When We Were vikings by Andrew David MacDonald Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

About: Zelda has a cognitive deficiency. She doesn’t let that stop her. She keeps living her life and proving every day that she can live a very independent lifestyle. The only problem is that she’s put in danger. Her brother who she lives with and is taking care of her has gotten into a shady business to make ends meet and take care of himself and Zelda.

Plot: I really enjoyed this book very much. It wasn’t at all what I expected to be honest, but I am really okay with that. I loved the point of view. It kind of makes me feel like it sheds light on people with special needs a little more. I believe that many people feel like people with special needs all fit into one solid group. That’s just not the case. There are some who will never be able to live life alone, and there are some that are some that are very high functioning and live in society like everybody else.

Characters: I feel so much for Zelda. She’s got this obsession with vikings. She considers herself an expert. Things happen that were other people’s fault she’s blamed for. The worst part is that she’s taking that blame on. She’s also taken advantage of a lot. It’s horrifying. The other characters were great. Especially AK47. I just wish there were more of them. I would have loved to see another point of view in this book.

Narration: I toggled back and forth between reading this book and listening to it. It’s narrated by Phoebe Strole. She did a really great job. I feel like she really accented and honed in on Zelda’s personality. It was awe inspiring.

Suggestions: I would have liked to see other points of view in this. And maybe something after the ending.

Recommend: I really do! I do have to say there are a few trigger warnings in here.


Most of the heroes of the sagas are men who saved fair maidens from villains and monsters, because the fair maidens could not save themselves. This was a problem. I did not want to be a fair maiden who needed to be saved. I wanted to be the hero doing the saving.

He needs to write his own legend.

…Sometimes the world thinks something is not possible, but it turns out that they can be wrong.

Sometimes the most important things don’t fit on lists.

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