‘Kelpies Don’t Fly: Valkyrie Bestiary Book 5’ by Kim McDougall

I’ve read all five of these now (this one came out in March of 2022) and am pleased that I have two or three shorts in the same milieu still to enjoy.

Unusually for series, the plotting of these novels has gotten ever better as the series develops. Usually the one idea the author started with was the good one, and the others in the series are weaker: absolutely not so with these.

The characters have also developed in satisfying and believable ways. The love story between Kyra and Mason is fully out in the open and there are elements of dull married couple creeping in. What am I saying! Their lives are still full of magic and mayhem and don’t stay dull for more than a paragraph. And then only for comparative purposes. But they are fully committed each to other, living in the ‘burbs, and Mason is going into politics (yuk!). The stability of the relationship enables McDougall to lay down some wise thoughts about family and friendship.

McDougall has thought through her back stories, enabling her to bring family members into the mix. In this case Kyra finds out that one of her cousin Valkyries, Gunora, became stuck on Earth at the same time that Kyra stranded herself when she destroyed Bifröst, the last bridge to Earth. Gunora is not on Kyra’s list of the inhabitants of Asgard she wants to see again.

McDougall also searches out yet more interesting mythical beasties (I do love me some mythical beasties) and tells us that the young of goblins are called goblits. I think she made that up: and I love it.

She also has her own Critter Wrangler Rules (a bit like NCIS’s Gibbs’ list of rules) which she frequently breaks. (That never ends well.) Mix all this mayhem inducing stuff together, and the plot develops from there.

I am not a fan of soppy-kissing romances, but this is almost on a par with Lethal Weapon 4 (I think that’s the right number) where Rene Russo and Mel Gibson show each other their scars (takes a while). Mud, blood and snot the lovers take in stride. Kyra and Mason have each other’s backs, at all times. For that I will forgive occasional knee-trembler ear nibblings. One can only yearn for that kind of attention in the real world.

This gets a resounding ***** from me.

Published by Judi Moore

Hi there, I hope you find something to interest you here. In December 2017 I published my fourth book – ‘Wonders will never cease’. It’s a satirical campus novel set in the fictional Ariel University in 1985. If you enjoyed Tom Sharpe’s Porterhouse novels, Willy Russell’s ‘Educating Rita’, David Lodge’s campus novels or Malcolm Bradbury’s ‘The History Man’ back in the day, you may enjoy revisiting the ivory towers of 1980s’ academe thirty years on. See what you think. “It is December, 1985. The year is winding gently towards its close until Fergus Girvan, a Classicist at Ariel University, finds his research has been stolen by the man who is also seeking to steal his daughter. But which man is, actually, the more unscrupulous of the two? And is there hope for either of them?” In the autumn of 2015 I published a volume of short fiction: 'Ice Cold Passion and other stories'. I am also the author of novella 'Little Mouse', a shortish piece of historical fiction which I published in 2014 and, a sequel to it, 'Is death really necessary?', my eco thriller set in the near future and which, confusingly, I published in 2009. All the books are available from all good online bookshops and FeedARead on paper, and as e-books on Kindle. On a semi-regular basis, and about a month after the event, I post here reviews which I do for Big Al & Pals, the premier reviewer of indie books, based in the States. My interests tend to thrillers, SF, magic realism and other quirky stuff. On this blog are also posted the reviews I did for Leighton Buzzard Music Club over some five years up to the end of 2015. LBMC present annual seasons of eight monthly chamber music concerts at the Library Theatre in Leighton Buzzard, Bucks. They select young musicians just beginning to make their name - and the concerts are usually magnificent. I was very proud to be associated with them. I review other music, books, theatre and exhibitions which I've particularly enjoyed. BTW - it says the link to Facebook is broken. I dispute that. Click it and see, why not?

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