Book Review: Way of the Waves – Janina Ramirez

Author(s): Janina Ramirez
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: Out now


Alva clings to her sleeping wolf as the Viking longship pitches and rolls over the North Sea’s crashing waves. Soon she will reveal herself as a secret stowaway, but only when there’s no chance of turning back.

This is her opportunity to put her sheild maiden spirit to the test – exploring strange new lands, solving mysteries, and most importantly finding her father…

Taken from Way of the Waves


I have some fond memories of reading the precursor to this wonderful book. Riddle of the Runes is the first book of the ‘Viking Mysteries’ series by Ramirez, and also her first children’s publication. Presented with the opportunity to see Ramirez speak at Cheltenham Book Festival, I devoured Riddle of the Runes and fell in love with the protagonist, Alva, a fiery 13-year-old Viking with a wolf as a companion.

When I learned of the publication of Way of the Waves, I could not have been more excited. I didn’t even read the blurb. I just knew I wanted more of Alva’s adventures and beautiful spirit. I was not disappointed.

This second book glides effortlessly from the first and gratefully does not spend too much time explaining how we come to be at the opening point in time. I am sure it is still a wonderful story for those who have not read the first, but I would highly recommend reading Riddle of the Runes before setting sail with Alva in Way of the Waves.

Reading Way of the Waves at the beach ❤

The story is fast-paced and keeps a momentum where you never have a dull moment. There are no fears here of getting bored, there’s no opportunity for that. Ramirez does a fantastic job of weaving together the story and historical fact, so it also acts as an educational tool.

I could not recommend this book highly enough for middle-grade readers (as well as everyone else) as an insight into the world of the Vikings. It has both strong female characters and male characters whose merits are based on their wisdom, cunning, and integrity. Together with stunning illustrations by David Wyatt, it will make a perfect Summer holiday read.

A stunning follow up by Janina Ramirez; I am ready to see where Alva goes next. All I need to do now is get Janina to sign my book so I have a matching set…!

I purchased this book myself and was not asked by the publisher or author to write a review.

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You can support your local bookshop by buying Way of the Waves through them directly, or via Hive.

Comment below

What do you think of Way of the Waves? Will you be reading it? Let me know in the comments below.


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