The First Girl Child
From ​the New York Times bestselling author comes a breathtaking fantasy of a cursed kingdom, warring clans, and unexpected salvation.Bayr of Saylok, bastard son of a powerful and jealous chieftain, is haunted by the curse once leveled by his dying mother. Bartered, abandoned, and rarely loved, she plagued the land with her words: From this day forward, there will be no daughters in Saylok.Raised among the Keepers at Temple Hill, Bayr is gifted with inhuman strength. But he’s also blessed with an all-too-human heart that beats with one purpose: to protect Alba, the first girl child born in nearly two decades and the salvation for a country at risk.Now the fate of Saylok lies with Alba and Bayr, whose bond grows deeper with every whisper of coming chaos. Charged with battling the enemies of their people, both within and without, Bayr is fueled further by the love of a girl who has defied the scourge of Saylok.What Bayr and Alba don’t know is that they each threaten the king, a greedy man who built his throne on lies, murder, and betrayal. There is only one way to defend their land from the corruption that has overtaken it. By breaking the curse, they could defeat the king…but they could also destroy themselves.

The First Girl Child Details

TitleThe First Girl Child
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 20th, 2019
PublisherBrilliance Audio
ISBN-139781721386963
Rating
GenreFantasy, Romance

The First Girl Child Review

  • Alex ✰ Comets and Comments ✰
    January 1, 1970
    "In the beginning, they’d rejoiced. Sons were always preferable. Sons were the lifeblood. The protectors. The warriors. The farmers. How foolish they’d all been." I don't really have to proper words to describe just how well-crafted and ingenious The First Girl Child was. So, this review is going to be a shell of what it potentially could be, simply because Amy Harmon completely stole my words away and I'm jealous of those that may experience this for the first time._______________ The World "In the beginning, they’d rejoiced. Sons were always preferable. Sons were the lifeblood. The protectors. The warriors. The farmers. How foolish they’d all been." I don't really have to proper words to describe just how well-crafted and ingenious The First Girl Child was. So, this review is going to be a shell of what it potentially could be, simply because Amy Harmon completely stole my words away and I'm jealous of those that may experience this for the first time._______________ The World The First Girl Child takes place in a land called Saylok, named after the son of Odin. Odin created an island for Saylok as he loved both nature and wanted to hide away from the ideals of men. However, Loki, being the God of Mischief, set out to see Saylok suffer and afflicted all six of Saylok's sons that were born in the six different villages. Each son soon began to take the form of different animals, Adyar the eagle, Berne the bear, Ebba the boar, Dolphys the wolf, Joran the horse, and Leok the lion. In result, Saylok formed a temple in the midst of these six villages in order to appoint keepers to protect the lands, runes and his children. We know from Norse mythology that Odin did not have any such son named Saylok, but Harmon's imagination and vivid descriptions of the world and the history makes it almost seem too real. Our story takes place many generations after the birth of Saylok's land, and now our chieftains of each village only resemble their animal ancestries. We begin by following a keeper named Dagmar and his safe-keeping of his deceased sister's son. I went into this story not knowing much except the blurb and although it pulled me in, I really cannot begin to explain how much more this novel holds. It follows the journey of many people; some bad, some worse but most who are bold. Yes, this has tinges of romance but the key focus lies on the story of different people in search of themselves. “You make me want to be seen,” she said, and his gaze shot to hers, searing, searching. “I have always seen you, Ghost.” The Story In all honesty, The First Girl Child is a clever commentary on the misogynistic injustices of a social society whilst also being a kick-ass fantasy novel with both adventure and intrigue. The undertones of feminism laced within the world-building was something that I've never seen before in such a traditional take on fantasy. We weren't left with lots of info-dumps or a prolonged introduction of the characters, only a longing that never really stopped until the last page. This novel read more like a magical tale or legend, parred with Harmon's lush visuals and captivating writing.This story gets slow at times, which is the only reason I couldn't give it five stars. It spans more than twenty years, so don't expect a fast-paced novel. Yet, it made the gripping parts even more thrilling. The "magic" or rune system in this book is the best kind of slow burn because you understand its symbolism and meaning more towards the end. Even if the story stalls at times, don't give up. The First Girl Child can break your heart only to patch it up again in the best way and I highly recommend picking it up! “Life is not kind to women,” Ghost sighed. “My sister said the same thing. But life is not especially kind to men either. Life is suffering, and we all suffer.” “Mayhaps God did not love your sister as much as his other children?” Ghost heard her bitterness and met his gaze with defiance. “Or mayhaps he loved her more and could not be without her.” The relationships between Alba and Bayr + Ghost and Dagmar + Bayr and Dagmar and even Ivo + The Chieftains were so brilliantly layered that I could separate the characteristics of each one and none of them would be the same. The clear distinctions between themes of love, redemption, sacrifice, power and grief were brutally co-dependent but each relationship had its own uniqueness. Least to say, I think everyone should pick this book up, for more reasons than one. “We are abused. We are used. We are bartered and abandoned. But rarely are we loved. So be it. From this day forward, there will be no daughters in Saylok for any of you to love.” Trigger warnings for self harm (a part of the rune system), abuse, heavy misogyny.The quotes in this review are taken from an ARC and are subject to change preceding final publication.
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  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    Five in the name Nordic kings, gods, mythological, full of runes, mystic, lyrical, powerful, ghost-ly stars!Amy Harmon is one of the talented writers always knows how to take you journeys at different time zones from Irish Revolution to the middle of World War second and some unknown mystical kingdom doors. She plays the words like instruments and creates amazing, soul-brushing, heart-healing compositions, that you wanna read over and over again to feel joyful and delighted ! That’s how I felt a Five in the name Nordic kings, gods, mythological, full of runes, mystic, lyrical, powerful, ghost-ly stars!Amy Harmon is one of the talented writers always knows how to take you journeys at different time zones from Irish Revolution to the middle of World War second and some unknown mystical kingdom doors. She plays the words like instruments and creates amazing, soul-brushing, heart-healing compositions, that you wanna read over and over again to feel joyful and delighted ! That’s how I felt as soon as I finish this wonderful, compelling, heroic , encouraging, Nordic fairy tale. Characterization: THERE IS NO ALBA WITHOUT BAYR.Bayr, a giant, strong, tough, carries an enormous, beautiful heart that only belongs to Alba.And sweet, brave, loyal, lovely Alba who also carries a genuine, kind, poignant heart, only but forever belongs to Bayr.Bayr was her keeper, her guardian, her best friend, confidant, first and last love. It was amazing to read their growing up, devotion, unconditional connection.I also enjoy Dagmar and Ghost’s stories. It is not fair to think them as supporting characters. Their forbidden love story, their affection and loyalty to Bayr and Alba were marvelous. My heart broke for them. Especially the parts that Ghost stands up for all the five girls who turned into gifted warriors and the way she puts her life at risk for her daughter was so worth to read! I like to clap and shout as “Go Ghost Go!”. And Dagmar, humble, born and raised warrior who changed his way to be keeper did whatever it took to save Bayr from the danger of the enemies!PACE: At first I thought it was slow but after few pages I realized it was not. Not too slow or fast. Understanding the whole journey, we have to start from beginning. So there are not a word is needed to be edit from this book. Each one has its own magic and power!STORY DEVELOPMENT: Fasten your seat belts to take a memorable, mythological journey including Norse magic and powerful blood runes. This book is full of surprises make you smile, curse, cry like a baby! You need to open your feelings to absorb each beautiful chapters like your life depends on them.PLEASE DO NOT READ BOOKS WITH YOUR EYES! READ IT WITH YOUR HEART!ENDING:My hands hurt but I applauded a lot! This is an epic final! I think you may consider this as one of the greatest book about power of women and their abilities, strength and determination to do what it takes!SUMMARY:LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!I’m one of the luckiest to grab my ARC COPY so special thanks to 47North and NetGalley for providing this amazing book to me as an exchange of my honest review. I truly, honestly enjoyed it!
