The Valkyrie

The Valkyrie
Cover by Andrew Davis.

Published in 2023 by HarperVoyager UK. About 320 pages.

Edited by Jane Johnson.

Brynhild is a Valkyrie: shieldmaiden of the All-Father, chooser of the slain. But now she too has fallen, flightless in her exile. Gudrun is a princess of Burgundy, a daughter of the Rhine, a prize for an invading king – a king whose brother Attila has other plans, and a dragon to call upon. And in the songs to be sung, there is another hero: Sigurd, a warrior with a sword sharper than the new moon. As the legends tell, these names are destined to be rivals, fated as enemies. But legends can be lies…

The CBC All In a Day Book Club discussed The Valkyrie. Listen to the segments here.

Content note here.

My Kindle notes and highlights for this book, about the sources and my writing process, can be read here.

Listen to first five minutes of the audiobook here.

THE VALKYRIE is a richly-told and deeply-felt tale about finding one’s place in the world. A sharp, radiant book to fit the women whose stories it recounts.

Kate Heartfield is one of those rare writers who always make me feel as if what they’re writing, no matter how fantastical, is true. Whatever she told me in a story, I would believe it. Gods and dragons and all.

—Natalia Theodoridou, winner of the World Fantasy Award


Reading The Valkyrie, I felt as if I were meeting old friends again for the first time. Kate Heartfield has taken a story I’ve read in many incarnations and still surprised and delighted me. Practically every sentence in The Valkyrie is a brilliant kenning, glittering brightly enough to match Fafnir’s hoard. This fierce and imaginative retelling, full of history and magic, does for the Ring Cycle what Atwood’s Penelopiad did for The Odyssey.

—Chadwick Ginther, Aurora-winning author of the Thunder Road trilogy


The Valkyrie sings, like the epic it is, without ever letting go of its groundedness, its bloodiedness. A secret history of the sagas, a story from behind the stories of old‒a war story, a love story that, once you see it emerge gleaming and gory from those bardic silences, seems like it was always there.—Vajra Chandrasekera, author of The Saint of Bright Doors