Reviews for Wrath of the Valkyrie
Mislav chapter 1 . 2/9
Such a beautifully dark and intense story, with great characterization and attention to details. I could really feel Reginleif's sorrow, passion, and determination. She went down in the underworld just to save her love. The description of the underworld was especially dark, gory and vivid. And Gunnar's suffering in the afterlife... The way Reginleif stabbed Hela was pretty intense, you really captured her rage. The ending really hit me hard. When Reginleif awoke in Gunnar's arms, I thought she had succeeded somehow, that they were finally back together... but that was not the case. I'm glad that Reginleif and Gunnar got one last moment together, no matter how bitter. The ending delivered a powerful message though: you have to let go, or you will destroy yourself. My favorite parts were: "The climb was arduous and made even more cumbersome by the pain in her sides, but she eventually made it to the summit, flushed and exhausted. What she saw as Gunnar was nothing more than an illusion of her lover. His body rippled and contorted like the smoky glow of a torch but even the mirage of his everlasting soul still bore the wounds of his mortal death. Deep, ragged cuts exposed the torn loops of his intestines and his back was carved open, the bones of his ribcage plucked forth and splayed like bloody wings.

Once more Reginleif was forced to relive the senseless slaughter. Memories of that fateful day threatened to consume her from the inside out – the raiders from the North, her village razed to the ground, the sight of Gunnar's bloody wings poised in grisly flight as scavengers tore at his lifeless body –

"Get away from him…"

The voice was discordant and as menacing as a snarl. The woman to whom the voice belonged to peered from behind one of the giant stone pillars. She stood obscured in shadows, the left side of her body hidden by the megalith but from what Reginleif could see the woman was strikingly beautiful, the smooth surface of her naked skin an immaculate ivory and cascades of raven dark hair hung about her perfectly sculpted, regal like face. Her eye was the pale shade of emerald as she scowled from her half hidden visage.

Reginleif raised Gramr in a defensive position. "Who are you?" she demanded. "Show yourself!"

The woman slithered from behind the pillar into the light. The left side of her body was the grey and mottled texture of a bloated corpse, the face a half grinning grimace of a blackened skull where an unblinking and rotted eye regarded Reginleif.

"You know who I am child…" the woman said, her voice dripping with malice. And Reginleif did know. Like the fleeting passage between life and death the woman who stood before her was the embodiment of beauty and revulsion, the queen of the deepest and dark places and ruler of the dead from all nine worlds."

And

"The tension sluiced from Reginleif's bones and was replaced by a tidal wave of relief so profound it compelled her unquestionably down into his arms. They fit together like two long lost pieces of a puzzle and as Reginleif explored the hardened contours of his flesh, smelled the scent of the Aegir Sea within his hair and tasted the familiar flavor of honey upon his tongue she knew that if this was her afterlife then her death was but a small price to pay for an eternity of happiness.

She pulled herself away from their embrace, the kiss tingling on her lips and questions burning in her mind.

"It's you," Reginleif breathed. "O' Gods, it's really you?"

"Aye, but what are you doing here? You shouldn't be here Reginleif."

"I-I tried to free your soul from Hela's grasp. I won't let her take you away from me, not like this."

Sorrow clouded Gunnar's storm orb eyes. He sighed. "I love you, but I can't stand the fact that my death has put you on this path of vengeance. I never feared death, not once, because a life without loss is a life without love."

His words bore into Reginleif's heart, her motives, her actions, all falling away like embers in the night. "But your death was a sacrilege from the God's, Hela holds no dominion over your soul. It is you who doesn't belong here!"

Gunnar shook his head. "We all die Reginleif, and when our time comes it doesn't matter how, when, or why, all that matters in the end is that we look death in the eye and embrace it as a friend, because if you turn your back on death all you will see is the shadow it cast."

The light of the campfire seemed to grow stronger, the brightest of flames passionately licking the air and casting the blackest of shadows in their wake.

"The longer you hide from it, the darker the shadow grows until all that's left is the darkness. Can you feel the darkness Reginleif? Can you feel it seeping into your skin, pouring into your heart?"

The shadows twisted and conspired against the raging flames, a shapeless mass that coalesced into figments of darkness blacker than ink, more grotesque than the most fevered of nightmares, and Reginleif could feel the darkness arching across her skin in thick, invisible currents.

"I can feel it," she breathed. "O' Gods I can feel it!"

"Then you must let me go! I've accepted my fate long ago, and it's time you do the same. Please, the darkness will not stay back for much longer. If you don't let go, she will consume you."