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  • Navessa
    January 1, 1970
    So good I cosplayed as Lagertha while filming this. Watch the full review on YouTube.Thanks so much to 47North for granting our ARC request of this on NetGalley. It's still up if you want to grab an advanced copy of this stellar historical fantasy with romantic subplots. Otherwise, you get to wait until it releases in August. Blog | FB | Twitter | IG | Pinterest | Tumblr | YouTube
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  • Helena of Sparta ✰
    January 1, 1970
    I received this complimentary ARC from the publisher, courtesy of NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.I loved Making Faces. I loved The Law of Moses. And I LOVED The Bird and the Sword. So, I think it's safe to say that I'll love this, too!
  • Amy Harmon
    January 1, 1970
    A breathtaking fantasy of a cursed kingdom, warring clans, and unexpected salvation. The First Girl Child, a historical fantasy, will be released in ebook, paperback and audio on August 20, 2019.Available on:KINDLE | PAPERBACK | AUDIO For as the woman is of the man.Even so is the man also of the woman.1 Corinthians 11:22 Within the walls and behind the Temple doors lives an unexpected salvation—a girl. She was framed by the light of the gray afternoon. And in that moment he saw the woman A breathtaking fantasy of a cursed kingdom, warring clans, and unexpected salvation. The First Girl Child, a historical fantasy, will be released in ebook, paperback and audio on August 20, 2019.Available on:KINDLE | PAPERBACK | AUDIO For as the woman is of the man.Even so is the man also of the woman.1 Corinthians 11:22 Within the walls and behind the Temple doors lives an unexpected salvation—a girl. She was framed by the light of the gray afternoon. And in that moment he saw the woman and not the child. "You must promise me that when you are grown, even if you are afraid, even if you do not want to be king, you will do what must be done." Available on:KINDLE | PAPERBACK | AUDIO Copyright © Amy Harmon WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | AMAZON | BOOKBUB | NEWSLETTER
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  • Pavlina Read more sleep less blog❤❤
    January 1, 1970
    4-4,5 STARSSuch a brilliant and unique story!I love whatever genre she writes, and I always go blind to her stories!I don't need a synopsis because I simply know it will be another fantastic read!The story line is interesting,original and captivating!Everything needed their time and their got it!This is a slow story in my opinion and this is what make me not give it 5 stars but still it was an unforgettable read! "I've come to believe that home is not a place. Home is inside of us. Home is the p 4-4,5 STARSSuch a brilliant and unique story!I love whatever genre she writes, and I always go blind to her stories!I don't need a synopsis because I simply know it will be another fantastic read!The story line is interesting,original and captivating!Everything needed their time and their got it!This is a slow story in my opinion and this is what make me not give it 5 stars but still it was an unforgettable read! "I've come to believe that home is not a place. Home is inside of us. Home is the people we love. Home is what we strive for."    
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  • warhawke
    January 1, 1970
    Genre: FantasyType: StandalonePOV: Third PersonRating: The day Bayr was born, the kingdom of Saylok changed irrevocably. Unbeknownst to the people, a curse was unleashed that made them barren of female newborns. As the years progressed and desperation mounted, Alba became the first girl child to be born in Saylok. But hope for her to be their salvation was shattered when the curse persisted. He would do anything to protect her and neither of them had any idea how their fate intertwined with the Genre: FantasyType: StandalonePOV: Third PersonRating: The day Bayr was born, the kingdom of Saylok changed irrevocably. Unbeknownst to the people, a curse was unleashed that made them barren of female newborns. As the years progressed and desperation mounted, Alba became the first girl child to be born in Saylok. But hope for her to be their salvation was shattered when the curse persisted. He would do anything to protect her and neither of them had any idea how their fate intertwined with the survival of their kingdom. Once in a while, I started a book and I just knew it was going to be something special. It happened rarely but this book is one of it. For me, the story was told subtly but made a deep impression internally - not in your face, but gut-punched you to the floor. “You are a protector, Bayr. And I believe you’ve been given power to defend this land—every clan. You are not Bayr, the Temple Boy. You are not Bayr of Berne or Dolphys. You are Bayr of Saylok, and you must defend this land from her enemies within and without.” The best thing about this book is the characters and the bonds they form with each other. Blood played an important role in the story in more than one way, but it wasn’t the only thing that brought them together. I loved the characters’ loyalty, devotion, and sacrifices. I had a hard time picking a favorite because each of them was significant in their own way. But Dagmar earned his place for the choices he made. I love mythology, so I enjoyed the Norse influences in the storyline. The plot was engaging especially with the mystical and the religious aspect of the story. To love was to be at the mercy of someone else. To love was to be controlled. The First Girl Child is a tale of love and heroism. It would appeal to readers looking for a captivating Viking inspired fantasy. ♦ ⚔ ♦. . . (F)BR With Twinsie CC & Loyda . . .♦ ⚔ ♦ For more reviews/reveals/giveaways visit:
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  • Sophie
    January 1, 1970
    5 surprised stars  “We are abused. We are used. We are bartered and abandoned. But rarely are we loved. So be it. From this day forward, there will be no daughters in Saylok for any of you to love.”   “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” as Ari https://readingunderstreetlamps.wordpress.com (my buddy reader said) this could be the motto of this book!The first thing that astonished me in this book is a totally different writing style from what I have read from Amy so far. Still very beautifu 5 surprised stars  “We are abused. We are used. We are bartered and abandoned. But rarely are we loved. So be it. From this day forward, there will be no daughters in Saylok for any of you to love.”   “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” as Ari https://readingunderstreetlamps.wordpress.com (my buddy reader said) this could be the motto of this book!The first thing that astonished me in this book is a totally different writing style from what I have read from Amy so far. Still very beautiful though.I can't pinpoint the difference but it had a more “tale” quality. It was simpler. Naked, free of any unnecessary embellishment. It was raw like these Norse men. And it fitted the story to a T!The focal point of this story was women’s power or lack of. The women in that time and place could become warriors but were always second to men. If they were nobles they were seen as investments to forge alliances. And everything began when a woman, Desdemona, was rejected by her lover for a high-ranking woman, hoping to become king that way. But fear the woman you have wronged as she holds a great power!I loved the power of women. The greed of men and their foolish pride would be their damnation. Decades would go by with great suffering for the people because of a single curse. You can’t deny that Desdemona could hold a grudge like no one else! One of our heroes is the young Bayr, Desdemona’s son and he’ll dedicate his life to protect Alba, the daughter of king Bayr.Bayr was solid. Loyal. A protector. Hel lived for his duty. Selfless he was humble as he was afflicted by a stutter who made him seem simple to other men. I would say that Bayr himself thought little of his intelligence but it did not bother him. He did not want to outshine everyone. He may have been gifted with enormous strength, looking like Hercules, he just wanted to serve and protect. I dare you not to love that child/man who'd rather observe and listen than talk. “I want to protect,” Bayr answered without thought or hesitation. It had always been the single-minded purpose of his young life. “I w-want to protect Saylok and the temple. I w-want to protect the princess and the d-daughters of the clans. I want to protect D-Dagmar and the k-keepers.” “You want to protect those you love.” Bayr nodded. Alba is your free-spirited child. She did not often take center stage. Or at least not before a long time as she was an infant. Bayr would have died for her. From the first second he laid eyes on her, at her birth, she’s been his sole purpose in life!Of course you can probably guess that a budding romance will come one day but strangely, Alba did feel more like a side character than a main character!  My favorite character in this book was Ghost! I won’t tell too much about her purpose or who she is to whom let’s just say that Ghost embodies maternal love in its purest form. I loved her because she was gentle even after having been ostracized for her otherness all her life. Fate never smiled on her. Yet she discreetly protected in her own way.She touched my heart and soul. I prayed for her HEA. I wanted her to have some joy she’s been denied for so long. “You are still very young.” “I am old inside,” she whispered, and he nodded as though he understood.  