Book Review: The Unyielding by Shelly Laurenston

Title: The Unyielding (Call of Crows #3)
Authors: Shelly Laurenston
Reviewer: Ivy @PoisonIvy70
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Rating: 5 stars

Stieg Engstrom, Angriest Viking Ever, has got big problems. The human Viking Clans of earth are in danger of being obliterated—along with the rest of the world—and the only one who may be able to save them is a super pain-in-the-ass Crow. Most people annoy Stieg, but this is the one woman he really can’t stand…

Erin Amsel loves being a Crow! Why wouldn’t she when the other Viking Clans are so hilariously arrogant and humorless? She’s not about to let all that come to an end! She just didn’t expect to be shoulder to shoulder in battle with Stieg. Then again, he’s so easy to torment—and also kind of cute.

With the future of the world riding on them, Stieg knows he’ll have to put aside his desperate need to kiss the smirk right off Erin’s face. Wait. What? He didn’t mean that—did he? No! They have one goal: To conquer the idiots. Because nothing bugs Stieg more than when idiots win. If only he can keep himself from suddenly acting like one.

My happy (Viking) place. The story arc finally comes to a head…heh. It’s been building and it’s finally here – the Nine Clans vs Gullveig, the crazy golden goddess who basically wants to shred our reality into confetti and bring about Ragnarok. You know, the usual apocalypse type thing. Only Erin Amsel, our resident Crow most likely to die by GSW to the head while saying “she/he/they started it,” can save the world. Her straight man, er I mean, companion on this journey is Stieg Engstrom, a Raven with a hard scrabble past and a deep affection for goats. Yep, it’s that kind of story. *blinks* I don’t mean he *loves* goats, he just sleeps with them. In a friend… *frowns* you know what, screw it, it’s not that pervy, get your heads out of the gutter, people!  Anyway, there are alot of scenes showcasing many of the characters that we’ve met throughout this series, so pay attention because there are ALOT. Full enjoyment is had if you read from the beginning.

The humor. This paranormal/urban fantasy series has been a hoot from beginning to end, with a big dependence on Norse mythology and alot of smartass banter. The interaction between Erin and pretty much everyone had me snort-laughing like a madwoman. I could pull quote after quote, but in the interest of keeping as spoiler-free as possible, I’ll just say that the humor can be gleefully raunchy and pulls as few punches as the Crows do. If this isn’t your gig, well, it’s definitely mine.

-Romance is secondary to Ragnarok. While Erin is a woman after my smartass heart and Stieg can handle her brand of insanity, but I have to say that this series in general hasn’t been about the individual romances. Now, I’m a total romance geek, so of course I want more. Yes, I’m hella-greedy. But I can’t always get what I want. Instead, Shelly gave me what I need, which is a great story that entertains the hell out of me. The romances still anchor each book and give the reader a nice sense of completion with each entry, but it’s about these characters working, fighting, fucking, laughing, (sometimes through blood sweat and tears) and serving their gods while protecting the Unknowing (that would be us regular folk without powers or cool wings).

-That last paragraph. That last bit where things are about to go HAM, would aggravate me if this was a true cliffy but it’s not. There’s a good resolution to all, and I’m not anxious and annoyed. I’m here for it.

I looooved it. If you like paranormal/urban fantasy (and perhaps are into the TV series Vikings), I encourage you to check out these books. Based on the same Norse mythology but set in modern day LA, it’s got a solid overarching storyline, very funny dialogue, action-packed and with a standalone romance for each entry. I want more Crows, and Ravens and Protectors, oh my.

– Ivy

*An ARC was received for an honest review.

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