The Weekend Binge: Viking Academy by S.T. Bende

Posted January 22, 2022 by Lillian in Features, Reviews / 2 Comments

Happy Saturday y’all! Our Weekend Reads feature will be getting an overhaul soon along with a new name: The Weekend Binge. Why the change? I enjoy posting on the weekends, and sometimes it’s just a review, sometimes it’s a series review, other times it’s about what I’m currently watching. Regardless, I wanted somewhere to feature what I’m currently binging whether it’s what I’m reading or what I’m watching.

Today, I’m featuring the Viking Academy by S.T. Bende. I initially started the series with the intention of reading just the first book as I’d received it for review. But after finishing I had to know what was next. Flash forward a few days and I’d finished the entire series. It is THAT good. If you enjoy academy books, vikings, a little alternate history, romance and of course some time travel, I highly recommend it.

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The Weekend Binge: Viking Academy by S.T. BendeViking Academy by S.T. Bende
Series: Viking Academy #1
Published by Self Publish on 2019-05-21
Length: 249 pages
Reviewing Kindle from My Book Shelf
Rating:

BOOK 1 IN THE TIME TRAVEL ADVENTURE SERIES FROM BESTSELLING AUTHOR S.T. BENDE

Erik held me until my shoulders stopped shaking—whether it was a minute or an hour, I couldn't tell. The only things I knew for sure were:
(1) I was trapped a thousand years in the past, with little hope of ever going home. And,
(2) I was wrapped in the arms of the most absurdly gorgeous Viking to have ever walked the face of the Earth.
Maybe my old life was overrated.

When seventeen-year-old Saga Skånstad discovers an antique dagger, she's instantly sucked into a world where Vikings rule the seas and dragons roam the skies, and the only thing more dangerous than the chief who takes her captive is the rival who steals her away. The heir of Norway's most feared tribe is fierce, cold, and absolutely unyielding. With intruders encroaching upon his borders, Erik Halvarsson has little patience for the girl whose ignorance threatens his very existence. He enlists Saga in the magical Valkyris Academy, where she learns the skills she'll need to protect herself from foreign raiders and domestic terrors. But nothing can protect her from falling for the one guy in all the world she's absolutely forbidden to choose . . . or from risking everything to unlock the secrets that haunt him.

When darkness threatens Saga's new home, she must decide whether to return to the life she's always known, or fight for a love she never could have imagined. Her decision will determine a legacy—not only for Saga, but for the world she never knew she was fated to lead.

Viking Academy by S.T. Bende is one of those books that once you start you can’t sit it back down. Following Saga’s journey to the past, the story unfolds at a breakneck speed, thrusting us into an unknown world where dragons are real but they aren’t the real threat.

Saga Skånstad is on her way to college when while visiting her grandmother she discovers an ancient dagger buried in the mud. One touch of the dagger sends Saga back in time, to a time when Vikings ruled the land. The harsh environment, not to mention the feuding clans, throws Saga for a loop. She must hide who she really is and hope that there is way back to her present without changing the past. I love Saga. She is young at the start of the story, not quite 18 yet, and she takes her plight in stride. She makes herself blend in, hides who she is and when she is from, and somehow keeps moving forward. If I was her, I’d want to curl in a ball and hide, but not Saga. If she can’t return home, she’ll do what she can to survive and thrive in this new world.

Erik isn’t introduced right away, but it is clear from his introduction that he is the main love interest for Saga. The son and future chief of the largest Viking clan, Erik is kind and loyal, unlike those that Saga had encountered in another tribe. Erik sees her and wants to save her. To the reader, it is clear that he would do anything for her. I personally loved him. He brings out the best, and worst, in Saga, pushes her when he needs to and gives her his strength to lean on when she is fledging.

I fell in love with the setting, the world building and Saga. I found myself rooting her on and cheering her successes and mourning with her when she fails. I love how Bende ties in historical facts from ancient Scandinavia and the Vikings to this story, creating a historical fantasy in the process. Saga’s time travel reminds me a bit of Outlander though more PG-13 😉

Overall, I devoured Viking Academy, finishing the entire series in under a week. Saga and Erik are easy to root for. The world building is immersive, and did I mention dragons 😀 I loved seeing this world through Saga’s eyes as she is from our contemporary time. It’s easy to understand her confusion and frustration when she doesn’t understand what is happening or attempts to compare it to modern times. If you enjoy fantasy, historical fiction, Vikings and dragons, I highly recommend it!

About S.T. Bende

Author S.T. Bende

Before finding domestic bliss in suburbia, S.T. Bende lived in Manhattan Beach (where she became overly fond of Peet’s Coffee) and studied Shakespeare in Europe… where she became overly fond of McVitie’s cookies.

Her love of Scandinavian culture, and a very patient Norwegian teacher, inspired her YA Norse fantasy series’ (Shieldmaiden Squadron, Viking Academy, Ære Saga, Elsker Saga, and Alfheim Academy). And her deep love of a galaxy far, far away led to her writing children’s books for the Star Wars franchise. As an experienced IP writer, she’s written multiple books published by Disney, Lucasfilm, and The Jim Henson Company, and looks to expand into additional beloved IP projects.

When she’s not creating stories, S.T. dreams of skiing on Jotunheim and Hoth.

Read the entire Viking Academy series today!

Book Cover for Viking Conspiracy by ST Bende
Book Cover for Viking Vow by ST Bende

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