Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tuesday's Treasure: WARCRY by Elizabeth Vaughan

  • Publisher: Berkley (May 3, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0425241521
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425241523

Heath of Xy has abandoned family, friends, and his fellow guardsmen  in the ancient city to serve his Queen in the Plains. There he learns the mysterious ways of the Plains people and loses his heart to one of their fiercest warriors.

Strong, independent Atira of the Bear desires to be bonded to no man. She rejects Heath’s offer of marriage, despite her undeniable feelings for him. To her, a bonding is little more than a lifetime of servitude ~ and she’ll have none of that. Besides, she’s of the Plains and Heath’s a city-dweller. They’re too different for a lasting commitment to be successful.

With the pregnant Xyian Queen nearing her term, Heath, Atira and a handful of Plains warriors escort her and her Warlord back to Xy to give birth. Their journey is awkward and tense because Heath has decided to no longer have a physical relationship with Atira unless she agrees to marry him.

But a threat to harm the bonded royal couple and their unborn child simmers behind the Xyian castle walls, forcing Heath and Atira to work closer than ever to quell the rebellion.  Proximity breaks Heath’s resolve.  Though he’s helpless to protect his heart, he’ll not stop risking it for Atira.

Atira’s exposure to the city-dwellers way of life gives her a new understanding of Heath and his proposal. She begins to realize that what he’s asking from her is a sharing of their lives, not a shackling.

When Heath thwarts the enemy’s maneuvers to declare the forthcoming royal heir illegitimate, a more sinister plan is set into motion.  It will take all Heath’s and Atira’s strength and battle wits to save the Queen, her beloved and their unborn child.  As the battle for a kingdom and its legacy erupts, Heath and Atira face the reality that they might have to sacrifice their love to win the war.    

Warcry continues the fantasy romance saga of the Chronicles of the Warlands by USA Today bestseller author Elizabeth Vaughan. I’m delighted to mention that Warcry reads beautifully as a stand-alone story.  Ms. Vaughan does a fabulous job of providing just enough backstory to explain the setting and circumstance without bogging down the read.

The descriptive detail is a perfect blend of landscapes bearing a certain familiarity but imbued with a rich essence that uniquely defines a place not of our world. The interactions between the Plains people and the city-dwellers showcase how different cultures perceive the world around them and yet at their core they experience the same needs and wants for love and family.

There are several scenes where the point of view character is someone other than Heath or Atira. This usually occurs in villainous scenes; however, there are short glimpses through the eyes of other secondary characters that give the reader a broader scope of the action. Although I’m not generally a fan of these types of switches, this technique works very well for this story. I didn’t find them intrusive or extraneous. Often, I found these scenes to provide key insights.  Seeing—through the villain’s eyes—how the deaths of his two sons embittered him, provides a depth to the story that can’t be achieved through another character’s perspective.

Heath and Atira’s introspections reveal their struggle to understand the cultural differences between. Only when they learn to see the world through the other’s eyes do they begin to truly accept one another and understand that self-sacrifice is the path to enduring love.

I found Warcry wonderfully entertaining. I especially loved the author’s voice. Her words blend seamlessly on the page, sweeping me up into the action and intrigue so that I couldn’t stop reading until the end. 

Heat Level : Campfire

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Trisha said...

NICE cover... you had me at the abs. LOL.

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