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Steel Hand, Cold Heart

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  31 ratings  ·  21 reviews
The Odyssey meets The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue in this Viking version of the self-exploratory road trip.

On the island of Helvar, women rule. Sixteen-year-old Carina has trained for most of her life to belong to the coveted Daughters of Hel, the steel-handed Viking warriors who provide souls to the Death Goddess in exchange for the prosperity of their island
ebook, 229 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Amazon Digital Services LLC
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Average rating 4.39  · 
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 ·  31 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: favorites
***UPDATE MAY 2020***

I've been sitting on this news for a while, but STEEL HAND, COLD HEART won the GRAND PRIZE in the Writer's Digest Self-Published E-Book Awards!! I am still in total awe that people are enjoying my weird, little Viking book. Thank you!!
I am so excited to share Steel Hand, Cold Heart with you!! Carina is a character very near and dear to my heart. She was featured in the third novel I wrote with a slightly different name. I decided to shelve
Faith M ✨
I received this eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of this book in any way. All quotes are taken from the uncorrected proof and are subject to change.

Gustaf the brave had fought and bled,
Then found himself cold and dead.
He pleaded with the Goddess Hel,
That if She would only make him well,
He would kill ten men that night,
And send them to Her without a fight.
She agreed and took him back,
To his body bent and black.
When his spirit stepped inside,
Ninosy  (Wonder Woman)
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 Awesome stars

I dont know how I got to this book but I guess I'm lucky...

I simply loved it .. It is an easy read, non complicated, not too boring and I did not skip any page in between..
The characters were amazing I especially liked Mateo he is a cinnamon roll...I loved this author & I'd Iike to read more of her books..
I should definetly recc. it to my friends.. So whoever reads this review plzzz give this book a try...
Amber (The Book Bratz)
The full review + more can be found at The Book Bratz

Thank you so much Rachel for sending me a copy of STEEL HAND, COLD HEART to read and review. All thoughts are my own!

Rachel reached out to us about reviewing her novel Steel Hand, Cold Heart and from the moment I read the synopsis I, (Amber) was hooked and needed to know more. The Odyssey meets The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue in this Viking inspired story of self exploration and the need to prove ones self worth and things that
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
Aug 03, 2019 marked it as other
Recommended to Tucker by: Rachel

Many thanks to Rachel Menard for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Chloë Jans
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am here for Viking YA! In this story, we follow Carina the Unstoppable as she is kidnapped by three boys (who I will be talking about later). Carina is a Daughter of Hel and actually has a steel hand. She always had to work harder and do better to fit in with the other Daughters, because she is not from the Island and is discriminated against. She has to prove her worth again and again. Then, on her first raid, she couldn't kill a priestess while she was supposed to. She later gets kidnapped a ...more
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was an enjoyable read. Misfit Carina is raised by the very women that murdered her village and her father, and struggles to prove herself worthy to a people who see everyone else as lesser than their own.

With steel-handed warriors (very!) loosely based on Viking raiders, and a few flashbacks to Carina’s training, it took me a couple chapters to get into this book. Afterwards, however, I was drawn in and keen to read more. Carina is far from perfect, and despite her arrogance, idiocy, pride,
Harlan Dechamps
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was able to get my hands on an advanced copy of Menard’s Steel Hand, Cold Heart, and I’m so glad that I started reading it. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it, and had a difficult time setting it down and walking away to tend to life. I love young adult, and particularly fantasy, so this book was the perfect read for me.

The book takes place in a seemingly bygone era, dealing with a fictional clan of viking-type female warriors who, as a rite of passage, meld a metal hand over their own flesh
Jennifer Perkins
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Steel Hand, Cold Heart defies the belief there is nothing new under the sun. An invigorating story, with a fresh take on Norse Mythology, creates a young adult novel fantasy you can’t put down. The main character, Carina the Unstoppable, is both dynamic and unique in concept. With her iron hand and cursed rune stone, the manuscript wields a small subtle current of steampunk and supernatural influences.

Carina is from a fierce warrior culture where the strongest women serve the Goddess of Death, H
K.C. Wilder
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Steel Hand, Cold Heart, Rachel Menard takes the reader on a wild, timeless adventure. From the opening lines, it is clear that protagonist Carina is not your ordinary heroine. She's anchored in Viking lore and bound by a brutal mythology the reader grasps by degrees, but she could easily be medieval, or futuristic, or of our present-day world. She is an everywoman seeking to reconcile what she knows of her heritage with what is expected of her going forward. Hers is a destiny that is supposed ...more
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I continued on my indie cavort by picking up an ARC of Steel Hand, Cold Heart. I received this as an ARC from the author.
And I'm so glad I did pick it up. Menard has given us a fantasy world very similar to the Nordics, which was an awful lot of fun to explore. Carina is a sixteen year old girl, brought up and dedicated to the Daughters of Hel – female warriors who murder and pillage for their goddess. In order to do so, they have steel claws burnt onto their skin, to use as weapons. However, Ca
Judy Ferrell
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When you really don't belong.

