Sep 26, 2016

ARC Review--Freed by Amanda Carlson

Phoebe Meadows has one thing on her mind: Free her mother.

For the last month, Phoebe has been training in the Valkyrie stronghold readying for battle. But when she stumbles into a secluded valley after a day of grueling practice, she’s given a dire prediction. Phoebe must leave the stronghold immediately with the aid of the giant, Junnal, to rescue her mother from the dark elves. If Phoebe fails, Leela will be transported to a place that can no longer be reached.

Leaving Fen behind threatens to undo her, but Phoebe stays true to the mission. Along the way, she allies with the god Baldur and an old white elf mage. Together, they storm the realm, and with the help of an angry wolf and her Valkyrie sisters, they just might stand a chance to free the valiant shieldmaiden.

But Phoebe soon learns that in order to save her mother, she might lose something too precious to sacrifice…

I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Phoebe is back in the game with Amanda Carlson’s Freed! The mission to rescue her mother from Svartalfheim is nigh and it’s going to take serious cunning and moxie to break her out. Once again, Amanda Carlson brings new light to Norse mythology with this incredible entertaining and exciting new series!

Phoebe has been training with the Valkyries for a while now. Her best friend, Sam is with her, as well as her newfound brother, Tyr and of course Fen. Phoebe struggles to adjust to this new way of life, learning to harness her power and of course, training her body to the best of her abilities. She must learn to fight and fight well. Not long into her training, she’s confronted by Huggie, Odin’s trusty raven. She is told that the time to venture to Svartalfheim is now and that she must go only with Junnal, who had also ventured to the Valkyrie stronghold. Leaving behind Fen and her friends goes against her gut instincts, but since everything here seems to be about prophecy and such, she does Huggie’s bidding and goes through a portal only with Junnal, just as Fen was coming to find her.

This book was quite an adventure! I loved being back in this world. Phoebe is such a fun heroine! She’s someone you can relate to as she’s just discovered her true roots. She’s trying to adapt to powers that she didn’t know she had and adjust to an entirely new world! It’s always exciting to see in some ways how different characters can adjust to so many changes, and Phoebe does rather well! She’s gotten over the whole new world adjustment in some ways and she’s on board with the mission at hand to rescue her mother. Svartalfheim is no walk in the park, if you know anything about Norse mythology! Or Thor movies, lol! But yeah, different mythos there I’d say!

Phoebe meets some interesting new people on her journey to rescue her mom. Some that were rather surprising and a few that were entertaining as well! Though one thing that sadden me about this one was that Fen wasn’t nearly in it enough. There were a few light-hearted moments before Phoebe’s journey and then she’s separated from him for a good chunk of the novel. And it surprises me how much of a romantic I’ve become lately! Lol! It’s not that I wanted them to have smexy times or anything, but just to be there together would’ve sufficed. But I could see the purpose for Phoebe needing to do all these things without Fen. Though, from what we learn in this one, I can easily see them being together more in the next book with the next mission which will definitely make me happier!

I guess I also wished Sam would’ve been around more. Sam accompanied Phoebe to the Valkyrie stronghold and learned that she has a connection to this world as well as Phoebe. She definitely brings some much needed humor and relief from all the tension and stress-induced situations. Plus the girl’s got snarky and I love me a snarky heroine, be she the main character or not! I also am really digging the connection she’s having with Tyr. However brief it may seem, in that we only catch glimpses of it here and there, and naturally, through Phoebe’s eyes. I definitely sense something starting between these two and I so hope we can see more of that! Either in Phoebe’s story at large or maybe even a side novella or something!

This was definitely a most adventurous read! It was quite exciting and fast paced when I look back on it. There’s really no slow moments, even when you think things might not be going where you think they are, things are happening or being laid in place for future books. It’s basically intense! There’s lots of intense moments or building moments and it’s all going to lead to yet another awesome and incredible read next spring! So looking forward to seeing where Phoebe’s story will end up come the end. Which as of this time, I’m not sure how many books there will be. Definitely got a third one coming up and just based on what I feel like will happen in that one, possibly a fourth one too. But don’t quote me on that!

The ending here was much like the ending of the first book. That nice sort of pause in the action, where the characters have gotten themselves through one round of obstacles only to have the next round being set up for them and that’s pretty much where we left them. It’s a nice place come to think of it…the pause in moment, not the actual place where the characters are at! That’s a rather intense pickle they’re in actually. I’m looking forward to the next book to see what other shenanigans will befall Phoebe and Co. This is definitely a read to check out for all mythology fans as it’s a fresh and entertaining take on a mythology that’s not seen very often in literature (outside their actual myths that is!)!


Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars



  1. Svartalfheim , thats a mouthful :D new to me, looks exciting, love mythology

  2. I love that it's based on Norse mythology - it's so interesting! :)

  3. This concept sounds really interesting to me and I agree that I'm intrigued by it being based on Norse mythology. Definitely sounds like one to add to my to-read list. Great review!


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