The Weight of a Soul

Written by Elizabeth Tammi
Review by J. Lynn Else

Soon after Fressa receives a blade that glows with mysterious runes when she holds it, she’s found dead by her sister Lena without a mark on her body. Fressa’s death precedes an early winter which harkens to signs of Ragnarök. Lena believes her sister may be the key to stopping the return of Loki, but the goddess Hela requires a trade for Fressa’s soul. In order to accomplish this task, Lena must kill someone whose soul would be of equal value to her sister’s. Can Lena use her skills as a healer to take life instead of save it, and will it be worth the price on her own soul?

Setting her novel during the Viking Age, Tammi does a great job weaving depth into the folklore and how it influences Lena’s culture. I enjoyed coming face to face with creatures and gods of Norse mythology. However, there are some modern expressions that subtly bleed into the narrative. They are not overly distracting, but noticeable. Character-wise, Lena struggles with her task and how far she’ll go to bring her sister back. What will her morals allow? How can she live with herself if she goes too far? They’re intriguing questions which get slightly lost in the middle of the book. That said, the beginning and end are full of intrigue. With a bond of sisterhood as her beacon of hope, Lena will cross worlds to return her sister to Midgard while trying to outwit the gods. I do believe more is coming, and I’d definitely read more from this author.