I loved this book. If you enjoy fantasy romance –even a little– I would recommend it without hesitation.
This is a story about people. By that I mean, it’s not an epic fantasy. It’s not about complicated politics or really nuanced worldbuilding. It’s about Lara, a wonderfully drawn healer, and her journey of sacrifice, empathy, and evolution. It’s about her Warlord hero, her friends, and her new community –all created with depth and care; all rich with real personality and designed with an impact on her journey. And it’s about how she falls in love in a way that swept me off my feet and made me believe and cheer and swoon in equal measure.
If that doesn’t convince you to give it a try, I don’t know what will.
Let me tell you a little about the story. Lara is a healer of her people. She is also a royal princess, half sister to a jealous king who is at war. She takes her calling very seriously, even giving aid to her injured enemies. But when it’s time for peace, her life is turned upside down as she is given to the enroaching Warlord as his Warprize, a station her brother describes as a whore and a slave. She accepts her lot, however, putting her people first, hoping to assure their safety.
Lara is quickly immersed in the camp of her new Warlord and must adapt quickly. The romance between her and Keir is very slow in forming, both physically and emotionally, which is part of what makes it so good. Instead of mucking it all up with an insta-love, we see Lara learn her Warlord and his people. Not only do we get to know Keir, but Marcus, Joden, Simus, and so many others. They weave such a rich tapestry of the Plains people –and allow us to see Lara’s true character as she interacts with them all.
This book is all from the heroine’s POV, so we don’t get inside Keir’s head. But that was actually kind of pivotal to the way some of the reveals play out.
The entire book kept me interested, but when the romance finally came around, it really knocked it out of the park for me. There are some love scenes, which are a bit tamer than I am used to, but work in the context of the story. It all just worked for me. The romance as a whole really engaged me emotionally. I don’t want to spoil too much, but I actually cheered out loud at the ending. I couldn’t have been more satisfied. I loved it.
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Elizabeth Vaughan
Original Release Date: January 1, 2005
ReRelease Date: April 5, 2011