Book: The First Girl Child
Author: Amy Harmon
My Rating: 4 Cursed Stars
Fellow book lovers, have y’all ever read a book no questions asked just because you love the author? That’s what I did with The First Girl Child, by Amy Harmon. I absolutely love her historical fiction, so when I saw she had a new release I snatched it up. BOY WAS I CONFUSED! I had no idea that this was actually a YA Fantasy novel. Once I took a moment to read the synopsis and get my bearings, I was totally in for the Viking vibes of this book!
Amy has this lyrical writing style that really made this feel like a fairytale. Complete with a curse, an evil king, a princess, and her protector. I will warn you now, this story covers a span of over a decade, so at first it seemed like the pacing was a little slow. The magic in this world was treated more like mythology or religion, so it didn’t read like a typical fantasy novel to me. It clearly had a Nordic flavor with nods to Norse Mythology, which I realized I need more of!
Here’s the basics of the story, so you don’t go in blindly as I did. Bayr is born to a great female warrior, raised by his uncle as a “keeper” (think monks/scholars), blessed with supernatural physical strength (think Hercules), and pledges his loyalty to the first girl child born in Saylock for years (AKA the Princess Alba). You see, Bayr’s mother, with her dying breath the day he was born, cursed the land of Saylock to have no more daughters. And thus a society that placed most of it value on men, turned around and discovered the value of its women a bit too late. The story follows Bayr and Alba as they grow up in this cursed land and fight against the oppression of the king. Their relationship is the definition of a slow burn. You literally read about them from the time they’re born until they’re adults. So, if you see anything about this book having romance, just know it doesn’t even appear until the last quarter of the story. The characters in this story are so carefully and fully developed. Two of my favorite characters were technically supporting characters.
Ultimately this gets 4 out of 5 from me because of the slow pacing of the story, I think it might bother some readers. However, it was totally worth it to push through! I recommend this if you enjoy Vikings, Norse Mythology, and/or fantasy.
Krystle Goodman is a crazy cat lady, who loves to drink exorbitant amounts of coffee, and read a shocking amount of books. She lives in Benton with her husband Josh, her son Roman, and their two cats Roxanne and Abby. When she isn’t reading, you’ll find her cooking, painting, or watching true crime shows. Watch for Krystle’s book reviews every other Friday. Send fanmail to: [email protected]
See more of Krystle’s reviews at www.mysaline.com/krystle.