Review: Warrior by Zoe Archer (The Blades of the Rose #1)
September 7 2010
Mass Market Paperback
Yummy Man – Captain Gabriel Huntley
Kick Ass Chick – Thalia Burgess
“To most people, the realm of magic is the stuff of nursery rhymes and dusty libraries. But for Capt. Gabriel Huntley, it’s become quite real and quite dangerous…
IN HOT PURSUIT…
The vicious attack Capt. Gabriel Huntley witnesses in a dark alley sparks a chain of events that will take him to the ends of the Earth and beyond—where what is real and what is imagined become terribly confused. And frankly, Huntley couldn’t be more pleased. Intrigue, danger, and a beautiful woman in distress—just what he needs.
IN HOTTER WATER…
Raised thousands of miles from England, Thalia Burgess is no typical Victorian lady. A good thing, because a proper lady would have no hope of recovering the priceless magical artifact Thalia is after. Huntley’s assistance might come in handy, though she has to keep him in the dark. But this distractingly handsome soldier isn’t easy to deceive…”
Some of you may have noticed that I don’t read many historical books. The reason for that is that I often have trouble getting into stories set in Victorian times. I don’t know why really or what it is about them that doesn’t grab me. I should actually have an advantage over some having worked at Upper Canada Village for three summers while in school. The Village is a recreation of Canada in 1865. I dressed like a girl from that era (petticoat and all), attended school, wrote with quills, worked on the farm and made many cravats and pot holders. I even attended teas and picnics and fairs. I ‘lived’ it…yet I have trouble relating to it. Strange, right?! But I can say that I had no trouble reading or enjoying “Warrior”.
Set in Victorian times, but mostly taking place in Mongolia, “Warrior” by Zoe Archer is a fun story filled with action, adventure and a little magic. I don’t know how you can read this and not think ‘Indiana Jones’. Captain Gabriel Huntley has recently retired from the army in order to lead a ‘normal’ life in England. He’s not too keen on that idea, but feels that’s what he should do. But, after trying to save a man’s life (who actually ends up saving Gabriel’s) he promises to hand deliver a message to someone…in Mongolia. So much for quiet retirement. Gabriel doesn’t mind though. The idea of working a regular job and of finding a proper English wife kind of makes him itch. He really doesn’t understand what the message means, but he is very curious. Once the message is delivered, he is dismissed. The captain doesn’t much like that idea and decides to stick around.
Thalia was born English, but has been raised mostly in Mongolia. Her father, Franklin Burgess, is a member of The Blades of the Rose — a group of men and women sworn to protect the world’s magic. Most people don’t even know there is such a thing as real magic out there, let alone know of the brave men and women who keep its Sources safe. Thalia desperately wants to be a Blade, but she has to first prove her worthiness. Unfortunately, she has never been given a shot to do so…until now. Thanks to her father having a broken leg, she’ll finally get her chance.
I really liked Thalia. I mean I really liked her. She’s strong, brave and a great heroine. She’s spunky and stubborn too. Since she’s been raised away from England and by her father, she’s not as proper as she could be. She rides horses, knows how to shoot a gun and a bow and arrow. She’s so cool! And she’s the perfect match for Gabriel. He’s a soldier and all that that entails. He’s very loyal and protective and true to his word. Oh, and he’s yummy! He needs an equal, not a doily.
As soon as Gabriel and Thalia appear on the page together, sparks fly. Zoe does a fantastic job with the chemistry between them. And let’s talk for a moment about Gabriel and Thalia’s first kiss. I love how it was written. The words are lovely and really paint the picture of two people who are attracted to each other but who know the mission should and must be their first focus. But the passion and heat and sweetness… *sigh* It was a wonderful passage in the book. I also really liked that, even though this book is set in a time where men are ‘above’ women, Gabriel treats Thalia like an equal. Neither likes to take orders, but they always manage to find a compromise and they work exceptionally well together. As you can tell, I really enjoyed this couple.
“Warrior is an adventure story that reads at a nice pace – not too fast, not too slow. If this book is any indication, The Blades of the Rose is going to be a fun series. This is the first of four planned so far. In “Warrior”, Zoe does a nice job introducing us to the characters that we’ll be meeting again. She gives a little back story, but not quite enough. Basically, she peaks our interest and leaves us hanging! I am looking forward to reading the next book “Scoundrel”. After meeting the main hero, Bennett Day, in this first installment, the title seems befitting. “Scoundrel” hits stores October 5th 2010 with two more installments to follow in early November and in early December.
Giggle worthy quotes
“The words that came out of the captain’s mouth were words Batu had never heard before in all the years he had served Franklin Burgess and his daughter. They involved something that had to do with the offspring of unchaste female dogs, and some actions that Batu was quite sure were physically impossible, even for a circus contortionist.”
“’Good Christ,’ Gabriel muttered in the quiet. ‘That was faster than a private with his first whore.’”
“’I’ll see to you first,’ he said.
Cupping his hands, he filled them with water, then poured in onto her shoulder. She gave a small shriek and laughed. ‘Ah, that’s cold!’ She hit the water with a palm, splashing him.
So much for tender, worshipful ministrations.”
Books in The Blades of the Rose series –
Scoundrel (October 2010)
Rebel (November 2010)
Stranger (December 2010)