I realize while writing this review that both Bayr and Ghost were humble characters. And I seem to appreciate these kind characters. Because that’s one of the things Amy does best: take ordinary men and women (well Bayr was maybe not ordinary) and make them extraordinary.Last but not least of our main characters, Dagmar was a worthy hero. He was a father to Bayr. A humble man determined to be a keeper and fight his warrior of a father to follow his dream. But as much as becoming a keeper was his dream he would have renounced his calling if it meant losing Bayr.I was immediately immersed in that story as I loved the plot, the mythology, learning to understand these people. That book is filled with Norse magic, with the power of runes. Blood runes that could curse a whole land. Blood runes that should not be known by everyone as they held so much power! And I loved that grand finale! I wanted to shout “Atta girl!”  The pace is just right, not rushed nor too slow; the villain was a true villain who had two faces and the hero was strong gifted by the gods similar to the heroes of old from mythology.What more reason do you need to read it???? Thanks for reading! Sophie Find me on:Wordpress: Beware Of The ReaderFacebook: Beware Of The Reader Facebook group : Beware Book Boyfriends Alert Instagram: @bewareofthereader Twitter: @BewareOffReader
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  • Bibi
    January 1, 1970
    *Spoilers, maybe*Hmm....I can't quite place my finger on what's missing. Could it be a lack of urgency? As in:1. the pacing was slow2. the magic system was largely unutilized3. the justification for the curse was flimsy at best 4. there were too many irrelevant scenes (Ghost and the 3 marauders)5. the love connection between Alba & Bayr was tepid and unconvincing6. the plot twist- of marrying Alba off to the King of the Northmen - was introduced too late.7. the villain was only on-page a han *Spoilers, maybe*Hmm....I can't quite place my finger on what's missing. Could it be a lack of urgency? As in:1. the pacing was slow2. the magic system was largely unutilized3. the justification for the curse was flimsy at best 4. there were too many irrelevant scenes (Ghost and the 3 marauders)5. the love connection between Alba & Bayr was tepid and unconvincing6. the plot twist- of marrying Alba off to the King of the Northmen - was introduced too late.7. the villain was only on-page a handful of times and even then his presence was subordinate to the other clansmen who popped (Aidan, for instance)8. I didn't care about Alba even though she was our main heroine, instead, I found Ghost much more interesting and wanted her to exist outside of the confines of the grieving/despondent/weak character. Ultimately though, the stakes were never quite consequential enough (I mean why should I care if the runes got into the wrong hands?) and the resolutions seemed incidental. That said, the prose was sublime, haunting, and captivating which made it difficult to put down.
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  • Sophie
    January 1, 1970
    5 surprised stars “We are abused. We are used. We are bartered and abandoned. But rarely are we loved. So be it. From this day forward, there will be no daughters in Saylok for any of you to love.”  “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” as Ari https://readingunderstreetlamps.wordpress.com (my buddy reader said) this could be the motto of this book!The first thing that astonished me in this book is a totally different writing style from what I have read from Amy so far. Still very beautiful th 5 surprised stars “We are abused. We are used. We are bartered and abandoned. But rarely are we loved. So be it. From this day forward, there will be no daughters in Saylok for any of you to love.”  “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” as Ari https://readingunderstreetlamps.wordpress.com (my buddy reader said) this could be the motto of this book!The first thing that astonished me in this book is a totally different writing style from what I have read from Amy so far. Still very beautiful though.I can't pinpoint the difference but it had a more “tale” quality. It was simpler. Naked, free of any unnecessary embellishment. It was raw like these Norse men. And it fitted the story to a T!The focal point of this story was women’s power or lack of.The women in that time and place could become warriors but were always second to men. If they were nobles they were seen as investments to forge alliances. And everything began when a woman, Desdemona, was rejected by her lover for a high-ranking woman, hoping to become king that way. But fear the woman you have wronged as she holds a great power!I loved the power of women. The greed of men and their foolish pride would be their damnation. Decades would go by with great suffering for the people because of a single curse.You can’t deny that Desdemona could hold a grudge like no one else! One of our heroes is the young Bayr, Desdemona’s son and he’ll dedicate his life to protect Alba, the daughter of king Bayr.Bayr was solid. Loyal. A protector. Hel lived for his duty. Selfless he was humble as he was afflicted by a stutter who made him seem simple to other men. I would say that Bayr himself thought little of his intelligence but it did not bother him. He did not want to outshine everyone. He may have been gifted with enormous strength, looking like Hercules, he just wanted to serve and protect. I dare you not to love that child/man who'd rather observe and listen than talk.“I want to protect,” Bayr answered without thought or hesitation. It had always been the single-minded purpose of his young life. “I w-want to protect Saylok and the temple. I w-want to protect the princess and the d-daughters of the clans. I want to protect D-Dagmar and the k-keepers.” “You want to protect those you love.” Bayr nodded.Alba is your free-spirited child. She did not often take center stage. Or at least not before a long time as she was an infant. Bayr would have died for her. From the first second he laid eyes on her, at her birth, she’s been his sole purpose in life!Of course you can probably guess that a budding romance will come one day but strangely, Alba did feel more like a side character than a main character! My favorite character in this book was Ghost! I won’t tell too much about her purpose or who she is to whom let’s just say that Ghost embodies maternal love in its purest form. I loved her because she was gentle even after having been ostracized for her otherness all her life. Fate never smiled on her. Yet she discreetly protected in her own way.She touched my heart and soul. I prayed for her HEA. I wanted her to have some joy she’s been denied for so long.“You are still very young.” “I am old inside,” she whispered, and he nodded as though he understood. I realize while writing this review that both Bayr and Ghost were humble characters. And I seem to appreciate these kind characters. Because that’s one of the things Amy does best: take ordinary men and women (well Bayr was maybe not ordinary) and make them extraordinary.Last but not least of our main characters, Dagmar was a worthy hero. He was a father to Bayr. A humble man determined to be a keeper and fight his warrior of a father to follow his dream. But as much as becoming a keeper was his dream he would have renounced his calling if it meant losing Bayr.I was immediately immersed in that story as I loved the plot, the mythology, learning to understand these people. That book is filled with Norse magic, with the power of runes. Blood runes that could curse a whole land. Blood runes that should not be known by everyone as they held so much power! And I loved that grand finale! I wanted to shout “Atta girl!” The pace is just right, not rushed nor too slow; the villain was a true villain who had two faces and the hero was strong gifted by the gods similar to the heroes of old from mythology.What more reason do you need to read it???? Thanks for reading! Sophie Find me on:Wordpress: Beware Of The ReaderFacebook: Beware Of The Reader Facebook group : Beware Book Boyfriends Alert Instagram: @bewareofthereader Twitter: @BewareOffReader
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  • Christie«SHBBblogger»
    January 1, 1970
