Warprize

Warprize

by Elizabeth Vaughan

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Overview

“Vaughan’s brawny barbarian romance recreates the delicious feeling of adventure and the thrill of exploring mysterious cultures created by Robert E. Howard in his Conan books and makes for a satisfying escapist read with its enjoyable romance between a plucky, near-naked heroine and a truly heroic hero.”—Booklist

The daughter of a Warrior King, Lara was trained as a healer. With her father dead and her incompetent half-brother on the throne, the kingdom is in danger of falling to warring Firelanders. Unable to depose her sibling or negotiate peace, Lara serves her people by healing the warriors—on both sides of the conflict—who are injured in battle.
 
Lara finds herself educated in her enemy’s language and customs in return for her attention and compassion. She never expects that her deeds, done in good faith, would lead to the handsome and mysterious Firelander Warlord demanding her in exchange for a cease-fire. To save her land and her people, Lara trades her freedom to become the Warprize.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101477748
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/05/2011
Series: Chronicles of the Warlands Series , #1
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 2,891
File size: 514 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Elizabeth A. Vaughan is the USA Today bestselling author of the Chronicles of the Warlands series. She believes that the only good movies are the ones with gratuitous magic, swords or lasers. Not to mention dragons. At the present, she is owned by incredibly spoiled cats and lives in the Northwest Territory, on the outskirts of the Black Swamp, along Mad Anthony’s Trail on the banks of the Maumee River.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

I pulled the shard out just as his wound began spurting blood.

“Goddess, no.” I dropped the knife, pressed my hands against his stomach, into the blood, and threw my full weight onto the wound. Biting my lip, I pressed harder still, desperate to stop the bleeding. “Hold him, boys.”

The apprentices gathered around the table grabbed tight to his arms and legs, all of them wide-eyed and pale as they tried to keep him from moving. The wooden table beneath my aged patient creaked and complained at the added weight as the room echoed with the sound of our leather shoes slapping against the stone floor and my patient’s frantic panting.

A quick glance around the large kitchen told me that there were no other healers in sight. They were all in the main hall, tending the others. Just the apprentices, clustered around the table. Blood bubbled up between my fingers, warm and thick. The metallic smell was strong and settled in my mouth. There was something wrong with the smell, but I was too busy to think on it. One of the lads frantically waved a fresh bandage before my eyes, and I snatched it, crammed it into the wound, and pressed down. I had to get it stopped. The bandage turned to scarlet before my eyes.

The man under my hands groaned and thrashed, trying to get away from the pain. One of the smaller lads was flung away. The patient’s freed arm swiped through the air, catching me on the cheek. Vision blurred for a precious instant as my head rocked back with the blow. My hair came loose, and one long brown curl floated down to lie in the blood that surrounded my hands. The felled boy scrambled up and threw himself back into the fray, grabbing the flailing arm and wrestling it down. “Sorry, Lara,” he told me.

“Hold him.” My voice was a croak. I was too harsh on the lads who were trying their best. Their bloodless faces were pale blurs. I heard the one next to me swallowing rapidly. Pray to the Goddess that he’d not spew on the wound. My shoulders tightened as I tried to increase the pressure, trying to staunch the red flow. “I need help here.” I raised my voice to carry into the main hall that was filled with wounded and other healers.

“Lara? What’s happened?” A quiet, calm voice came from behind me.

It was Eln, thank the Goddess.

The warrior surged up again, and the table squeaked in protest. We stayed with him, trying to keep him still, trying to keep the pressure on. He cried out suddenly, then sagged back, exhausted. I gulped in breath to answer. “The shard came out clean but he’s bleeding.”

A head popped in next to mine as Eln craned his scrawny neck to have a look. My teacher for years, he always moved like a gray lake-crane. He made a noncommittal noise, then pulled a deep breath in through his nose. I gritted my teeth. Sometimes he decides that I need a lesson in the midst of saving a life, even though I’ve held my mastery for years. Eln’s head pulled back, but I could feel him standing behind me.

“Not my patient, and not my place to say.” Eln’s voice was quiet, but cut through the moans of the warrior. “But what happens after you stop the bleeding?”

I slammed my eyes shut. My patient shifted again, and we moved with him, automatically.

“Stubborn child . . .” Eln’s voice was a whisper, but I heard it. “You may have gained your mastery but you haven’t truly learned, have you?”

