Rayden Valkyrie. She walks alone, serving no king, emperor, or master. Forged in the fires of tragedy, she has no place she truly calls home.
A deadly warrior wielding both blade and axe, Rayden is the bane of the wicked and corrupt. To many others, she is the most loyal and dedicated of friends, an ally who is unyielding in the most dangerous of circumstances.
The people of the far southern lands she has just aided claim that she has the heart of a lion. For Rayden, a long journey to the lands of the far northern tribes who adopted her as a child beckons, with an ocean lying in between.
Her path will lead her once more into the center of a maelstrom, one involving a rising empire that is said to be making use of the darkest kinds of sorcery to grow its power. Making new friends and discoveries amid tremendous peril, Rayden makes her way to the north.
Monstrous beasts, supernatural powers, and the bloody specter of war have been a part of her world for a long time and this journey will be no different. Rayden chooses the battles that she will fight, whether she takes up the cause of one individual or an entire people.
Both friends and enemies alike will swiftly learn that the people of the far southern lands spoke truly. Rayden Valkyrie has the heart of a lion.
Heart of a Lion is Book One of the Dark Sun Dawn Trilogy
About the Author
Stephen can be found online at:
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Spellbound!! I am completely in love with this world in which Zimmer brings us a modge podge of characters who are truly unique & full of courage, honor, & wonder including a hard core heroine & her comrades who are willing to dish out punishment to any who deserve it. Oh but let's not forget the culprits of the prior anger...those who wish to strangle the life & soul out of anyone they deem lesser than themselves or who fail to bow down before them or their rules. Being my first book by this author I am very impressed with his ability to mix such passion, fear, & rage without crushing the souls of those he created (& ours too). It is a difficult task to balance the dark & light, & I feel he did it wonderfully! *This world is definitely not for the faint of heart as these characters have been through things most can not even imagine. Be aware that there are a few intense topics including slavery & abuse as well as some gruesome battle scenes that may cause some queasiness & or anger, but be assured Zimmer's characters demand justice while dishing out payments due. The heroine: Rayden Valkyrie is truly kick @$$! She is not afraid to speak her mind & holds all she meets to a specific set of standards. Those who do not adhere to her moral code best watch out! Rayden won me over the moment she jumped in to protect & save the innocent, & fascinated me more with each page thereafter. Her team (who quickly became more) also stole my heart. Each with their own struggles of overcoming past tragedies & fighting for what's right...or simply claiming vengeance for what has been stolen from them. Regardless, it was hard to put this book down ESPECIALLY once a battle began. Every scene was so intense, motivating, heart crushing, & action packed!! I only wish more people were held to such morals as this crew truly understands what happens when those are lost (or taken). If you are a fan of fantastical stories of epic proportions you should give this one a go!
Heart of a Lion is probably my favorite Stephen Zimmer book to date, and not just because of the strong female lead protagonist. The novel offers a cool blend of real-world and fantasy, like Game of Thrones without the weighty politics. Convincingly different characters people lands that might almost belong to our own history. And blond Nordic Raven picks her fights and her loyalties, moving swiftly and surely through civilizations that feel hauntingly real. Starting nicely in the middle of her adventures, author Stephen Zimmer allows the reader to follow Raven’s journey back home from unknown action in southern lands. Neat details offer the chance to speculate about where she’s been and why, making this the sort of novel that sticks with you long after the reading’s done. Loyalties are tested, tied and broken, or tidily left behind, avoiding that agony of continued protection or unchallenged inconvenience, and making Raven achingly human and real. But she’s more than that. She’s a hero with heart, a fighter with soul, and a clever tactician with a willingness to listen and a mind to question the unknown. Slowly, more bits of that complex unknown reveal themselves, as darkness gathers and the tale continues. Pleasingly lyrical passages of description are nicely juxtaposed with fast, well-choreographed action scenes, and convincing introspection. Fight and flight are equally convincing and human, while satisfying strengths and wise changes of heart raise the novel far above the norm. Read on to a perfect ending, relax and sigh, then prepare for more because that darkness is still gathering, and war will come. I’m eager to read the next in the series. This is seriously cool fantasy with a wonderful lion-hearted hero. Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy and I offer my honest review.