'The Last Shadow Warrior' Read-Along: Chapters 11 - 18By: Shanleigh Klassen
“...it seemed like a perfect metaphor for the mess my life had become in just a few short days. And it was sure going to take an epic mop to clean it all up.” - Sam Subity
Welcome back, Vikings, to Day 2 of our The Last Shadow Warrior read along! Abby and Co. have battled monsters, bullies, and the epic sport of knattleikr. What else awaits them in their quest?
“Abandon hope, all ye who enter here!” This is a SPOILER discussion for Chapters 11 - 18 of The Last Shadow Warrior, so please only scroll down if you’re ready to be spoiled.
Remember, if you join in on our discussion in the comments below, you’ll be entered in to win a FREE OwlCrate Jr box! **Winners for 'The Last Shadow Warrior' read-along have been contacted! Thank you all so much for participating!**
The story so far…
Abby is given an audience with the mysterious Grey Council, made up of Professor Roth, Doc, and Unferth Lodbrok. They inform Abby that they’re disbanding the Aesir order, as Grendel sightings have diminished over the years. When Abby tells them of the Grendel in her home and that Abby’s own mother was a Viking scientist who tracked Grendel sightings throughout history, they don’t believe her!
Soon after, Abby and Jacob help an elderly woman named Granny V into a bingo hall on campus. Abby and Jacob agree to play against Granny V for info on how to help Abby’s father, only for Gwynn to inform them that Granny V is actually a dark Valkyrie and if they lose, she’ll take their souls. The three cleverly cause a distraction that allows Granny V to be disqualified, and she grumpily gives them a library catalogue card as their first clue.
At the library, the card leads them to an old botanical journal that was somehow reserved for Abby four years ago. The journal contains information on the plant that has caused Abby’s dad’s coma. The journal implies that there may still be some of the plant on Vale grounds which could help the doctors find an antidote. Heading to the Vale swimming pool to look for remnants of the mysterious plant, Abby and Co. are instead greeted by a tentacled sea monster. Yikes! After they defeat the monster (with ping-pong balls!), the three realize that the runes on the journal seem to react to their victory, suggesting that they’re completing a series of tasks that will lead them to what they need to help Abby’s dad.
Shortly after, Abby has her first knattleikr practice, described as “like a game of pinball, only with human bumpers.” Though a little tricky at first, Abby soon takes a shine to the rough game. She has a run-in with Unferth Lodbrok after the game, who shares with her that even if Grendels are still around, they cannot be killed without one of the legendary crafted swords of old.
In frustration, Abby runs out of the arena, Grimsby and Gwynn on her heels. Remembering that their next test may be to find Yggdrasil, the three follow the song of a disembodied voice, leading them straight to Iggy—the singing, riddle-giving World Tree itself.
1. Who do you think left the botanical journal for Abby and why?
2. Doc says that knattleikr was a sport often used by the Vikings to help them train for battle. What skills do you think are required to be a good knattleikr player, besides strength?
3. Abby, Grimsby, and Gwynn have conquered quite a few monsters now, such as the bingo battle with Granny V and the ping-pong ball defeat of the sea monster. Which of the monster battles was your favourite to read and why?
4. As we gear up for the last few chapters, do you have any predictions on what will happen next?
Phew! See you again here on Friday as we discuss the conclusion of this epic adventure...
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Cover photo from @a.o.tales.