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Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite
Magdalene - Skjaldmaer by Charley Blackwolf is a romantic story set in the modern day. During the time of the Vikings, a special name was given to powerful female warriors, Skjaldmaer, meaning shieldmaiden. In 2019, the era of the Vikings is now in the past, yet there are still those who could, perhaps, do that title proud. Magdalene is one such woman. She and her horse are rising stars, defeating their competition in horseback archery, but she is not alone in her accomplishments. There are others as talented in other regions. Now more than ever she must keep her focus, but her mind is distracted by her new Facebook friend, Travis, a journalist and author seeking to know more about her, the Viking way of fighting, and maybe even hoping for something more.
I always enjoy a book that teaches me something new and I thought the exposure to different cultures, ways of living, and skillsets was handled beautifully. This is not just the story of Magdalene, but of many others whose stories develop and grow until the ultimate climax when the characters we have come to know finally meet. My favorite thing about Charley Blackwolf's Magdalene - Skjaldmaer was quite simply how much I learned. Important information is given through Travis's research, as well as experiencing the lives of the central characters. Insight, romance, challenges, and commitment combine to create a captivating story of personal strength, growth, and development. I enjoyed the dialogue and found that immersing myself in the lifestyles of the varying characters was a wonderful experience. I came into this book knowing very little of the world of horses and horseback archery, and thus had concerns over whether I would enjoy it as much as someone who is familiar with it. I was pleasantly surprised at how accessible and easily the information I needed was presented, allowing me to just drift along with the steady-paced plot.