    Title: The First Girl ChildAuthor: Amy HarmonRelease date: August 20, 2019Cliffhanger: NoGenre: fantasyFair warning, I'm going to have to gush over this book a little. There's just no getting around it when you fall in love with a story this completely. I've been reading Amy Harmon's books for four years now and although I haven't caught up on her entire backlist, The First Girl Child is now a front runner for all-time favorite. And yes, it's landing on my shortlist for best books of the year a Title: The First Girl ChildAuthor: Amy HarmonRelease date: August 20, 2019Cliffhanger: NoGenre: fantasyFair warning, I'm going to have to gush over this book a little. There's just no getting around it when you fall in love with a story this completely. I've been reading Amy Harmon's books for four years now and although I haven't caught up on her entire backlist, The First Girl Child is now a front runner for all-time favorite. And yes, it's landing on my shortlist for best books of the year as well. All it took was a few pages into the prologue and I was a goner. This beautiful, heart-wrenching, poignant story is worth every second spent between the pages. It's a fantasy with such fathomless depths, you fall so deeply you don't want to get out again. It's a story of revenge, overcoming impossible odds, courage in the face of tyranny and evil, unbreakable bonds of family, and forbidden love. The Kingdom of Saylok is made up of six clans: Adyar, Berne, Dolphys, Ebba, Joran, and Leok. Each clan has a Chieftan who leads it, and the King has absolute power, even over these leaders. Many hope to ascend to the throne, but few will have the opportunity in their lifetime. Banruud of Berne is hungry for power and has no qualms about harming anyone who stands in his way. One woman seeks revenge for a horrible betrayal at his hands that will curse all of Saylok, until her son is ready to remove the scourge upon the land. That son is Bayr. Unnaturally strong and believed to have been gifted by the gods, he becomes somewhat of a legend for his incredible feats growing up. It would be easy for someone to become proud or boastful, but living at Temple Hill with his Uncle has made him a humble man who only cares for the well being of others. Bayr and his Uncle Dagmar's relationship as he grows up in his care touched my heart so much. Dagmar wasn't prepared to take on a fatherly role in his lifetime after committing himself as a Keeper. At first he was flustered and floundering with newborn Beyr, then gradually more confident as he lovingly guided Bayr towards the future he knew he was destined to fulfill. Even knowing someday they must part, he willingly sacrificed his own wishes for the salvation of Saylok. Injustice, pain, and suffering were endured by many. Lives would be changed irrevocably the day that Bayr came into his care, and he's determined to set things right no matter what it takes."There might come a time, when you are no longer a boy, when Saylok will need you to lead her. There might be a day when you will be called on to rule, and you must prepare yourself for that day.” If I could only use one word to describe Bayr it would be protector. That makes up every part of him down to his soul. After meeting princess Alba, he's enraptured by this child of hope. The first female child to be born during a long drought that has plagued the land for years. He immediately pledges to watch over her and shield her from all harm, never asking for anything in return. His feelings for her were pure and innocent, blossoming into a special friendship as they matured. Bayr and Alba are from two totally different worlds: one from royalty and the other a humble Temple boy without a penny to his name. But their devotion to each other is absolute, even if it must be from a distance at times. They way they changed and evolved took longer than I was expecting, but it was more than worth it by the end. It was like watching a seed being nurtured over time, weathering every storm, and growing into a towering tree with roots so deep they can't ever be unearthed. You feel their rightness down to your bones and want nothing more than the simplicity of them being. Without conflict or conspiracies to tear them apart. “Bayr’s birth marked the beginning of the drought. What if his death marks the end?”Ghost plays an integral role in the story. Sold into slavery, then reviled and feared for being born with albinism, she's been mistreated her whole life. People fear what they don't understand, and her unusual appearance draws prejudice from ignorant people. Fate brings her into Bayr's life and though he's disconcerted at first, he always treats her with open acceptance, as does Dagmar. Love and acceptance seems like a simple thing to some, but to others it's everything. Ghost broke me at times. She was so used to rejection and harm that a simple human kindness couldn't be trusted. Ghost finally finds a home where she has some semblance of safety. She relies on the anonymity her solitary lives affords, and finds much more than she bargained for in her simple life. The final part of this book was action packed, tense, thrilling, devastating, healing, and leaves you awed at how it all ties together. My emotions were everywhere on the map, leaving me wrung out and wrecked at the end. It broke me just a little bit, but I can't imagine anything happening any differently. How the balance of power was righted, and the oppressed were finally freed. It was such a thing of beauty that brought tears to my eyes. Amy Harmon has created a story that's often brutal, but never fails to show us the power of love in the bleakest of times. Thankfully I had a friend on standby after finishing this incredible story that I could rant and weep and soak up all of my favorite words with. It was extremely hard to part with these characters so I can only hope that we are gifted with more novels in this extraordinary world!! This is one of her best yet, and I recommend it to any fantasy lover searching for their next five star read. FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON:
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  • Amy | Foxy Blogs
    January 1, 1970
    Hauntingly Excellent!A moving representation of how 2 wrongs don’t make a right and the power of love. The First Girl Child is a story that rocks you to your bones. The sheer words alone captivate with their power. They flow across the pages telling the story of a parent's love for their beloved child. The depths they endure to allow their child to have a better life is alluring. Along with the intense despair, a parent feels while watching a child make life choices and the consequences that e Hauntingly Excellent!A moving representation of how 2 wrongs don’t make a right and the power of love. The First Girl Child is a story that rocks you to your bones. The sheer words alone captivate with their power. They flow across the pages telling the story of a parent's love for their beloved child. The depths they endure to allow their child to have a better life is alluring. Along with the intense despair, a parent feels while watching a child make life choices and the consequences that ensue. The story unravels like the layers of an onion. From kings to runes to gods this story holds a lot of raw magical power. An enchanted tale of a land cursed and the stolen ‘treasure’ that leads to the demise of the kingdom. THE FIRST GIRL CHILD is a standalone story of a time when kingdoms ruled and curses could set the world ablaze. A truly beautiful story about the great value we place on things and the risk taken to protect those things of value. An unforgettable tale of the world gone by.✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦RELEASE DATE: August 20, 2019Pre-order | order: https://amzn.to/2YgJP7wSTANDALONE**Complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.* Follow Foxy Blogs at: Foxy Blogs ♥ Twitter ♥ Instagram ♥ Facebook
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  • Betül
    January 1, 1970
    **ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review**First of all, I want to say that I love that Amy Harmon decided to write a Fantasy novel. She is one of the most well-rounded authors and can write, in my opinion, in any genre she wants. I don't read a lot of Fantasy novels because I find the story-building sometimes a bit complicated. You get a lot of information in a small time of frame, and it is difficult to absorb all of it. However, I never got that feeling from The First Girl **ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review**First of all, I want to say that I love that Amy Harmon decided to write a Fantasy novel. She is one of the most well-rounded authors and can write, in my opinion, in any genre she wants. I don't read a lot of Fantasy novels because I find the story-building sometimes a bit complicated. You get a lot of information in a small time of frame, and it is difficult to absorb all of it. However, I never got that feeling from The First Girl Child. Amy's writing is always very easy to read, and has a great flow. I was teleported to Saylok and I felt like I was really living in that Kingdom. I loved all the characters and their relationships. The secondary characters felt as important as the main characters. They all played a very important role in the book, so I was happy that the author included their POVs.The romance aspect is a bit in the background, which I surprisingly didn't mind too much. However, I would've wanted this to be part of a series instead of a stand-alone. I think there is still so much to explore in this world, and I am very intrigued by it. The last quarter just flew by and the book was finished before I knew it. So that felt a bit rushed because a lot of things happened towards the end, and I think the author could've taken more time to spread it out a bit more. It even made me wonder if there would be a cliffhanger at the end, which I wouldn't have minded. But unfortunately no, it has an ending. I am happy that Amy included an epilogue, but I wish it was longer. I really liked this book and I hope that Amy will decide to revisit this world/genre in the near future, because I love the characters and I really hope that some of them get their own book.
