Valkyrie Rising (Valkyrie #1)

Because suddenly I knew that Graham could boss me around only if I let him. No one has power over me unless I surrender it.

But no matter,” Grandmother said. “Let’s let small-minded people live within the confines of their small-minded assumptions while the rest of us carry on with our lives.

Can I help it if I’m the only one keeping my eyes on the big picture?” Loki flashed a condescending smile. “The best poker players are patient. They wait until it’s a hand they know they can win.

Don't hold back on my account," [Graham] said. "I'm not a complete moron. You're not as slick as you think--all those double entendres. Scampering around the roof in the middle of the night.

How very bold to cross over into enemy territory,” she said to the man. “Particularly when an old artifact like me doesn’t believe in taking prisoners.” The smile she gave him was wolfish and sure, and reminded me so much of Astrid I took a step back, not entirely sure if I should trust the woman standing in front of me.

I didn’t pick this fight, gentlemen. The first move is yours,” Grandmother growled. “And the final one, I assure you, will be mine.

It can be hard to find people you can trust, and when you do, you hold on to them, imperfections and all.

I thought about the way I felt in Astrid’s presence, the unity. I was a part of something that was larger than myself, a network of shared energy and camaraderie that flowed between the Valkyries.

It’s funny you bring that up,” I said. “In some countries, red hair was considered a sign of witchcraft. They actually burned people at the stake for it. Can you imagine? Just goes to show that a little ignorance can go a long way—if you let it go unchallenged, that is.

It was a grave tactical error that Astrid had been so focused on collecting boys, when the girls in this town were more than twice as worthy.

No one has power over me unless I surrender it.

Seire,” I said, the phrase bubbling up from someplace deep inside my heart. Be victorious. Another word, a phrase I’d never learned, that had magically planted itself in my brain.

“I always am,” she replied without turning back. “Go. You have a job to do.

The baker certainly didn’t need to tell me twice. I had no intention of staying to be abused by a crazy old lady.

There’s a third option,” I retorted. “Maybe I’m smart enough not to be afraid of little boys running around playing commando.

The thought sent a cold chill down my spine, but at the same time, I knew that I’d be able to handle anything Astrid, Loki, or the world could throw at me. After all, I was Hilda Overholt’s granddaughter, and just like her, I was made of pure fire.

Time to increase the sensitivity on your bullshit detector.

We’ll be back,” he said. I had to admire how well he controlled the abject terror in his heart.

“I’ll be waiting,” Grandmother replied.

Would you prefer the term pawn?” he said. “I struggle to stay abreast of what’s politically correct.

You overplayed your cards,” he said. “I can spot manipulation a thousand miles away. I invented the concept.