Saturday, February 04, 2012

Review: Warrior by Zoe Archer

The Particulars:  Adventure Romance, Zebra, available in print and e-book
The Source:  Purchased at Kobo.
The Grade: A-
The Blurb:

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.

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…

The Review:
I purchased this book when it was released, and I started reading it but for a number of reasons I never finished it. Until now. And oh my. This is the perfect mix of adventure, magic and love.
This story begins in Southampton, but most of the action takes place on the Mongolian steppes and in China. At times, it felt like I could feel the wind blowing in my hair, as I read about their adventure. The setting felt realistic, from the ride through the steppes through the time they spent with the Mongolian tribe. The journey through Mongolia felt realistic, from the fact that Thalia steered away from the settlements. I liked at the clues to the next part wasn't easy, nor obvious, and that they had to figure it out on they own. And let me tell you, there were unexpected twists.

But an solid worldbuilding and a good plot isn't enough for me. Nope. I have to love the characters as well. Which I did. Gabriel is an ex-soldier, but he has a sense of honor that makes him stick by Thalia's side. And Thalia.. Raised in Mongolia, she is hardy, and used to travel. I must admit that she is the perfect woman for Gabriel.
Even if they feel an instant attraction, they fight it for a long time. I loved that, since it felt like a realistic reaction, since Victorians would have considered it unseemly if they had made love too soon. When they give in? Sizzling. That is all I am saying.

Despite all the good things about it, it sometimes that potential enemies turned out to be allies a bit too easily. Still, I was able to brush it away and focus on the story.

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