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  • Talon
    January 1, 1970
    As I am typing this review out, I am also currently packing up my house so that I can permanently take up residency inside of Amy Harmon's pretty brain. Could you just imagine the amount of magic you would witness if you spent your days inside of there? I can. And let me tell you, it sounds like my dream vacation destination. While reading The First Girl Child, I loved a lot of things. Below, I am going to bullet point each one. I feel like this should be a very organized and broken down review. As I am typing this review out, I am also currently packing up my house so that I can permanently take up residency inside of Amy Harmon's pretty brain. Could you just imagine the amount of magic you would witness if you spent your days inside of there? I can. And let me tell you, it sounds like my dream vacation destination. While reading The First Girl Child, I loved a lot of things. Below, I am going to bullet point each one. I feel like this should be a very organized and broken down review.-The mixture of action and humor. Seriously. The dry humor is incredible. Seeing the characters interact was so amusing and entertaining. -The characters. Okay but seriously. I can't sit here and break it down, one by one, because each character had such strong characteristics that I loved for all sorts of different reasons. But I will say that in true Amy Harmon fashion, she has created a set of characters that you will remember years later. When you hear someone say the title "The Last Girl Child" you will instantly replay the great cast of characters inside of your head and smile. -The story concept. Loved it. Point. Blank. LOVED IT. The title portrays just what I loved most about it. Have you read a book like this? NO. Even remotely close? NO, probably not. It's unique. It's Amy Harmon. She is a fantastic story teller. Each time I pick up one of her books, I am always reminded of that.-Imagery & settings. Um, HELLO. Every single time you turn the page you see just how vivid Amy's settings and scenes are. I had absolutely ZERO trouble playing these scenes out in my mind because Amy's writing is top notch in the sense that she paints the prettiest pictures for us as a reader. I felt like I was writing a paper for college when I was typing this review out. But I also feel like I could go on and on about this story. And well, the bullet point process probably just shut me up an extra 15 minutes. You're welcome.When I think of Amy Harmon, I always think about how dynamic she is as a writer. Want a romance? Amy Harmon. Want a fantasy? Amy Harmon. Want a historical book? Amy Harmon. Do you just want to sit down and read a damn good book and forget the world for a little while? AMY HARMON. All kidding aside, this book was magical. Just... magical. Possibly some of Amy's best work to date. I hope that if you are looking for a book that gets you lost for a little while, you pick this one up. If not, you are missing out.
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  •  Ⓐℳⓨ ( pronounced Ⓐh-ℳeⓨ) ♔AntiExpensive books ProHiddengems Queen♔
    January 1, 1970
    ♛♚♔UPDATE 08/20♛♚♔GUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUYYYYYYYSSS!!!!It's live! It's live!THISISNOTADRILLINGI repeatTHISISNOTA DRILLING🌈♩♪ ♫ ♬The First Child IS LIVE♫ ♬♩♪🌈*Kisses Kindle app*Live and already in the top of the charts. I'm so happy for Harmon sensei, she's my favorite writer ever!!!!GUYS IN THE KINDLE UNLIMITED ELITE!!! For all of us in the Kindle unlimited Elite it's We look so so so so smug now!! SMUG 'cuz it's FREE for us!!No offense but not many readers are as cool as us guys in the Kindle Unli ♛♚♔UPDATE 08/20♛♚♔GUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUYYYYYYYSSS!!!!It's live! It's live!THISISNOTADRILLINGI repeatTHISISNOTA DRILLING🌈♩♪ ♫ ♬The First Child IS LIVE♫ ♬♩♪🌈*Kisses Kindle app*Live and already in the top of the charts. I'm so happy for Harmon sensei, she's my favorite writer ever!!!!GUYS IN THE KINDLE UNLIMITED ELITE!!! For all of us in the Kindle unlimited Elite it's We look so so so so smug now!! SMUG 'cuz it's FREE for us!!No offense but not many readers are as cool as us guys in the Kindle Unlimited elite. We're the elite group in Goodreads.Guys without Kindle unlimited!!!!The price for this one is really reasonable!!! Just $4.99 but if you're on a budget try a first month KU for free!!!! JOIN THE KU ELITE!! You're missing out the best books!!!!! We're having SO MUCH FUN!!!No Kindle? No problem there's an app. My dog broke my Kindle, she swears it was an accident. But I have the APP!!DOWNLAD KINDLE APP FOR IPHONE and IPADDOWNLAD KINDLE APP FOR TABLETS AND CELLPHONES DOWNLAD KINDLE APP FROM AMAZON FOR EVERYTHING*kisses kindle app*Get your kindle app and discover AMY Harmon's books!!! You're going to love her!!!!♛♚♔♛♚♔♥♥♥♥♥♥♛♚♔♛♚♔♥♥♥♥♥♥♛♚♔♛♚♔PreviouslyIn case you didn't notice, Amy Harmon is the most AMYzing author ever and I lOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE HER!!!I can't wait.