I did not want to concede to his wisdom, did not want to face what the scent of waste in the blood meant, the scent I’d failed to identify a moment before. But experience had been a hard teacher, harder than Eln had ever been. With a nod, and a strangled sob, I released the pressure on the wound. The apprentices froze, not understanding.

“Come, boys.” Eln spoke quietly. “Come with me.”

I ignored them all as they filed out. One stopped, and looked at me.

“Why’d ya stop?”

Kneeling to wash my hands in a bucket on the floor, I looked up into his wide young eyes. “Eln will tell you, child. Go now.”

Eln would not miss a chance to give a lesson, a chance to explain the slow, painful death of a belly wound that stank of waste. Explain that a good healer knew when to let a patient go, that death wasn’t always an enemy. Explain that good healers didn’t stubbornly refuse to acknowledge their limits. I wished them the best of it, for it was a lesson I’d never learned.

Coward that I was, I took a moment to rinse my tunic and trous of the worst of the blood. That might save me some abuse from Anna when I returned to the castle. She claimed that I didn’t own a piece of clothing that didn’t have blood on it at one time or another. The cool, wet cloth felt good against my hot and sweaty skin.

I took a fresh bowl of water and a clean cloth and bathed the man’s face. The bleeding had turned sluggish. It would not be long now. The man sighed and relaxed, muscles releasing their tension under my touch.

Aye, Eln would offer a lesson. But I would offer comfort to a dying man.

The water seemed to ease him, and I put the cloth down for a moment, and steadied myself. I forced myself to rinse my hands again, working the nails to get the blood off. I took a moment to clean the one stray lock of hair and tuck it up again. My hair was a constant irritation, the curls were never content to stay neat on top of my head.

The kitchen had cleared again. It was the best room in the old barracks to use for the worst of the wounded. The large tables served well, and every counter and cupboard was filled with jars and bowls of ointments and remedies. I stared at their bright colors and the false promise of the claims that they could cure all ails. But nothing lay there that could save this man.

A noise drew my attention down. His eyes fluttered open. Once again I took up the water and cloth. As I worked, he focused on me, a question in his stare. I smiled.

“You are in the healing house, warrior. You took a wound. Rest now.”

He licked his lips, narrowed his eyes. “Lance . . . tip broke off . . . belly.”

I nodded. No need to speak. He knew.

He closed his eyes, then opened them again and for the first time he seemed to really look at me. “Fought with your father, Lady.” He gasped as the effort cost him breath. His voice was soft and tight.

I paused. Few were left that could claim to have known my father. “I am sorry, but I don’t know you.”

He didn’t seem to hear me. One corner of his mouth turned up. “You’ve his eyes, child. All fey blue and wise.” His arm trembled as he tried to raise his hand. I caught it and held it in mine. His eyes got a strange light in them, perhaps an echo of his younger self. “Now there was a king, your father. What a warrior he was.” He looked over my shoulder, seeing into the mists of memory.

“I miss him,” I said quietly.

A wave of pain crossed his face. “Aye, Lady,” was the breathless response. “So do we all.” He seemed to gather strength somehow, and he squeezed my hand and gave a slight tug. I lowered my hand to his mouth. With a rasping breath, he spoke. “My hand to yours. Bless you, Xylara, Daughter of the House of Xy, Daughter of Xyron, Warrior King.” He pressed his dry lips to the back of my hand.

It had been long since I’d heard those old words. I kissed his forehead. “My hand to yours. Blessings upon you, Warrior of the House of Xy.”

He smiled, slipping into death even as his hand slipped from mine.

“YOU CARE TOO MUCH.” IT WAS ELN AGAIN.

His voice floated over the stone tubs that had been set aside to wash instruments. I ignored him for the moment, concentrating on getting things clean and ready for the next wave of wounded. Experience taught that the lulls in the fighting were to be used, not wasted.

“A good healer is dispassionate. Objective.”

The warrior’s body had been taken up for burial. He had been the last of the severely wounded. I had a small cluster of unhappy apprentices outside, boiling bandages and linens. Not their favorite chore, but a vital one.

Eln had started brewing more orchid root at the fire. The sweet scent was a comfort. Others were tending the large kettles of fever’s foe outside. Everyone, no matter how tired, worked and waited. For the sounds of more battle, more wounded. I closed my eyes, giving in to my exhaustion, and prayed for an end to the war that waged outside the city walls. Prayed that the Firelanders would stop using their lances. Prayed that I’d be skilled enough that no more of my patients would die.

