Title: With Shield and Ink and Bone
Author: Casey L. Bond
Publisher: Self Published
Page count: 288
What is this book about?
A hard-earned shield.
Days before she is to take her place as a shield maiden, like her mother before her, two deaths alter the course of Liv’s future. One belonged to a witch who called her by name, the other a chieftain from the north. Vengeance for the chieftain’s death comes in a wild fury that burns her village and slaughters her family. Left for dead, Liv pleads to Skuld – norn and weaver of the future – to spare her. A deal is struck that will endow her with the dark magic needed to claim her vengeance. But this power comes at an unfathomable price…
Ink made from the ashes of loved ones.
After his home is attacked, Calder races to warn neighboring villages of the threat. Little does he know he’s traveling into the path of fate that will lead him straight to Liv. Despite being broken, angry, and overwhelmed by power she cannot contain, it’s her willingness to defend others that draws Calder to her.
Armor forged from the bones of those she held dear.
Together, Liv and Calder discover they are two sides of the same sharpened blade. Rising from the heartache and fury in their pasts, they see a future together worth fighting for. With their strengths and hearts combined, can they become a force powerful enough to defeat the fleet of darkness coming for them? Or will the thread of fate that binds them unravel?
Who wrote this?
Casey Bond lives in West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. She likes goats and yoga, but hasn't tried goat yoga because the family goat is so big he might break her back. Seriously, he's the size of a pony. Her favorite books are the ones that contain magical worlds and flawed characters she would want to hang out with. Most days of the week, she writes young adult fantasy books, letting her imaginary friends spill onto the blank page.
Casey is the award-winning author of When Wishes Bleed, the Frenzy series, and fairy tale retellings such as Riches to Rags, Savage Beauty, Unlocked and Brutal Curse. Learn more about her work at www.authorcaseybond.com.
Newfound Viking Attraction
I am floored. Something to know about me: I'm not a huge fan of Vikings. They don't interest me as much as they should and I find books about them to be stereotypical and boring. So when I say that With Shield and Ink and Bone was an amazing read, I'm telling you that Casey L. Bond managed to make me love a book about Vikings. That is no easy feat.
Norse Mythology, but super interesting
I am so impressed with this book. It was incredibly well written, the characters were riveting, it really hit all the marks for me. Bond took a typical clan war and turned it on its head; I didn't even anticipate there being any real fighting until it happened, and I didn't feel like it was misplaced or put in for shock value. Being able to pull that off takes incredible skill.
Despite the fact that I'm not a fan of Vikings, I think that books with this subject matter are very rare (or maybe I intentionally don't seek them out). Either way, this take on Norse Mythology was very interesting, and makes me want to seek out more books that pertain to that subject. It's very rare for me to be opened up to a whole new genre from a single book.
A lot is left up to your imagination, but in the best way possible. When some characters disappear or end up dead, Bond doesn't reveal anything; she uses these events to her advantage and keeps her readers drawn in. I find it interesting that who killed someone can mean so little, and yet the death itself can be so influential. That has to be my favourite aspect of this novel.
Hardcore parents, hardcore children
I am absolutely in love with the characters. They each have unique features about them that make them so riveting. Liv's parents are a wild force to be reckoned with and honestly my favourite people of the book.
These characters go through an absolute beating. Bond doesn't hold back with any "spare your life" moments, or overt acts of kindness. Everyone in this book is hardcore, badass, and so much more interesting than any set of characters I've read about lately. I guess it's just nice to read about something different, something non traditional in the book world. Every character is cutthroat. Unheard of.
Everything comes at a price
The main message that I perceived from With Shield and Ink and Bone was everything comes at a price. Liv was on the brink of death and pleaded with the Gods to save her so that she can wreak vengeance. Now she is bound to Skuld, the weaver of the future, and must do as she pleases, and only as she pleases. Is this a price I would be willing to pay? I'm not so sure.
I can't say it enough, I am seriously impressed with this book. The characters were different than what I've experienced, the story was brutal and so invigorating, and I've found a new love for Viking stories. What more can you ask for?
I give With Shield and Ink and Bone five out of five stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
What do you think of Viking stories? Are you gonna try this one out? Tell me all the things. Next week, I'll be reviewing The Burning God. Finally!
Until then, read on.
~ Hayley's Reviews, xo