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  • TeriLyn
    January 1, 1970
    **The First Girl Child generously provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for n honest review.**5+ ”Let there be no doubt.”StarsAbsolute fantastical perfection. The First Girl Child hails as a mesmerizing tale juxtaposing good versus evil. So layered and complex in its telling of a beautifully, haunting tale full of lies and deceptions set against unwavering faith and belief in something greater then thine own one self. Amy Harmon brilliantly showcases her prowess for her craft, her **The First Girl Child generously provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for n honest review.**5+ ”Let there be no doubt.”StarsAbsolute fantastical perfection. The First Girl Child hails as a mesmerizing tale juxtaposing good versus evil. So layered and complex in its telling of a beautifully, haunting tale full of lies and deceptions set against unwavering faith and belief in something greater then thine own one self. Amy Harmon brilliantly showcases her prowess for her craft, her intimacy with her characters and her honesty as a storyteller with her acutely detailed words woven together as a concise and tightly executed novel that’s as restorative and healing in its heart break and hope as it is blinding with light and shadowed in dark. Her third person point of view writing keeps the mind and soul engaged from beginning to end. I felt this story in my readers heart as I was transported to Saylok and willingly held captive. There is so much to say yet I possess neither the grace nor my own words bold enough to express all this book means. Full of everlasting love and devotion; deep, thought provoking, and remarkable. A true piece of fantasy gold for fans and embracers of this genre. I feel honored to have to read it.
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  • ♥ Jx PinkLady Reviews ♥
    January 1, 1970
    I loved it ♡Experience this story......#historicalfantasyfiction#slowburn#deeplove#sacrifice#betrayal#breathtaking 5 ☆☆☆☆☆A curse with far reaching consequences is crafted within the opening chapters of this novel and it is this event steeped in emotion and tragedy that shapes the narrative of the story, and thereafter a stunning tale is weaved depicting power, jealousy, betrayal, hope, sacrifice and above all else, love. Amy Harmon is a writing genius when it comes to creating unique layered wo I loved it ♡Experience this story......#historicalfantasyfiction#slowburn#deeplove#sacrifice#betrayal#breathtaking 5 ☆☆☆☆☆A curse with far reaching consequences is crafted within the opening chapters of this novel and it is this event steeped in emotion and tragedy that shapes the narrative of the story, and thereafter a stunning tale is weaved depicting power, jealousy, betrayal, hope, sacrifice and above all else, love. Amy Harmon is a writing genius when it comes to creating unique layered worlds, whether they be in the genre of romance, history or fantasy and this story encompasses all three elements with absolute excellence. It was a joy to feel immersed in the land of warring clans and characters who were brave, who cared deeply, were principled, and had faith. Characters who developed perfectly through the timeline of the story and effortlessly pulled me into the heart of their cursed kingdom making me feel and hope and love along with them.Bayr of Saylok and Alba are the main protagonists in a sea of compelling characters who make up the tapestry of this story, many having an equal and vital role in the rich prose of the story arc. I was utterly enamoured with the plotline and the vividly depicted world beautifully showcased by Harmon who, I feel, can turn her hand to any trope and capture my undivided attention with her penmanship. I very much hope I have the opportunity to visit the fantasy world of Saylok again and highly recommend this novel to my fellow reading addicts. Purchase links:📱 https://amzn.to/2XKVIQe📖 https://amzn.to/2XMYYdH🎧 https://amzn.to/2yBNSx5Author giveaway ➡️http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/disp...(Graphic made by me with a purchased stock photo from depositphotos)Advance copy generously provided via NetGalley / Reviewed Voluntarily *
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  • CC
    January 1, 1970
    In the land of Saylok, five regions are divided and inhabited by different clans. Under the leadership of one king and the keepers, a curse plagues the island preventing the birth of daughters. As many become desperate and factions begin to fight, the fate of Saylok rests with Bayr, a natural warrior but also a man of profound understanding, who is entrusted to protect the first girl child, Alba. Though Bayr carries his burdens, making sacrifices will test what he’s always held in his heart. “An In the land of Saylok, five regions are divided and inhabited by different clans. Under the leadership of one king and the keepers, a curse plagues the island preventing the birth of daughters. As many become desperate and factions begin to fight, the fate of Saylok rests with Bayr, a natural warrior but also a man of profound understanding, who is entrusted to protect the first girl child, Alba. Though Bayr carries his burdens, making sacrifices will test what he’s always held in his heart. “And in the end, we can only sacrifice ourselves. To sacrifice others is no sacrifice at all.” Spanning over twenty years, this narrative follows the struggles and bonds of its characters and how they intersect at key moments bringing a complexity to the ongoing plot landscape. With each bearing their own vulnerabilities, secrets and strengths, overcoming injustices without becoming cruel or hardened is a running theme. “The test was not to escape. The test was to endure. To withstand.” From the first page, I was captivated by this uniquely crafted mythological story. With brilliant foreshadowing, knowing the power certain secrets hold adds incredible tension to the plot. There is beauty in the love and respect these characters hold for their loved ones. With such intensity, the pain they bear is just as tangible, which makes the journey that much richer. “This is the first rune because without light and belief, everything is darkness, and everything and everyone becomes the enemy.” With this array of distinct characters, they each have a pivotal role and I loved the majority of them. Of course, Bayr, Dagmar and Ghost are standouts for me, but I also enjoyed hating the villains. Adding to the fantasy genre, I was fascinated with the magic of the runes and how such power can be used for good or evil. The First Girl Child is an epic mythological journey with themes of sacrifice, corruption, integrity, loyalty, friendship, and ultimately love. This story will appeal to those who seek to escape into a perfectly executed fantasy world.*An ARC was provided by in exchange for an honest review.**This was a (F)BR with Twinsie Hawkey and Loyda!For more reviews/reveals/giveaways visit:
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  • Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
    January 1, 1970
    Book – The First Girl ChildAuthor – Amy HarmonSeries – None Cliffhanger? - No Publication Date – August 20, 2019Genre – FantasyRating – 4.5 out of 5 StarsComplimentary copy generously provided by the author through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.My Thoughts - Story OK – I had a really hard time rating this book because when I first finished it, I thought “OK, maybe a 4 because it was slow starting”….but then after I thought about it and how everything came together, I was like…”I’m b Book – The First Girl ChildAuthor – Amy HarmonSeries – None Cliffhanger? - No Publication Date – August 20, 2019Genre – FantasyRating – 4.5 out of 5 StarsComplimentary copy generously provided by the author through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.My Thoughts - Story OK – I had a really hard time rating this book because when I first finished it, I thought “OK, maybe a 4 because it was slow starting”….but then after I thought about it and how everything came together, I was like…”I’m bumping this up to a 4.25 because it was so heart-felt”….So, as I try to write this review now, I am torn about how to rate this – to this day, I can’t get this story out of my head and all of the characters in the story. Normally, I read a book and within a few days, I completely forget the story-line unless I go back and start re-reading…but this book – it’s been almost a month and I still keep thinking about it.Not just about being a big Amy Harmon fan…this story by the end really touched my soul and it still does to this day. Yes, it was slow – yes, I was second guessing a few times about asking for an ARC…but by the time I was done, I forgot all about it and focused on the feels I was experiencing after closing down the book.I am not going to write about the characters or the story – I’m just gonna leave you with a word of advice. Give this book a chance and don’t give up – it’s worth it. Reason for Reading – NetGalley ReviewStory – 5 out of 5 StarsSteam – 4 out of 5 StarsAngst – 5 out of 5 StarsWriting – 4.5 out of 5 StarsContent Flow – 4.5 out of 5 StarsWould Read More from Author? DefinitelyRecommend To – Readers who enjoy a slow building story with many feels
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    Just WOW!Every time I read an Amy Harmon book I pray that a film producer will pick it up and make it into a film. The scenes in the book and the characters are so beautifully described that they played out in big screen cinematography as I read it.The First Girl Child has left me spellbound. I don’t know how I can move on. I want to return to the land of Saylok and stay there forever with the keepers of the Temple. I want to climb to the top of Shinway and find the cave with the runes. Amy Harm Just WOW!Every time I read an Amy Harmon book I pray that a film producer will pick it up and make it into a film. The scenes in the book and the characters are so beautifully described that they played out in big screen cinematography as I read it.The First Girl Child has left me spellbound. I don’t know how I can move on. I want to return to the land of Saylok and stay there forever with the keepers of the Temple. I want to climb to the top of Shinway and find the cave with the runes. Amy Harmon weaves such well thought out tales of magic and mystery that you can’t help but be fully immersed. My heart raced, my pulse was beating like a drum, my palms sweating, tears running down my face. Stunning.TFGC will, without any doubt at all, be in my best reads of 2019 list. No mayhaps about it.