Eln rattled the jars and bottles, and I opened my eyes and watched him. My old teacher, his long arms stretching out, putting them in some kind of order. Slow and steady, moving carefully on tall legs, considering each step. The straight, gray hair that flowed down his back only added to the image of a lake-crane. He gave me a look out of the corner of his eye, and shook his head. “How can one so slight be so stubborn?”

“Eln, how long was I your apprentice?”

He stared pointedly at my bruised cheek. “Long enough to learn.” He regarded me with a solemn look.

“And I have been a master for how long?” I rinsed more of the instruments and set them on a cloth to dry.

He pursed his lips, and pretended to study one of the jars. “Long enough to learn to talk back.”

I snorted. “During that period, how many times have you said that to me?”

“More than I can count, but that does not make it any less true.” He started to gather up the things we would need to check the wounded and tend them. “If you are so wise, Lara, then why do I see guilt in your eyes?”

I glanced out the kitchen window. The afternoon shadows were growing. “I should not have tried to cut it out. Should have left it alone. If I had . . .”

“If.” Eln came to stand next to me. “If you had left it in, was his death not as sure? You tried. That was all you could do. All any of us can do when we are overwhelmed like this.”

I dried my hands, and blinked back tears I didn’t have time for. “We’d better get to work.”

Customer Reviews

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Warprize 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 113 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The King of Xy¿s daughter Xylara chooses to become a healer rather than a royal pawn, and her sire allows her to train under the tutelage of Eln and to use her skills especially when they are at war. When her father dies, her half brother Xymund becomes the monarch. He sees healers as traitors because they comfort the enemy too and has other plans for his sister insisting the Daughter of the Blood can be used as a bargaining chip in their war with the Firelanders........................ Xymund may be Zy¿s son, but he is not his equal as a warrior so their country loses to the Firelanders. Negotiating a peace, Xymund cleverly includes his half-sister as a WARPRIZE. Reluctantly Xylara accepts her fate to keep her people safe. To her shock, Xylara finds her hosts are not barbarians but have many of the same concerns the people of Zy have. When she heals and nurtures the ill, Keir the Warlord realizes what a WARPRIZE he really gained. As they fall in love and peace settles on the two lands, Xymund tries a sneak attack as he covets his neighbor¿s kingdom....................... The key to this strong otherworld romantic thriller is that readers will believe that the world of Zy and Firelander exists as Evelyn Vaughn cleverly throughout her fine tale provides cultural tidbits into this realm. The story line reads like a medieval tale with bartering of royals as commodities and betrayals a way of life. Interestingly though Keir and Lara go from disdain to admiration to love as both struggles with trust issues because duplicity is the norm in their respective circles. Fans of medieval like romances on other worlds will take immense delight in this terrific tale.............. Harriet Klausner
Evesica_Royale More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book and the continuing series. The characters were very much alive and the setting was very detailed. I definitely reccomend this to people who love a historical fiction with some fantasy and romance thrown in! The plot can be a little confusing in the beginning because of the creative names Ms. Vaughan gives items (ie. coffee is called kavage in the books) but everything makes sense in the end. This book is one that is difficult to put down, even if you are reading well into the night. I have read it again and again and have yet to be bored with it.
kep More than 1 year ago
I found this book refreshing and enjoyable. The main characters are Keir the Warlord who is powerful, honorable, intelligent and stubborn and Lara the Warprize who is gentle, caring, just as intellegent and just as stubborn. What makes their story so enticing is that Keir is tough and rough when he needs to be but so gentle and tender with Lara. The secondary characters are just as great and enjoyable. They help enhance the plot and make the main characters more interesting. I loved them all. My favorites being Gils, Atira and Simus. The author has a gift with words and she draws you into the two diifrerent cultures she has created (Xyians and Firelanders). I enjoyed this book very much and highly recommend it.
moonlesslife More than 1 year ago
I actually fell in love with this book after reading it for the reason I became captivated with Lara and her high spirited ways and attitude. The book creates a world in which you enter during a time of war and peace settlements. The king, who is in many ways tyrannic, gives up his sister to keep his throne. XyLara only agrees to become the warprize to help her people and to do her duty, in the process of being a master healer. I definately rate this book a 5 for it's ability to captivate the reader so deeply, that the book becomes addicting and hard to put down.
TJ_Shaw More than 1 year ago
