#NetGalley #BookReview The Real Valkyrie: The Hidden #History of #Viking Warrior #Women by Nancy Marie Brown

Book Review

The Real Valkyrie

The Hidden History of Viking Warrior Women

by Nancy Marie Brown

Release date: August 31st, 2021


I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Real Valkyrie: The Hidden History of Viking Warrior Women by Nancy Marie Brown from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press to read and give an honest review.

… unique, professionally researched, and brilliantly written, …

Being huge lover of history, I was thrilled to get the opportunity to read and review The Real Valkyrie and I wasn’t disappointed.

Author, Nancy Marie Brown delves into a Viking warrior whose bones were found in grave Bj581 dated between 913 and 980 was discovered outside the Swedish town of Birka in 1878. Initially based on preconceived biases of the Victorian era the body was said to be that of a male Viking warrior. Buried with the body were grave goods such as weapons including a blade, spearheads a sword, knives, an axe, shields, various daily essentials, and a set of game pieces normally signifying a strategic thinker and were common of a warrior’s grave. In 2019 a team set out determined to prove that contrary to long held stereotypical beliefs there were in fact women warriors during Viking Era. The team, after running DNA tests on the bones, proved conclusively that the bones in grave were that of a female in her thirties or forties. The Author intrigued by this has tried to give the reader insight into the life of this and other female warriors by overlaying what stories could be found by way of sagas, poems, and documentation of the time to create a skillfully imagined vignette of the lives of these women warriors.  

Although, at times this book meandered a bit, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Very unique, professionally researched, and brilliantly written, Nancy Marie Brown has taken us back through time to walk in the footsteps of brave female Viking warriors, keeping them alive when history forgot. 

3 thoughts on “#NetGalley #BookReview The Real Valkyrie: The Hidden #History of #Viking Warrior #Women by Nancy Marie Brown”

  1. I understand that in this time of a rising tide of gender equality issues, the prospect that there existed female warriors is butter upon the bread of feminist activists. However, many scientists dispute this, arguing that bones from other graves may have been mixed together; that the inference that she was a warrior because of game pieces buried in the grave was premature speculation; and that the researchers had not considered other reasons for a female body in a warrior’s tomb. Some other archaeologists were skeptical, citing the possibility that the bones had been mis-labeled in the last century, or perhaps jumbled with bones from other nearby graves.


    1. Always have to be careful before taking historical fiction for real. Very often it’s based upon alternative interpretations of the historical truth. Which of course made it very often a more entertaining story for a contemporary reading public.

      Liked by 1 person

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