Saturday, 17 November 2018

Merry Happy Valkyrie by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Merry Happy Valkyrie by Tansy Rayner Roberts is a Christmas-themed novella set in a strange small town in Tasmania. I'm not usually one for Christmas-themed stories or capital-R Romance but I made an exception because I wanted something lighthearted and I am a fan of Roberts' work. As it transpired, it's heavier on the fantasy than the romance, so that worked out well for me.i

Norse myth and magic collides with a small town Tasmanian Christmas in this festive romantic fantasy!

Lief Fraser has mixed feelings about returning home to Matilda, the only Australian town where it always snows at Christmas. As a TV weather presenter, it’s her job to report on the strange holiday phenomenon… but as a local, it’s her duty to preserve Matilda’s many magical secrets.

Then pretty Audrey Astor rolls into town to shoot the ultimate romantic Australian Christmas movie with her film crew. Sparks fly, secrets unravel… and soon everyone will know exactly how Mt Valkyrie got its name.

This was a fun read. Lief is a meteorologist who has been sent to cover the freak weather that frequently strikes her home town. Except she knows that the snow in northern Tasmania in December is more due to magic than any natural meteorology. (Northern hemisphere readers should remember that it is summer during December in southern Australia.) Lief's job isn't so much to cover the strange weather but to stop anyone noticing just how strange the weather really is. And there are camera crews to dodge and carefully direct.

This was a really enjoyable tale. Aside from the inherently amusing premise of trying to hide magic snow from reporters, Lief has family obligations to feel guilty about and exes too feel awkward (or not) around. The underlying premise of why there is weird snow was also really interesting, though I won't spoil it here.

I highly recommend this novella to fans of feel-good fantasy stories. I think fans of Christmas stories will also enjoy it, but I think those who feel ambivalently or negatively about Christmas will still find much to enjoy here. It's not sappy and any Christmas cheesiness is relatively minor.

4.5 / 5 stars

First published: End of November 2018, Twelfth Planet Press
Series: No
Format read: eARC
Source: Publisher
Disclaimer: Although the author is a friend, I have endeavoured to write an unbiased review

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