khorne, one of the Ruinous Powers. The evening before a battle a little girl calmly informs her father she wants to fight with him. The father, wisely so, refuses, but to his surprise he then tells the council his daughter will join the shield wall. The next day Valkia is allowed to deal the killing blow to the enemy chieftain as her hamstringing him in the first place led to his defeat. Happy days.
I always felt I'm too much of a softie for reading about the evil side, and that might be why Valkia the Bloody pretty much lost me in the first chapter. I find the idea of a ten year old girl dashing around like a little gremlin of death both revolting and ridicilous.
I hate to pick on writers, who has obviously spent a lot of time and effort writing a book, only to then have to suffer my whining. Sarah Cawkwell seems to have been too fond of Valkia, trying a little too hard to make her female protagonist one to remember. The result is unfortunately a over the top character, who just does not come across as a convincing person. There is just no depth to her at more, if it wasn't for her suitors and frequent mention of her cold beauty she might as well be a man. I would like to say Valkia is a strong independent female lead, but when she even fights like a rogue archetype, all about speed and grace, I cant even say that.
Valkia the Bloody is a book which left me puzzled after reading, what was the purpose of this, I was asking myself. Evil without purpose is just boring. I can't help feel there is no actual plot here, she is so fanatic you could just say she is a force of nature. A force bent for the destruction without any other purpose. It's about reading about a terrible natural disaster, but one which focuses on the tsunami, not the survivors.
Anyway, I know someone who liked Valkia the Bloody, so I suggest you read Tony Lane's review to get a more positive opinion of this book. Meanwhile, I will try and stay away from books about mean people :)
Valkia the Bloody weighs in at 410 pages, and is published by the Black Library.