Friday, January 6, 2023

Book Review: Queen of Deception

A burst of magic from Midgard attracts the attention of Hela, Queen of Hel. The Goddess of Death craves power to enable her ultimate conquest of the Realms, and this new sorcery from Earth is tantalizing… Pursuing its source, Hela is appalled to find herself in Elizabethan England. From Asgard, Lady Sif and the valkyrie, Brunnhilde are also dispatched to Midgard, and neither of them have any love for Hela. Yet a still greater threat awaits: the Dark Elves see Midgard as the first battle in war of the Realms. Only a team-up between hated enemies can win the day, but how far can you really trust the Queen of Hel?

Queen of Deception by Anna Stephens will be released on February 7, 2023. Aconyte Books provided an early galley for review.

This is the latest in the Marvel Legends of Asgard novel series. It is also the second one from that series that Stephens, a fantasy writing veteran, has penned. Once again, she is pairing Lady Sif and Brunnhilde for an adventure - a pairing I find very entertaining.

I immediately enjoyed the conflicting of cultures - Elizabethan and Asgardian. Both were quickly yet richly fleshed out, making the collision of worlds even more so satisfying. And, in doing so, it firmly sets this tale up as an untold tale from the Asgardian past - an open ground for storytelling.

I liked as well the competition between two factions, each unaware fully to the goals of the other. That kept the tension high as the story moves along. The relationship between Hel and William was also very amusing. All in all, a fun fantasy romp.

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