4 Beautiful Stars! I decided to give this epic fantasy a go after reading some reviews about it and I’m so glad I did. The opening scene sucked me right into the story. I just love books that hook me within the first few pages, better still if within the first few sentences just like WARPRIZE. Lara is an amazing female protagonist. She has an internal strength and devotion to her craft as a healer that makes her very courageous even though she’s not a warrior. I loved her passion and voice. Keir, the Warlord, wasn’t as clearly depicted for me, maybe because Ms. Vaughan wrote in the heroine’s POV only. Although I still got a good picture of him, I would’ve liked to know what he was thinking during some scenes. I also would’ve liked a little more action in the bedroom, but those nit-picky sentiments didn’t prevent me from enjoying the book. Ms. Vaughan’s writing style kind of reminds me of Jean Auel and her CLAN of the CAVE BEAR series in that Ms Vaughan is very descriptive in her world building, yet not to the point of dragging out a scene. I look forward to reading the next in the series, WARSWORN. Focused. Strong. True.
usabraat1 More than 1 year ago
Great read, couldn't hardly put it down till I finished it! Can't wait for the next one to come out.
EnterThePortal More than 1 year ago
For me, WARPRIZE hit the spot, but it was not your typical epic fantasy or fantasy romance. It reminded me a bit of the Daenerys Targaryen storyline in Game of Thrones (the sister who marries the warlord barbarian)...Xylara is given to Keir, the warlord barbarian, by her brother the king, and forced to live with him in his army camp. But the similarity ends there. Xylara believes she is a slave. Keir demanded her as Warprize as part of a peace agreement with the Kingdom of Xy. Despite her apparent captivity, Xylara begins to find a place in the army camp as a healer and even comes to appreciate the hard warlord that sleeps next to her and the ways of his people. Meanwhile, Keir does everything he can to make Xylara feel welcome, while still maintaining his warrior pride. Characters: *****5 Stars I loved the characters in WARPRIZE. Xylara is strong in her convictions, frequently standing up for what she believes in and facing down warriors twice her size and covered in weapons. Yet she also maintains a certain vulnerability because of her lack of size and strength, and because her brother has emotionally wounded her by giving her away as a slave. Similarly, Keir is a leader, strong and proud, but he seems to truly care for Xylara, who becomes his weakness. The side characters were extremely well-drawn, rounding out a wonderful cast with Simus, the loud and humorous general; Gils, the wannabe apprentice healer; Joden, the Singer and storyteller who records the oral history of the clan; and Marcus, the always grumbling and grouchy manservant for Keir. Plot: **** 4 Stars The action was a little weak, the story mostly revolving around the relationships between the characters and the internal conflict. However, that really didn't bother me as the story was so strong in other areas, so I never really felt the lack. If you like a character-driven novel, this would be a good pick. Setting: ****4 Stars The setting was beautifully developed. I could almost taste the dust in the practice ring, or see the tents in the army camp, and there was a marked difference between the setting in the camp versus the setting in the city. I became absorbed Xylara's world, making the story flow around me as I read. Romance: ***** 5 Stars I really liked the level of romance in WARPRIZE. The characters don't just jump into bed right away...well, they sort of do since Keir installs Xylara in his tent and sleeps next to her, but they don't do anything while they're there for most of the story. It gave them time to get to know each other and the author did a great job developing their relationship, including its flaws. Genre - Fantasy: *** 3 Stars This was not your typical modern fantasy novel. There was no magic, no mystical creatures, no dwarves or elves or vampires. In a way, it was more of an alternate world political intrigue and adventure story. The focus of the plot was on the cultural conflict between these two very different peoples. That being said, I think it's a bit of a throwback to fantasy novels of the past. The technology is medieval and life is a struggle for survival. I thought it was refreshing to get away from the modern urban fantasy/paranormal romance for awhile. I recommend this for people who are new to fantasy, enjoy strong characters and relationships, and/or don't mind a slower-paced novel with a little less danger and physical excitement.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was marvelous. Lara is definatley my all time favorite female heroine. She's smart, strong and compassionate. Though she seems to fall in love really quickly, she's not head over heals all the time and retains a decent amount of self-respect. The characters kept me laughing throughout the entire book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is book #1 of a triology. The entire triology is wonderful. Sad to see the stories end. The set focuses on other adventures and not just the 'romance,' but it is so well written I got attached to the main characters as well as many others in the story. This was a true, deep love story. Such a nice change from the typical 'guy chases girl.' And really not a paranormal. One small incident when they say goodbye to thier dead....Nice book, well written. Couldn't put it down. Had to reread this and book #2 when book #3 (finally) came out. LOL
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of those rare books that was seen as a 'beach read', and came through as a true adventure. With people that really speak to you and a more than convincing world, the romance of this book runs free. I did not believe I could enjoy a book with a story-line that pushes a (virgin) healer into slavery. Yet, I LOVED this book!!! Who'dve thought?
