I didn’t love this book the way I loved Warprize. But I did like it. Overall, it maintains the tone and the feel of the original. The worldbuilding is growing. The sex is a little steamier. The pacing, well, this isn’t really an action series. It’s about choices the characters make –and their implications. In the first book, it was about Lara’s decision to become the Warprize and the effect that choice had on her people, the people of the Plains, and her new Warlord. In this installment, it’s about Lara’s decision to try to save a town stricken by plague, and the ripple effect that choice creates.
Here’s the thing. In Waprize, Lara’s decision was a wholly admirable one. Not only was it selfless, it was wise. Here, she is still selfless to be sure, but wise? Not so much. Which makes it a little bit tougher to love.
Lara’s identity is firmly rooted in her calling as a Healer. But she does not adequately consider the consequences of exposing herself and her guards to a deadly disease. Not only does she over-inflate her abilities in her own mind, but she doesn’t think about what her own infection could mean to Keir. What her failure would say about his ability to rule. What her death would do to his heart. Her intentions are good, but is that a good enough reason to forgive her actions? –For many readers, that answer is likely no. For me, it didn’t destroy her character, but it definitely took some of the shine off the rose.
The events surrounding the plague are really the core of this book. There is not a lot of movement. But, I don’t consider it a waste. Here’s why: I like reading about Lara and Keir. I enjoy watching them come to know and love each other. I love the secondary characters, like Marcus, Isidra, and Gils. Even Iften is a character I love to hate. And while Lara made me want to shake a little of the stupid out of her, I feel like she learned from the events of the book. She grew. Her relationship with Keir is tested and it comes out stronger for it. And speaking of Keir (**swoon**) –what a great hero. He is powerful and sexy and smart and really a good man. I love him.
There are some tough parts of this book. We lose some people we’ve grown to love. And loyalties are tested; and some of them break. But it’s in the emotion that this book shines. In the friendships and love, heartbreak and triumph. I’m glad I read it –now I’m onto book 3.
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Elizabeth Vaughan
Release Date: April 4, 2006