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Warrior (Blades of the Rose) Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 2010
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Top customer reviews
Another thing that bothered me was the editing. Archer has a great grasp of prose, but sometimes...a lot of times...she would have back to back paragraphs that said the same thing. As if she couldn't decide which paragraph she liked better, so she just left them both in there and no editor slashed it. That bugged me a lot.
Lastly, I think she worked the supporting cast in well. Day, the whore, Graves, the brilliant Negro!!!, and Ming, the strategist, all had depth, interesting quirks and back stories that didn't overwhelm me. But I doubt I'll read anything further from this series. I also liked her treatment of the Mongolian culture and its people. Taught me a lesson that you can praise and criticize a culture by showing many incarnations of its people as a super-villain, a few small town heroes, and all those in between without casting the white man as the savior.
Warrior is the first installment of the four-part Blades of the Rose series, which is just the smartest, sexiest, most imaginative adventurous romance out there. I recommend it not only to romance readers, but also to fantasy and scifi fans and anyone who likes an action-filled story.
Captain Gabriel Huntley returns home to England after war, but the prospect of a settled, staid future frankly appalls him. Small wonder that after he helps a man in a fight and witnesses deadly magic, he undertakes the mission to deliver a message to someone halfway across the world.
Thalia Burgess, living in outer Mongolia, is the daughter of a Blade and aspires to join their ranks. When she learns that a Source is in danger, she and Gabriel embark on a quest to find and protect it.
Thalia is smart, strong, and capable, but still vulnerable. Gabriel is a fantastic and believable former soldier: intelligent but blunt, not especially eloquent, open to new experiences, and honorable to the core. The Mongolian steppes and culture, rendered in respectful detail, make a gorgeous backdrop to transcendent supernatural experiences, amazing love scenes (one of which is also a transcendent supernatural experience), and thrilling action.
I recommend ordering all four at once because once you finish this book, you'll want to start right in on the next one.
You know how most romances show the pov's of both the hero and heroine? But even then the focus is on the heroine's pov with the hero's pov sprinkled in occasionally? This book had the reverse and I loved it! We spent most of the book firmly in Gabriel Huntley's head. I'm so glad, because his narrative voice and the innate goodness in him made that the best seat in the house.
I loved both Thalia and Gabriel, but I have to admit that Gabriel is my favorite. Being in his head gave me an empathy and love for him that I get with very few heroes. I really wish more authors did this! I loved watching him and Thalia evolve from the people they were in the beginning. They weren't unlikeable early on by any means, but they were different.
Gabriel was a man at loose ends, unsure of his future. He found himself following a path his friend proposed for him because he didn't have anything better in mind. But he jumped at the chance to have a purpose over the one proposed for him and ended up meeting Thalia. He was unsure of himself around "ladies" and was awkward and uncomfortable until he couldn't help but be himself.
Thalia was more Mongol than Englishwoman. The people and most attitudes were so much a part of her that she was a delight to read about. In the beginning she was a woman on a mission to prove herself. She had an opportunity to possibly acquire the status she longed for and she jumped at it. Along the way she and Gabriel became a unit and were much stronger together than they ever were apart. Neither of them would have made it to the end without each other. I thought that was nicely demonstrated by the village contest for the honor of guarding their treasure.
The sense of culture in this book was FABULOUS! I seriously wanted to be there with them enjoying the feeling of being "at home" no matter what ger they were in. The details of the Mongolian people and their traditions were very appreciated. I never felt that the land was "wallpaper" or the people were "caricatures," included only to be a token nod to the land the English people were occupying. The details of their lives down to the details of their wrestling really made me impressed with the author's ability to research and include details without info dumping.
Another thing that I loved about this book was the actual relationship between Gabriel and Thalia. Too often I find the "does he/she love me?" of the main characters to be tedious and forced. I like it at times, but sometimes it's nice to meet a hero and heroine who don't fight their feelings for each other. They embrace them and count themselves lucky to have found each other. That was the case here. I never doubted their attachment to each other, and they both knew they were in love even when they didn't speak of it. The conflict came from the circumstances they were in, not internal angst. It was so refreshing.
I cannot leave this review without mentioning the world. Katyana was completely right when she spoke of her difficulty labeling this book as any one thing. It was a mishmash of things, but it worked perfectly for it. I loved all the steampunk inventions that were brought up. Catullus has a quite brilliant mind, and I cannot wait to get to his book to have a peek inside it. The Heirs were an interesting enemy. I think I liked them more because I can see how their cause can come off as understandable in the beginning. It's only when you get to the deeper motives that you really see how shady it all is.
I CANNOT wait to get my hands on the next three books, Scoundrel, Rebel, and Stranger.
Luckily I already own the second book, so I can jump into Bennett's mind immediately!
Most recent customer reviews
Because it's an adventure.
Because the lead male takes his time and the lead female is fiercely independent.Read more