Sunday, January 30, 2011
Review of Warrior by Zoë Archer
Warrior by Zoë Archer
I am in love with this book.
I am so in love with this book, I want to marry it, have a honeymoon, give it a dozen roses, and buy it lingerie.
After a rocky beginning to 2011's romance reading--DNFing Touched By An Alien, almost DNFing Beast Behaving Badly, and discovering that Roarke, hero extraordinaire of JD Robb's In Death series, is actually a metrosexual pansy ass--I have discovered a treasure.
Zoë Archer has created a thing of beauty with this novel. It is the perfect balance of adventure, lush scenery, magic and sorcery, larger-than-life characters, and extraordinary acts of love and heroism. It's Indiana Jones if it were jacked up on romance steroids, and a billion times better in every way. It is full of surprises, which is so very welcome to this jaded romance reader. It has the most incredible love scenes I've read....in a long time. Possibly ever. Sexy, intense, emotional. Everything a romantic encounter should be, but rarely is.
The hero and heroine are just perfection. Huntley is Indy--strong, scrappy, capable, sexy--not as cerebral in a scholarly way, but very well experienced in strategy and war. He is a man of action, a man of honor. Not only does he risk life and limb for the woman he loves, and for her cause, he also does the "right thing" (saving a life) for a perfect stranger. I have a weakness for heroes who have a strong moral compass. For characters who see beyond their own needs, and do the right thing just because...well, because it's the right thing to do. There aren't a lot of people in the world like this, and those who are, in my mind, are truly heroes.
Thalia is his ultimate match. Beautiful, determined, strong, talented in ways that matter in Mongolia. Her loyalty to family, country (which is not England, as it turns out), and cause are undisputed. The love that blooms between these two characters is wonderful to watch....they complement each other, they fight side by side. They are both heroes.
This book magnifies the problems I just had with Naked In Death. While Eve battles the bad guys, Roarke drinks gourmet coffee. There wasn't a satisfying balance between their abilities and their actions. Huntley and Thalia make an incredible team. Huntley soon realizes that his lukewarm dream of settling down with a shy English maid pales in comparison to the reality of being with his warrior lover.
"I like this very much," he said, nibbling on the tips of her fingers. "An army of two."
"Who's in command?" she answered as she fought for breath.
What a wicked smile he had. "Let's take turns."
Archer is a very painterly writer. Some of the scenes in this book were pure magic. The unveiling of the secrets of the tea kettle, with a backward history of Genghis Khan, was just phenomenal. Absolutely spell-binding and beautifully written.
The suspenseful storyline, the gorgeous imagery, the fascinating secondary characters, and the incredibly satisfying love story between two heroic characters make Warrior one of the best books I've ever read. I can hardly wait to read the rest of the series...Scoundrel, Rebel, and Stranger.
2011 just got a whole lot more interesting.
Wondering if Zoë Archer is a pen-name, because it's totally kick ass,