Inch by inch the darkness grew closer, a malignant cancer threatening to snuff out the only light she had left. But Gunnar was right. Every step, every breath, had led her to this moment but would any of it be worth it if she died as well? As deep and foreboding as the shadows were, they were not dark enough to snuff out the flame of memory, to erase a lifetimes worth of unquenchable love. She would have to live on and carry his name, because a life without loss was truly a life without love.

"I can't lose you again…" a final desperate plea, tears staining her eyes and voice thick with grief.

"You will never lose me." Gunnar said, wiping away her tears. "I'll always love you."

"And I will always love you…"

The words seemed to hang in the air along with the whispering scent of honeyed mead and salt before disappearing forever. Gunnar was gone, the second time Reginleif had lost her beloved, but this time the hollow ache of her loss was replaced by the memories of yesterday and the promise of tomorrow.

Slowly, Reginleif rose to her feet, neon eyes awash with the glow from the flames. A cold yet familiar weight pressed against the palm of her hand, a ravenous hunger reverberating from the sharpened tip of her sword Gramr down its edge and into her very bones. The darkness seethed, tendrils of shadows snaking against the night air, what could have passed for claws slowly stalking towards her. Reginleif raised Gramr in a two handed stance, imbued by its insatiable craving and the glorious flames which shined brighter than the sun but did not burn.

Without warning, the darkness finally charged.

And so did Reginleif.

Like the wind whispering across barren fjords, like the current of quick silver, she struck fast and true. The enchanted steel tore through the darkness as if it were parchment, a thousand forms of blackness severed by the glorious flame of life. A scream ripped from the darkness, long and keening, Hela's final lament as the shadows evaporated like a dying miasma, leaving Reginleif alone atop the ziggurat.

Reginleif slowly lowered Gramr, its hunger now sated. She looked up towards the nexus in the burnt out sky only to find it filled by a portal of a pure blue sky, deep and perfect, crowned by a bridge of glittering gold.

Gjallarbru.

The bridge snaked its way across the leaden sky and stopped before Reginleif. It was time to leave this vile place, and even though she was leaving alone she was buoyed by a renewed sense of purpose.

No, not alone…

Gramr trembled in her grasp, eager for more bloodshed, or perhaps, like the woman who wielded it, longing for the thrill of more adventure. Gunnar's story had come to an end, but a new chapter was just beginning for Reginleif, the nine worlds filled with stories of endless possibilities.

"Come with me my friend," Reginleif said, sheathing her sword. "There are more stories for us.""

Keep up the great work. You are very talented. I would be interested in seeing a sequel to this, but it is not necessary, the story is pretty well rounded.
YasuRan chapter 1 . 12/8/2018
This was a fun, action-packed read. I particularly appreciate the pacing: it was brisk enough to highlight the urgency of Reginleif's mission and what was at stake, and also allowed enough moments where we get a glimpse into her motivations, her past and how deep her love for Gunnar runs. I also enjoyed the setting: I've always enjoyed tales of the Norse gods and the use of this setting, particularly the references to Viking folklore, was unique and memorable.

If I had to critique anything, it would be that the diction is a bit off at some points. Some sentences were missing words and there were a few minor punctuation errors. However, these didn't detract from the overall impact of the story, which was a very good one. Keep it up!
JABAudioScripts chapter 1 . 12/1/2018
First off. Let me apologize for being late. I was doing wedding prep with my sister today.

Onto the review. LOVE REGINLIF! Sorry if I spelt her name wrong. She is a female version of Kratos from god of war and War from Darksiders wrapped into one.

I love the compelling tale you wove here in just one chapter. The struggles Regi suffered through to get the one person she loved back, all the while you gave her a sort of sentimental attachment to her weapon. Like it was her only friend to keep her wits about her while she descended into Hela’s Realm. And to challenge Hela herself, embolden by defeated the werewolf of all wolves! She isn’t shy about her strength. The fact that Regi wanted to defy the laws of life and death to have her love back is a tale as old as time, but a very interesting one. Nothing would stop her. And when she finally gets to him...her pleads that she let him go. That life, her life, must move on. Reluctantly she does let him go, and onward she goes. It touched my heart.

Minor critique - many of your sentences are run ons, and certain punctuations were missed. Keep sentences concise while throwing in a description. And you do over explain things a bit. Like this passage, “Fenrir charged forward and Reginleif mirrored the movement as she lunged towards the beast off her back leg and slashed diagonally downward in the strike Gunnar called Munnin's Claw.”

This can be adjusted as, “Fenrir charged forth. Reginleif mirrored in kind. Kicking off her hind foot she slashed for Fenrir. The wolf greeted by a feirce diagonal slash down. An attack dubbed Munnin’s Claw.” Not like that-like that, but something that takes away the run on and kind of puts more motion in the character’s movement. And it isn’t over explained. (Opinion) Other than that, this was beautiful. Very well done.