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a person that scours the shelves in the book store for something that sounds different. If your like me warprize should be your next book. Because it was surprisingly different. Just set aside the weekend and get comfortable, because it's a hard book to put down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved the pace of the book because it keeps you on the edge of your seat. I reccommend this book to anyone that justs wants to read a good book about romance.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Warprize casts two fantasy cultures on a collision course and we experience it through the main characters: the warlord and his warprize. The protagonists are complex, interesting, and unpredictable enough to make fascinating reading. Their cultures function as characters in the story as well, since communication is fraught with cultural assumptions and traditions that complicate the plot. With strong secondary characters, cinemagraphic story-telling, and adept character development, the adventure flies along. It's been months since I stayed up late reading a good book. What a relief from the lamely written vampire/werewolf drivel swarming the shelves under the guise of fantasy.
SkagitGrits 10 days ago
All of the elements of a fairy tale..a princess beloved by her people but scorned by her brother, the king. a wild , rugged and, yes, sexy Prince who is one of the enemy but romantic sparks fly. she is fiesty; he is kind but has a temper. heavy sigh....a tale told too many times.
Laura Foster 10 days ago
Good characters and enjoyable story. I look forward to reading more by this author.
Denise Yamada 4 months ago
Great+story+with+action%2C++passion+and+humor.+
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love how it seems both simple and yet the characters are so complex.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written with characters that seem very real.
new_user on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Warprize disappointed me. I had my first clue a few pages in when I realized the prose I could expect would be basic at best, for a romantic fantasy. While I liked the premise of Warprize and Vaughan's grasp of relationships and human dynamics, the plot was mild, with little conflict to speak of and thus, little suspense or action or even upset. It's all very ho-hum. I liked the hero Keir -he was to all appearances strong and charming and everything nice, an admittedly refreshing change from the normal gamut of romance heroes- but we only know him superficially, through the heroine's eyes. For those who don't like first person narratives, Warprize embodies all that form's weaknesses. Readers are treated to a painstaking list of the heroine's every mundanity in a flood of monotony: "I...went into the bathing area to remove the dress carefully. I tried to fold it, but the material slipped and slid, the dress ending up on the floor every time. Tired, frustrated and upset, I finally gave up and left it lay on one of the benches. A tunic and trous were set out for me, and I climbed into them for sleeping. After washing out my undergarments, I washed up quickly. My hair was windblown from the tower and the ride, so I gathered up a comb and returned to the other room to try to deal with the tangled mess."Was her editor unavailable that day? I've heard my GoodReads friends describe first person narratives as journal writing. Warprize is journal writing if the writer were a drone. The heroine lists events, lifelessly recounts her reaction in brief (if that) and repeats indefinitely. There is next to no internal dialogue, so we never know the heroine. Since most of these events revolve around her work in the field as a healer, the account becomes excruciatingly repetitive and descends into unnecessary detail (as above). I can't count the number of times I read about Lara brewing fevers foe, but I'm sure a recipe would sum up the book nicely.I can understand completely when readers question whether Warprize can be called a romance. Since the heroine, or more properly, the disinterested observer, has no feelings, there's no sexual tension or tension of any kind. Nine times out of ten, we see the hero from a distance. He's gone fishing most of the time. Else, we receive only a brief report of his dialogue with a woeful lack of body language, or any insight into Keir's character. Warprize is certainly not like the passionate romances, explicit and non-explicit, to which I'm accustomed. It is more appropriately an account of a foreigner in an army camp or a remote ballad. I've seen romances with too much inner dialogue where the heroine stews and wrings her hand endlessly. This is the other end of the spectrum entirely. Two-thirds through the book I finally realized, nothing is happening. It's essentially about the heroine learning about her new people and caring for them. A travelogue, in short. I would recommend this book for someone wanting a calm, mild, relaxed romance with no moral questions, darkness or turbulent emotion. Perhaps on a rainy day. Also, for those wondering, this is PG, maybe 13 for some "kissing" and a vague sex scene. I'm sure this is someone's cuppa. At least the ending was nice.Just a note: there is no middle-eastern culture. Someone mentioned such a label on the book in another review. Just a clarification.
holly123 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy this at first. I did not like the first person perspective at the beginning but once I got into it I loved it! I enjoy the supporting characters as much as the principals. An imaginative world. It's just a pity that EVs recent books are not up to the standard of this first trilogy.
