Review of ‘The Weight of a Soul’

By Cynthia Bujnicki

The Weight of a Soul by Elizabeth Tammi
Image Credit: NetGalley

When Lena finds her sister’s body death without a mark, she is beside herself with grief. After making a pact with Hela, Lena embarks on a journey that will cost her her soul should she fall into darkness.

Published by Flux, The Weight of a Soul by Elizabeth Tammi is a YA fantasy filled with Norse mythology.

What a disappointing read. The Weight of a Soul follows Lena, daughter of a Viking Chieftain who makes a deal with Hela, the Norse goddess of Death and Hel, to bring her sister back from Valhalla in exchange for another’s soul. This bargain forces her to ask the question of what determines the value of a soul and makes her question what it means to take a life.

The story has such an exciting start to it, and the representation of Helheim and Hela leaves the reader with a strong impression, but the rest of the characters, fall flat. Moreover, even though Lena is given the most time to develop as a character, she still does not have a strong enough personality to connect to the reader. After the loss of her sister, she loses herself, and while her grief is understandable, her path to the end of the novel alienates her from the reader. Her progression and development is well done, of that, there is no doubt, but her personality is not enough to carry the novel.

As for the other characters, they do not bring anything to the table. Amal and his mother, well his mother is wholly unlikeable in the way she changes her mind. Yes, it is due to her age, but she makes no apologies for it. Then Amal, he is pretty docile, and the fascinating thing to come from him is the fact that he was from somewhere else and can read runes. Yes, this is only used for the opening pages and never fully realized for later on. It is just an interesting tidbit. As for Lena’s mother and sister, well, her sister does not get enough time to develop and her mother; she is another frigid character.

These characters do not make the reader care about them.

Moreover, while the focus of the story is supposed to be about Ragnarök, as hinted at in the book blurb, there is hardly any build to it. The Norse Gods are hardly in the novel, even if they play a significant part in the overall plot of the story, it would have been nice to see more of them and how integral they are in the storytelling.

The story eventually leads to a predictable ending and does an excellent job of presenting Lena with a strong challenge, creating just enough tension to make the story interesting enough to read ultimately. (★★★☆☆)

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Product Details:

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

Page count: 320pp

Age Range: 14 & Over

ISBN: 978-1-6358-3044-6

Publisher: Flux

List Price: $11.99


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