The Bloody Valkyrie backtracks a bit from where the previous book stopped, showing what some other characters were up to. It opens with Shalltear, Sebas, and Solution (one of the Pleiades combat maids) off on a mission. (Apologies for the upcoming spoiler, but without it reviewing this book just is not going to happen.) While they start off dominating anyone trying to fight them, things go awry and Shalltear ends up mind controlled. These opening scenes are entertaining, highlighting how monstrous the main characters are compared to normal people. From this point on, the book switches back mostly to Ainz’s point-of-view.
In the first two books, we have seen Ainz and co. completely dominate every opponent they have faced. This time around the opponent is one of their own, someone who is as powerful as the other main characters. Ainz’s character development continues in this book as he begins to view his minions more as people. Most of them are modeled after their creators, Ainz’s old friends, and observing them reminds him of the good old days and makes him long for those long-lost companionships. These feelings are ultimately what make Ainz decide to face Shalltear in a one-on-one battle.
The big battle between Ainz and Shalltear is obviously the main part of The Bloody Valkyrie. As the story explains, Shalltear’s fighting style is pretty much designed specifically to kill magic users like Ainz. This part of the story does make more sense for readers who have played MMO games and are familiar with their combat mechanics. The novel is also much more detailed in that regard than the television show was, allowing for better explanations of the combat scenes. Kugane Maruyama does very well when writing fight scenes and that really gets a chance to shine in this book.
Like in the last book, there were scenes in The Bloody Valkyrie that were downplayed in the television show. Some of these scenes were probably cut short for time constraints and still worked within the show. However, two key scenes were omitted from the anime entirely. These scenes are probably not going to be too important until later in the story and the TV show producers likely did not know if they were getting renewed for another season when that decision was made, so it is understandable if disappointing. Still, if you want to keep up with this series this is a book that cannot be skipped in lieu of watching this show.