unfufu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very entertaining romantic book. The heroine Lara is very lovable. The hero Keir is what any woman would want. The traits of the "Firelanders" and their customs are very interesting. The book is fun to read and the romance is heartfelt. I enjoy the series very much. This first one book being the best of the three.
rocalisa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book comes from Tor's relatively new Paranormal Romance imprint. I'm guessing it was started as a challenge to Luna, which is doing very well with its range of fantasy with a good dose of romance. Like the Luna novels, Warprize is a fantasy novel before it is a romance novel, but it does focus sharply on the interactions between the main characters Xylara and Keir. It has its fair share of misunderstandings as well, but these are due to different cultures rather than mutton-headed stupididy, which makes them a reasonable challenge rather than straight out annoyance. I thoroughly enjoyed it, although it does fall into my 'good, solid read' range as there didn't feel like there was anything extra that pushed it up to outstanding. For all that, it was indeed a good, solid read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Xylara is a good heroine, determined and strong and thrown into a culture and position she doesn't understand. She makes the best of it and soon builds a place for herself based on her own personality rather than the one custom - and foreign custom at that - has given her. Once most of the misunderstanding are cleared up, she uses her brains and her knowledge to find a solution that isn't only what she wants, but will be best for her kingdom. I would have been disappointed if she had either followed her heart without considering her people, or done the noble sacrifice thing without considering her own wishes. Instead, she manages to find a workable solution that is going to lead to more adventures but hopefully has staved off total disaster. Keir did suffer a bit from mule-headed-hero syndrome, but he was working on changing it and he deserves points for that. He does also need to learn to talk to people a bit more - or at least to Xylara, as he seems to manage fine with his warriors. I'll be interested to see how he copes with his warprize in the next book, especially now he knows exactly how determined she can be. In a book that is as much a fantasy as a romance, he is a good, strong leader who is trying to bring about change, but is himself caught up in the customs and assumptions with which he grew up. His focus is on his army and his his warriors and their futures as much as his building relationship with Xylara, which is all to the best. Vaughan has also created a solid cast of minor characters who step off the page as people rather than ciphers. I'm especially interested to learn more about Altira and Xylara's self-appointed apprentice Gils, while there seems to be a major storyline awaiting Joden once the party reach the Plains.
flemmily on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A sweet, classic fantasy-romance. I love the clash of cultures and the "barbarian nomads." It took a couple chapters to get interesting, but a very quick read after that. I read it on a recommendation based on Kate Elliot's Jaran series, and it really is a similar, although simpler story. It also reminded me a bit of Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword, but again Warprize is simpler, and the world is not quite the unique and compelling Damar.
jjmcgaffey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Interesting culture clash romance. Cityfolk against the nomads - with some seriously nasty folk on each side, and a good many seriously decent ones. Excellent worldbuilding. One thing I really liked was that the author didn't take any of various easy ways out - nomads come to the city and immediately settle in; city girl goes among the nomads and, again, immediately settles in (happy in her new life); all the good guys unite against the bad guys and happy ending...no, none of that. Good guys pulling in various directions, each with their own notion of what's right. Lots of culture clashes, on every level from food and clothes to honor and the value of oaths. Even when the bad guys' manipulations are uncovered, it doesn't end the clashes - in some ways it makes them worse, because she's no longer fighting an enemy but someone she'd like to know better - but she's still completely out of her milieu. If this were a pure romance, the author could have stopped with this one; but since it's a culture clash story, there's still quite a lot to tell.
cedargrove on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was both not quite what I expected, and exactly what I expected both at the same time. It was predictable, but even those moments were tackled in an interesting way that made you want to read on. I got this book over a year ago, and wanted to read it because of the obvious parallels: The woman of noble blood who becomes a master healer, whose healing leads her to a life changing situation was quite the draw for me, and it was hard to wait to read this book.One of the things I liked about the book was the way the clash of cultures was approached and dealt with by the writer. It was never overstated, but since it was a central cause of conflict in the story, it was an important element and played its part perfectly.There were points in the book where I felt myself become so emotionally invested that I almost wanted to cry, and times when I laughed out loud. There were points when the behaviour of the characters put me in mind of other people from different stories, going to show that some of the things we do for love are universal, even when that concept is almost completely alien to us. For a blatantly obvious 'romance' novel, (the author thanks her chapter of RWA), it was surprisingly engaging.