EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: The Valkyrie’s Shadow by Tiana Warner

“Then what do we do? If this ends in war…” Sigrid held Mariam’s gaze, struggling to keep her breaths even.

“The purpose of the valkyries is to serve the worlds and protect the cosmic balance,” Mariam said. “We’ll fight if we have to, and you’ll fight with us on Sleipnir. That’s what we’re supposed to do.”

Sigrid’s insides did such a wild flip that she felt nauseous. “Right.”

Mariam must have seen something in her expression, because she said, “Sigrid, the cosmos meant for you to be a leader. It brought you to the royal hall for a reason.”

“But I have no experience with anything except how to be a stable hand.” To prove her point, she raised her hands. They were grimy and oily, and no amount of wiping on her trousers helped. “I have no political knowledge, no history knowledge… I can’t even name the leaders of most worlds—”

“But you will,” Mariam said fiercely. “It’s why you moved to Vanahalla, isn’t it? To learn everything you’ll need to know to help the nine worlds?”

“You’ve already served Vanaheim more than once,” Fisk said.

“So you’re ready for this. You can advise the queen based on everything you’ve learned.”

Sigrid studied her friends, the way they stood confidently in front of her, supportive no matter what. Her chest felt full, like her heart had expanded.

In a soft beam of daylight coming through the window, Sigrid could see the dusting of freckles across Mariam’s nose and cheekbones. Something about those freckles was impossible not to love. She wanted to plant kisses across them.

Instead, she pursed her lips and nodded. “Thank you.”

Mariam smiled.

Sigrid’s heart skipped as the inevitable washed over her. She’d always wanted to serve Vanaheim—it was why she’d fought so hard to become a valkyrie. But since becoming a princess and since finding out she was Sleipnir’s heir, serving Vanaheim had become a lot more complicated. It wasn’t as simple as mounting up and riding out to fight.

Odin’s stallion waited for her in the royal stables up the hill, trapped in a corral, a weapon ready to be wielded.

She wasn’t ready, and she wasn’t sure if she ever would be… but she didn’t have much choice. If she wanted to protect her world from whatever precipice they were standing on the edge of, she had to accept the path the cosmos had made for her.

The cover for The Valkyrie's Shadow by Tiana Warner.

Being both a valkyrie and a princess isn’t turning out quite the way Sigrid imagined. The other valkyries still treat her like a stable hand. Her relationship with Mariam is less “long-distance” and more “worlds apart.” And lately, she’s been wondering if Sleipnir, her new horse, isn’t making her a little bit…well, evil.

But Sigrid’s first official valkyrie mission sends ripples through the Nine Worlds. She’s attracted the wrath of not only the Night Elves but their sinister king, who wants nothing more than to bring darkness down on everyone. Worse yet, Loki might just be interfering with the balance of light and dark…

When war threatens the shores of Vanaheim and her friends are in danger of being exiled, Sigrid makes a deal with the new queen. She will ride Sleipnir against their enemies and use his might to defeat them, even as he pulls her closer to that line between good and evil.

What she becomes will either save everyone…or unleash disaster upon them all.

THE VALKYRIE’S SHADOW releases July 25th, 2023. Find out where to pre-order here.


author photo for Tiana WarnerTiana Warner is an LGBTQ+ author from British Columbia, Canada, best known for her critically acclaimed “Mermaids of Eriana Kwai” trilogy and its comic adaptation. Tiana is a lifelong horseback rider, a former programmer with a Computer Science degree, and an outdoor enthusiast who loves to explore nature with her musician boyfriend and their hyperactive rescue mutt, Joey.

You can follow Tiana on Twitter and check out her website to stay up to date on the latest news!

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