With Shield and Ink and Bone is a YA Historical Fantasy Romance by Casey L Bond.
A hard-earned shield.
Days before she is to take her place as a shield maiden, like her mother before her, two deaths alter the course of Liv’s future. One belonged to a witch who called her by name, the other a chieftain from the north. Vengeance for the chieftain’s death comes in a wild fury that burns her village and slaughters her family. Left for dead, Liv pleads to Skuld – norn and weaver of the future – to spare her. A deal is struck that will endow her with the dark magic needed to claim her vengeance. But this power comes at an unfathomable price…
Ink made from the ashes of loved ones.
After his home is attacked, Calder races to warn neighboring villages of the threat. Little does he know he’s traveling into the path of fate that will lead him straight to Liv. Despite being broken, angry, and overwhelmed by power she cannot contain, it’s her willingness to defend others that draws Calder to her.
Armor forged from the bones of those she held dear.
Together, Liv and Calder discover they are two sides of the same sharpened blade. Rising from the heartache and fury in their pasts, they see a future together worth fighting for. With their strengths and hearts combined, can they become a force powerful enough to defeat the fleet of darkness coming for them? Or will the thread of fate that binds them unravel?
With Shield and Ink and Bone takes you back to a time where Vikings roamed and fought and the Norse gods claimed warriors as their own while the Fates played a heavy role in their lives. From the beginning of the book we meet the main protagonist Liv, who has a strong relationship with her brother Hodor and the rest of her family.
Liv is preparing for a fight to earn her shield from her mother and where her world tilts after meeting a witch with a warning. Her fate changes after her family and village die and she refuses too. I love that Norse mythology is woven throughout and Liv’s deal with Skuld highlights this
“Weave a new destiny for me. Weave a future where I can taste his tears and watch the light bleed from his eyes”
Bond builds a web of characters that build Liv up to the person she is with the strength to continue to fight Fenris Wolf. After the loss of her family, the little family she builds with Calder, Fell, Sig, Armund, Tyr and Hilla show that even though she has a destiny, she makes connections with others, her humanity shines through. Liv is a strong shield maiden, whose strength stems from the need to protect the ones she loves which is her new built family.
“These people were family. They took care of one another. They fought for one another. Back to back. Swords toward their enemies. Ready to fight, bleed, and die to protect others.”
Bond slowly builds up Liv’s relationship with Calder was amazingly done and I loved all their small interactions and them swimming. Throughout the whole book, Liv’s vengeance is her main drive, however, through Calder, she gains a new reason to live and want something more for her life than death.
“With shield and ink and bone, I will have my vengeance”
“Fight as one, live as one”
Bond ticks all the boxes for a truely amazing Viking romance novel, one that I will be reading again and again. I recommend this book to readers who loved Sky in the Deep and Girl the Sea Gave Back.