cover image Rise


Freya Finch. Disney/de la Cruz, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-368-10099-1

A fledgling teen Valkyrie tries to avert Ragnarök in Finch’s spirited, Norse mythology–inspired debut. Most assume Bryn Martel, her older sisters Prima and Reagan, and their mother are ordinary people who live and work at Ravenswood Medieval Faire, a Chicago-area tourist attraction. In truth, Bryn’s mother is a Valkyrie, charged with ferrying souls to Valhalla and doing Odin’s bidding on Earth, and her daughters are training to join her—Bryn less adeptly than her siblings. Prima and Reagan dismiss Bryn’s concerns when Mom is late returning from a mission, so Bryn doesn’t tell them when she starts having apocalyptic visions; it’s not like they’d believe her. Then a half-giant called Juniper appears and drops two bombshells: she’s their half sister, and the doomsday war known as Ragnarök is nigh. Prima and Reagan distrust Juniper, prompting her and Bryn to partner with a “very attractive” shape-shifter named Wyatt to find Bryn’s mom and forestall the end of all things. The boldly drawn, white-cued cast is feisty and funny. Coupled with Bryn’s snarky first-person-present narrative, Finch unveils a rollicking, twist-filled plot, which puts a modern spin on ancient folklore while sensitively exploring issues of identity and fate. Ages 12–up. Agent: Richard Abate, 3Arts Entertainment. (July)