What used to be Antarctica is no more. Shifted to the equator, the continent, now known as Antarktos, has thawed and bloomed. Endless ice has given way to lush tropical jungles, and all the people now living here are protected and led by Solomon Ull Vincent, the Last Hunter and King of Antarktos. My father.
I’ve been told that all the creatures of Antarktos, exotic and untamed, howled at the moment of my birth. If that wasn’t intimidating enough, I’ve also been told that I was born to be a hunter, that the blood coursing through my veins destined me to fight mankind’s most ancient enemy—the Nephilim, half-human, half-demon monsters determined to exterminate humanity.
My older sister, Aquila, thinks it all sounds glorious, but I don’t want it. Any of it. I prefer charcoals and a drawing pad to my Norse hammer. So I choose to ignore the stories. My heritage terrifies me. But when Aquila is kidnapped and dragged to the underworld to be broken and corrupted, our guardian, Zuh, is severely wounded and my father isn’t there to save them—I’m the only one who can.
From the monster-filled caves beneath Antarktos to the halls of Valhalla, I must embrace my heritage, face the fears that hold me hostage and save my sister before she kills our father. To save my family, and Antarktos, I must become a hunter, or perhaps something more…
My name is Norah Kainda Vincent, the Last Valkyrie. This is how my story begins.
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Guest blog posts:
I know how you’re feeling. I know the exhaustion that stretches across your skin and the emptiness returning to your chest after a long year. It has been a long one. You’ve survived so much. … [read more]
To the girl who faces mental illness every day:
You are not alone. I have been in your shoes. I have walked this road my whole life, and I have fought that battle to get out of bed in the morning, to stand through the trembling anxiety, to keep breathing when depression wanted to strangle me. It is a real battle. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you it isn’t. … [read more]
There is a reason why I don’t talk about God very much when I talk about mental illness. I think it’s because I’ve felt its sting myself. On hard days—days where panic rose in surges like a loose wire inside my chest, where I felt as though something inside my head had caved in and all the lights had gone out—I would try to express this struggle, try to ask for help.
My well-meaning fellow believers would not quite understand what it felt like to spend my days holding darkness at bay so that I could get dressed, do my work, go out in public and smile and make meaningless conversation. Often they would hear this side of me, a side they could not quite connect with, the healthy-looking girl in front of them, and they would try to heal an unfamiliar ache with something familiar to them: Keep trusting God. He’s got a plan for you. Pray about it. Seek Him. … [read more]
You do not have to hide. I see you there, hiding yourself, hiding from the people around you, hiding from God. And I know what it’s like to hide. I lived in hiding for a long time. See, I hid for the same reason that Adam and Eve did in the garden: I felt ashamed. … [read more]
Sometimes I feel I’ve lost my voice. Sometimes I feel like I have nothing to say, no encouragement to give—like I’m in a stuck place and can’t free myself, let alone help someone else find their way. And I wonder why God has called me to this: to be a writer, encourager, empathizer, counselor. … [read more]