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  • Mary S. R.
    January 1, 1970
    I recieved an ARC through NetGalley for an honest review. Many thanks to the publisher, 47North! 😳😍Bayr of Saylok, bastard son of a powerful and jealous chieftain, is haunted by the curse once leveled by his dying mother. Bartered, abandoned, and rarely loved, she plagued the land with her words: From this day forward, there will be no daughters in Saylok.Raised among the Keepers at Temple Hill, Bayr is gifted with inhuman strength. But he’s also blessed with an all-too-human heart that beats wi I recieved an ARC through NetGalley for an honest review. Many thanks to the publisher, 47North! 😳😍Bayr of Saylok, bastard son of a powerful and jealous chieftain, is haunted by the curse once leveled by his dying mother. Bartered, abandoned, and rarely loved, she plagued the land with her words: From this day forward, there will be no daughters in Saylok.Raised among the Keepers at Temple Hill, Bayr is gifted with inhuman strength. But he’s also blessed with an all-too-human heart that beats with one purpose: to protect Alba, the first girl child born in nearly two decades and the salvation for a country at risk.Now the fate of Saylok lies with Alba and Bayr, whose bond grows deeper with every whisper of coming chaos. Charged with battling the enemies of their people, both within and without, Bayr is fueled further by the love of a girl who has defied the scourge of Saylok.What Bayr and Alba don’t know is that they each threaten the king, a greedy man who built his throne on lies, murder, and betrayal. There is only one way to defend their land from the corruption that has overtaken it. By breaking the curse, they could defeat the king…but they could also destroy themselves.
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  • Curlyhairlass19
    January 1, 1970
    Infinite Stars!Totally Speechless.I’m so afraid that I don’t have the proper words for a review to do this book justice. This is my first kind of book in this particular genre. I love fantasy, but this is beyond anything I’ve read. Norse mythology, Vikings, blood runes..I found myself looking up things and wanting to learn more. That’s the sign of an amazing storyteller and Amy Harmon has truly outdone herself with this one. I just want to stay in this world for a while.Where do I begin..Bayr, t Infinite Stars!Totally Speechless.I’m so afraid that I don’t have the proper words for a review to do this book justice. This is my first kind of book in this particular genre. I love fantasy, but this is beyond anything I’ve read. Norse mythology, Vikings, blood runes..I found myself looking up things and wanting to learn more. That’s the sign of an amazing storyteller and Amy Harmon has truly outdone herself with this one. I just want to stay in this world for a while.Where do I begin..Bayr, the “temple boy” totally captured my heart. This power he has, this strength he possessed from the time he was born—he wasn’t like other boys. His weakness was his speech. He stuttered and it caused him embarrassment at times, but it made me love him more. His heart was so good, pure, protective and had such a strong love over the little Princess, Alba. The bond these two shared from the moment Bayr held her as a newborn was intrinsic. She moved, he moved. “There is no Alba without Bayr.” They were best friends. The love they shared gives me chills..So much I could say here, but for spoilers sake I will not. I’ll just urge you to read.Dagmar and Ghost’s forbidden love story added such a marvelous element as well. They captured me from the start and I knew they were both doomed by the love they felt for each other. That old song comes to mind, “If loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right.” I’m still in my feels over this part:“Then his mouth brushed hers, a kiss no deeper than a raindrop, and she tightened her hands at his face, holding him to her. “‘I cannot see, my tongue is a traitor,’” he whispered, the whispered words tickling her lips. “‘My flesh is a foe, my heart a betrayer,’ Alas, they had to guard themselves against each other, but were still best friends even though they knew what was between them. I just love this.Amy did such a good job at building this story from the ground up. I was enraptured with the origin of this story and the background. This is all essential to understand where it’s going and I loved every single morsel. Open your heart and mind and just feel your way through this book. I felt every emotion known to man I feel, and my heart still aches from finishing such an epic tale. I need more and I’m so glad Amy is writing more of this world because there are more stories to be told with these characters and clans. Infinite stars from me.
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  • Monika Sadowski
    January 1, 1970
    Romance books are not my genre but Amy Harmon always makes me read it till the last page. She is such a good writer, and picking her newest book The First Girl Child I couldn’t go wrong. Beautiful, heart breaking fairy tale which kept me reading till late hours of the night. Great story, full of cursed kingdom, different clans, keepers and runes, magic and mystery. Characters very well developed and scenes beautiful described. My favorite part of the book was the motive of the powerful women.
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  • Alexandra
    January 1, 1970
    I received an e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Review can be found on *Milky Way of Books*This is going to be a hard review to write. Not because I didn't enjoy the book. People I plan on re-reading, re-listening to the audiobook and hope that Amy Harmon writes spin-off novellas and invent a way for a certain couple to be together. Needless to say, this is Amy Harmon's finest work in the fantasy genre. I didn't think that "The first Girl Child" would top The Bird and the Sw I received an e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Review can be found on *Milky Way of Books*This is going to be a hard review to write. Not because I didn't enjoy the book. People I plan on re-reading, re-listening to the audiobook and hope that Amy Harmon writes spin-off novellas and invent a way for a certain couple to be together. Needless to say, this is Amy Harmon's finest work in the fantasy genre. I didn't think that "The first Girl Child" would top The Bird and the Sword duology, but it.In a fantasy world where an island stands in the middle of the sea and clans rule with a king on top. Where monks have the power to choose kings and runes hold magic in them, the story begins with the birth of a boy. Bayr is a bastard whose mother was cheated in love, whose father is power hungry and whose uncle Dagmar is one of those monks. Bayr's mother, curses the people of their land to not give birth to girls and slowly as the decades' span, the curse will wipe out their people.Bayr grows to be an extraordinary young man with the power of ten men and the heart of a sweet, beautiful soul. And as plots and lies thicken, suddenly the first girl child is born; out of the blue Alba appears and the mysterious Ghost, a young woman, start to live in the monastery too.The story is told in third POV and spans almost two decades of secrets, plots, power-hungry men who never gave worth to their women before and now they find themselves, almost dying without them. The beauty of this world is the perfect balance between the Norse mythology, Viking lore, magic and a touch mention to Christianity. But the focus is not as much to the religion, while it plays a role, but to the relationships between the characters, the secret love blooming over the years and the fear that it will never be reciprocated. This world is vast and I hope to see more stories coming from the characters of this novel. When I finished the book, I was happy and yet really sad. Because while I did like the story I realized that I was rooting for another couple too and it was hopeless. Amy Harmon's writing is stellar and I don't know if my heart can survive another masterpiece by her.
