Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan
– historical romance, fantasy romance –
purchased eBook via Amazon.com
Book Order (Chronicles of the Warlands)
- Warprize * * * 1/2
- Warcry (Heath and Atira)
Author’s Website : www.eavwrites.com
Add To Your GoodReads TBR List (634 ratings : 4.14 avg)
In Six Words
slightly predictable but still very entertaining
Why did I read this? And am I glad I did?
I’ve been in the mood for a fantasy (which I’m not sure that this really is one) and Spaz at Wicked Lil Pixie gave this 5 stars. While this didn’t contain any magical elements (is that what makes something a “fantasy” novel), it was set in a time period resembling medieval times and I loved that. It took a few chapters for me to get used to the prose, but when I teared up in the third chapter, I knew that I was going to enjoy the book. Unfortunately the end fell a tad flat for me. The romance began building at a great pace and then came together a little quicker than I expected (I’ll touch on this in the Going Deeper section).
When I finished this last night, I wasn’t sure that I would start the next book. I have so many books I want to read. Do I really want to take up time on something I feel meh about? However, this morning I found myself more curious about what the future held for the characters.
SHE MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN HER PEOPLE AND HER FREEDOM…
Xylara is the Daughter of the Warrior King, Xyron. With her father dead and her incompetent half-brother on the throne, the kingdom is in danger of falling to the warring Firelanders.
Before she was old enough for a marriage-of-alliance, Xylara was trained as a healer. She can’t usurp her brother or negotiate a peace–but she can heal the brave ones injured in battle.
But not only her countrymen are wounded, and Xylara’s conscience won’t let Firelander warriors die when she can do something to save them. She learns their language and their customs and tries to make them as comfortable as possible, despite their prisoner-of-war status.
She never expects that these deeds, done in good faith, would lead to the handsome and mysterious Firelander Warlord demanding her in exchange for a cease-fire. Xylara knows must trade the life she has always known for the well-being of her people, and so she becomes…
– via GoodReads.com
I really loved the idea for this book. I hadn’t read something like this (at least not recently) and liked the idea of a strong-willed woman sacrificing her freedom for her people. I also really enjoyed the magic vs medicine element and expect to see more of this in future books. The romantic scene was a little lacking and from what I hear that continues in future books.
The pacing was great for the first 3/4 of the book, but I felt a little rushed at the end.
Xylara did not take time to win my heart. She was a caring, stubborn woman who disregarded her royal duties to become a master healer. Her desire to help the wounded prisoners of war showed not only her dedication to her profession, but a beautiful inner beauty. The only thing lacking for me was major character development. I don’t mean to say she wasn’t well-rounded. I just didn’t see a change in her and I like to see that in characters.
Again it should be no surprise that I loved the Warlord. I knew who he was the second we met him and fell for him almost instantly. For some reason I always “knew” that his intentions for Lara weren’t evil.
The side characters were great. They were funny, central to the story, and I came to care for them. Everything I want in supporting characters.
I wish we would have learned more about Xymound, Lara’s half-brother who gives her to the Warlord. There is speculation that he was not a true heir and that he hated Xylara her whole life, but we don’t really learn anything about his motives.
Ok I really have to get back into the habit of highlighting these…
To be honest, this reminded me a lot of Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (which I liked more than this I think). If you like historical romance with a strong-minded woman and a softer than he seems overprotective male, then I would recommend giving this a try.
Going Deeper (slight spoilers)
I’m calling these “slight spoilers” because come on it’s a romance obviously the main characters are going to hook up.
Xylara is told by her brother that the only way to bring peace to her people is to be given to the Warlord as a slave. While she is terrified of this barbaric master, she finds herself surprised to come to care for him. When expressing some fears to a friend, she learns that her place as Warprize isn’t what she thought it was. She then turns straight from virgin until bound to a sex fiend. I do not like such quick changes. I loved the conversation and how it changed her opinion of her situation, but I think it should have moved a little more slowly from there.