Postcards from Valhalla

Postcards from Valhalla

By Author / Illustrator

Danny Weston


Myths & Legends

Age range(s)



UCLan Publishing




Paperback / softback




Viggo is fifteen years old, living in Edinburgh with his mum. He has no plans for the future other than to watch the new Thor movie at his local multiplex. But one morning, he wakes to the news that his older brother, Magnus, has gone missing on Shetland. Mum has already booked tickets to go and search for him.

There's good reason to be worried. Five years ago, Viggo's dad, Jonathan, went 'off grid' in the same location and disappeared. He is now 'missing presumed dead.' Viggo has no option but to go to Shetland with Mum - but from the moment they set off, he's troubled by strange visions: images of armed warriors, mythical creatures and Viking longships. And then they encounter Leon, a mysterious wandering musician who attaches himself to them and proves impossible to shake off.

Once on Shetland, the search for Magnus begins in earnest and Viggo's troubling visions start to intensify. Soon he is finding it difficult to separate fact from fantasy... and who knows what terrors lie in wait for him deep beneath the ground?



Visions, Vikings, myths, mystery and adventure all combine in this thrilling novel set in the Shetland Isles by master of teen noire and macabre Danny Weston.

15 year old Viggo's plans for the week reached as far as seeing the next Thor movie with his friends. But his mum has other ideas. His older brother Magnus has gone missing in Shetland - the place his dad disappeared from five years ago - and she informs Viggo they are heading to Shetland to find him straight away. The ferry journey from Aberdeen is far from smooth for Viggo and his mum, who also meet the mysterious musician, Leon, who latches onto them and is determined to help them with their quest - no matter what. And Leon isn't the only thing to accompany them in Shetland as Viggo becomes troubled by strange dreams and visions, including from his missing father warning his to stop following him.  As the search for Magnus starts, it's clear that the Shetland Isles will not give up their secrets easily, and that some secrets should remain buried.

In Postcards From Valhalla, Danny Weston has written a wonderfully atmospheric and mysterious novel set on the Shetland Isles. As well as describing the landscape so well, I enjoyed the mysteries that ran through the novel, complete with plenty of twists and turns - not least tied to the character of Leon. Just when I thought I had a handle on him, I realised I'd got him wrong! He's a maverick but with an edge of menace about him, too, especially around what he really wants with Viggo and his mum.

Viggo comes across as a very typical teenager, especially in the mood and huffing departments which readers may relate too! But he's also very protective towards his mum which sometimes is the cause of conflict between them. The pace of the novel is like Viggo's stomach on the ferry to Shetland, going up and down, allowing the reader time to think about what is going on and then being swept along with the action - the novel strikes just the right balance.

There are some very tense and emotional scenes in the novel, especially around Viggo and his visions in the old house and the journey beneath the Yggdrasil - which left be breathless! Adding to the drama of the book, Weston has added five QR codes at key points, which if scanned, take you to videos recorded in different parts of Shetland, giving further information about the setting and story. It's a nice interactive touch and helps give a sense of place, though wouldn't detract from the story if you couldn't access them.

The references to Shetland's Viking past and geography made me want to find out more about these islands I know very little about, and that's where perhaps a map and glossary would be useful to give readers unfamiliar with Shetland further information and enjoyment. The lack of them though takes nothing away from the story.

This is another great novel from Danny Weston, offering a story full of adventure, suspense, mystery and a constant feeling that something ominous could be about to happen! Recommended.

336 pages / Reviewed by Stephen Leitch, school librarian

Suggested Reading Age 14+


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