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  • Ari
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 totally 'runed' stars.I buddy read this baby with Sophie from Beware Of The Reader, and I can safely say, we're both totally in love with it. Let's start with the basics: The Author.I'm positive that almost everyone who's read her, can't help but fall in love with Amy's writing. And this book was no exception. Now, I have personally never read one of her more "adventure" centered books, my favorites having been Making Faces (obviously), and The Law of Moses and A Song for David, but when I s 4.5 totally 'runed' stars.I buddy read this baby with Sophie from Beware Of The Reader, and I can safely say, we're both totally in love with it. Let's start with the basics: The Author.I'm positive that almost everyone who's read her, can't help but fall in love with Amy's writing. And this book was no exception. Now, I have personally never read one of her more "adventure" centered books, my favorites having been Making Faces (obviously), and The Law of Moses and A Song for David, but when I saw since I have been having a terrible time getting any reading done lately, I thought why not mix things up, and read something other than pure romance for a change?Let me tell ya, it totally totally worked out. I'll have a more detailed review later today.
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  • Jennifer Kyle
    January 1, 1970
    3.75 Stars ⭐ 3.75 Stars ⭐️
  • Al *the semi serial series skipper*
    January 1, 1970
    ***I received this ARC courtesy of Netgallery in exchange for an honest review***In her true fashion, Amy Harmon has delivered an exceptional read. If you enjoyed The Law of Moses and The Queen and the Cure, you will enjoy this one.I'll admit the first 50-60 % were slow that I considered not finishing it,it really does pick up at the end. This was such a beautiful heartfelt story and I wish things had turned out differently for one of the characters.Totally recommend.
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  • Tracy C
    January 1, 1970
    Wonderful. This was a bit different genre for me and I totally enjoyed it. I loved the fantasy aspect and the writing was top notch. I did have trouble remember all the names and who they were. The nature of the world had them start with the same letter/sound for the same clans, which was cool. But it made it difficult for my Swiss cheese brain!
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  • ♠️ TABI ♠️
    January 1, 1970
    "This is not a world where a man or woman gets much choice in their happiness. We are born into war and each day is a battle." From the first sentence on the first page, I was utterly captivated by this story. And while I came expecting a gutsy, brutal tale of a single young girl raised in a male-dominated world . . . this story is actually quite opposite. The ferocity in here is soft and kinda sleepy, but in no way does that diminish its strength. The power of this book crept up on me, and whi "This is not a world where a man or woman gets much choice in their happiness. We are born into war and each day is a battle." From the first sentence on the first page, I was utterly captivated by this story. And while I came expecting a gutsy, brutal tale of a single young girl raised in a male-dominated world . . . this story is actually quite opposite. The ferocity in here is soft and kinda sleepy, but in no way does that diminish its strength. The power of this book crept up on me, and while I was aware of it, I really didn't notice just how tight it was wrapped around my heart until the breathless snap back into reality at the last page. "But not all men are bad.""No. And not all women are innocent. But Desdemona was angry. She was dying. And she did a terrible thing. And now Saylok suffers--the innocent and the guilty alike--and I don't know how to fix what has been done." One of the biggest things I absolutely loved in this was that no one was held higher than their actions. Now before you can fall into a pit of confusion, let me try to explain myself here. A lot of the time I read stories about men vs women, and lately about women triumphing over the traditionally male-centered ideals. Am I against those kind of stories?? No, not when they're done properly instead of just being revenge-esque moods channeled into fictionalized scenarios. (Y'all know what I'm talking about, all right.) And while this definitely had the chance to go that route . . . it didn't. This is a story about men and women who do bad things, and it's also about men and women who do good things . . . and also those who just do what is necessary for the survival of them or their loved ones. Not all the men are monsters. Not all the women are repressed damsels in need of rescuing or who end up rescuing themselves. A lot of women are wronged in here . . . but so are a lot of men, too. It's a story that sheds light on all facets of the same root problem--evil being evil and good struggling against it. And it is all written and shown in a very kind, gentle kind of way versus the harsh slaps or sharp rage most books tend to have regarding these issues. This book is like a healing balm to an infection, slowly but surely easing away the poison and the pain until new life replaces the old hurts. And, y'all, I really felt the power of such a beautiful choice of action in this story. "You will fight for them!" She pointed at the women waiting on the hillside. "You will fight for each other. And you will live." But don't be fooled into thinking this is a pacifist book. There is a time for methods of peace just as there are times for more violent actions against injustice. And I really loved how this book also showed both of those . . . as well as keeping them realistically accurate. Sometimes it is better to wait for the proper time to strike, but when the moment of attack came to do it as fiercely as possible. 'They did not say goodbye, and they did not lie to each other about a reunion.' Now even though I loved, loved, lovedddddddd the writing and the quiet, invasive power of this book . . . I loved the characters even more. There is such a large, rotating cast of characters that you spend time with over the twenty years or so that the plot takes place in. And at least for me it was hard to pick favorites!! There is just so much to love (and love to hate when it comes to the villains) about all of them, and no one felt under-developed or unimportant to the plot. Each character was 100% their own person no matter how much or how little page time they had and I was blown away by the writing power behind such beauty. “Women don’t make great warriors,” Ivo spat.Dagmar didn’t respond. He didn’t agree. A mother was the fiercest warrior of all. And even though I absolutely ADORED watching the relationship grow and blossom between Bayr and Alba . . . YOU'LL FIND ME SHRIEKING THE LOUDEST ABOUT A CERTAIN PARENTAL SHIP OKAY because it's just so precious and beautiful and gives me lovely angst every time I think about it. "And in the end, we can only sacrifice ourselves. To sacrifice others is no sacrifice at all." Also, when I say that this book is a slow kind of powerful, that excludes the last fourth of the book. Because the ending is INTENSE and ridiculously FAST-PACED and so many plot-twists rising up out of the previous slowburn-development to catch me unawares. I was an emotional wreck by the time I finished the book because o m g this author knows how to craft a story!! EVERYTHING ALL CAME TOGETHER IN AN EPIC FINALE OF WAR AND FEELS and it was almost too much for my heart to handle. Especially when a certain scene happened that almost had me sobbing cause it just wasn't fair.But after the powerful angst and the emotionally-scarring heartbreak and the intense battles of the finale, the true ending gave me a warm, happy feeling. Oh, it was still tinged with a good amount of bittersweet, but that's what made it even happier?? Shush, it's a thing. 'He listened and he labored, and when the day was done, he slept beside a woman who was far more adept at ruling a kingdom than he ever would be.' Overall : this is such a magnificent book that words don't do it justice. It is not a very loud book, but neither is it quiet. It is meant to be savored and thought about and read with an open mind to more than a simple fantasy story because it is so, so, so much more than simple.I received a digital ARC from 47North via NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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  • Brandie
    January 1, 1970
    So fantastic - I’m in awe of Amy’s storytelling. She continues to blow me away with every book.
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