Kidnapped, betrayed by one that was supposed to be a sister. Rachel Menard gives us an adventure that just keeps giving. Just when you think it's smooth sailing, more trouble. Get comfortable and plan to be body with this book. You won't want to put it down.
Andrew Klos
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book grips you with excitement!

I hope the author continues Carina's story, because this was a fantastic tale. It certainly didn't feel like I was reading a YA book, with such a complex heroine leading the action.
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a wonderful story! I heard Vikings and I had to read this book.

Carina, the Unstoppable, is kidnapped from her place as a Daughter of Hel and tries to find her way back, while also trying to please her goddess.
Along the way, her captors-turn-friends, teach her about true friendship and loyalty.

I LOVE that Rachel Menard made this more than just a love story about Carina and Nik. It added so much more depth to the story.

Carina also never really changed her ways to fit in with others, and t
Katherine Macdonald
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Seriously good fiction


So many, in fact, that I felt the need to stop 70% of the way through and make notes so that I mentioned ALL OF THEM in my review. 

So, I can't remember when or how I picked up this book, only that it sat on my kindle for months as I was madly writing my own draft at the time. When I finish a draft, I read while it's resting, and I always try to pick at least one indie book. This was the most interesting one with a good beginning that
Kayla McGrath
Jun 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bloody, captivating, and thrilling.

STEEL HAND, COLD HEART was darkly inventive and introducing a fascinating anti-hero with polarizing ideals. The action-packed story was beautifully supported by bold characters and a gripping authors voice.

The Norse-heavy inspiration paired well with the rest of the world building, spinning the known history on its head. Very well done.

Barry Menard
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best YA novels I've read!
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Throughly enjoyed the storyline
Jun 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed this book! I loved the story and how different it was based off other YA novels! Carina is her own hero and I enjoyed the strength of her character and the relationships she built with Nik, Flavian, and Mateo.
Jan 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
16 year-old Carina is one of the Daughters of Hel, steel-handed Viking warriors who provide souls to the Death Goddess in exchange for prosperity. Carina was not borne of the island, but a spoil of a raid when she was a child. Viewing her as an outsider, Carina’s nemesis drugs her and sends her away as a captive on a ship. Can she send the souls of her captors to her god and return home with the spoils? But experiencing odd feelings for a certain someone could make it difficult for her to kill h ...more
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a Viking adventure novel with a backbone! Carina is raised on the Island of Helvar where women rule with a literal steel fist. Though not island-born (she was taken as a spoil of war), Carina wholeheartedly wants to be a warrior.

Steel Hand, Cold Heart follows Carina's journey as she struggles with her need to feel like part of the Helvar warrior family and her need to follow her conscience. Readers will enjoy the sassy and unapologetic (anti?)heroine as she leads us on a non-stop advent
rated it liked it
Aug 31, 2020
Jana D Cook
rated it it was amazing
Sep 18, 2019
Rachel Kenyon
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Aug 25, 2020
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Apr 19, 2020
Bree Hoskins
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Dec 05, 2019
Christina Loewe
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Nov 23, 2019
Cassie Lipp
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Dec 23, 2019
MLB (back from Webtoonland)
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Mar 08, 2020
Chelsea Sandy
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Sep 22, 2019
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Goodreads Librari...: Add Award Please May 2020 3 55 Jun 23, 2020 08:27AM  
░N░e░w░ ░A░u░t░h░...: Rachel Menard 5 9 Feb 29, 2020 01:11PM  
Addicted to YA: VIKING YA FANTASY - Rachel Menard 1 9 May 15, 2019 05:56AM  
Authors & Reviewers: YA Viking Adventure 1 9 Feb 16, 2019 05:44AM  

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My first published work was an essay I wrote in college to win a gift card to the university book store. They printed the essay in the school paper and asked if they could include a photo. I said, "sure," assuming the photo would be small. It was an 8x10 and took up half of the page. For the next three years, I was known as, "Hey, you're that girl who wrote that essay!" Until I volunteered for a c ...more

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