I have been dying to write this review for months now. I had a chance to read the first three books in this series and oh what a ride! Zoe Archer’s Blades of the Rose series is a blend of Historical Romance, travelogue, rip roaring adventure with a touch of the paranormal. I can’t even imagine what section they will deem to place Warrior in the bookstores…lol.
Here’s the premise; the world has always been full of magic but as mankind evolved so did their capacity to use the magic for evil so it had to be hidden – in “sources”, sometimes an ordinary object like a teapot and other times in objects of legend such as the Hammer of Thor. The Heirs of Albion want to possess all this magic in the name of England to dominate the rest of the world but they are thwarted in their efforts by a small band of heroes – The Blades of the Rose. It’s a race to see who can recover the sources first!
Each book focuses on a different member of the Blades in a different exotic local and in Warrior we are whisked away to Mongolia and introduced to one of my favorite heroines ever, Thalia. She is smart, brave and no nonsense, doing whatever it takes to save mankind and become a member of the Blades herself. She can save herself – thank you very much! Gabriel Huntley former member of Her Majesty’s Army is just looking for somewhere to settle down but stumbles into the adventure of a lifetime and into the arms of a woman that captivates him.
The best way I can describe this book is to compare it to Indiana Jones (or maybe Romancing the Stone) and I’m not sure if Archer favors that comparison but I mean it in the best way! There is so much action, history, scenery and romance rolled into one book!
Where this series shines though is with the characters themselves. There are so many books out there right now that claim to have intelligent women and men who appreciate them but Warrior takes it to a new level. I LOVED Thalia and her hero (nay – partner) Gabriel truly appreciates both her brains and beauty.
I’ll let Zoe’s writing do the talking here with just a few of my favorite passages that show Thalia’s strength and Gabriel’s devotion to her.
Thalia learning to rely on herself:
“What if she failed the Blades? Failed Gabriel? What if she failed herself?
She heard Gabriel shouting his support from behind her, yet while his words warmed her, she didn’t take encouragement from him. It had to come from within. If she relied on something, someone, outside herself, then she would be no good to the Blades. She must be strong on her own.”
Gabriel and Thalia - having a sexy little discussion about teamwork before they head to battle:
“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.”
Warrior is a great kickoff to a really fun series. There are no big mysteries or deep pondering plots but you do get characters that you can root for and care about. As I said before I adored Thalia – I just can’t say enough good things about this girl! While I liked Gabriel, he is a little to “manly” for my personal tastes but still a wonderful character. I reserve my devotion for Bennett who shows up in book 2 – Scoundrel (The title tells you all you need to know!)
Loved: The characters were a smart and a breath of fresh air for this genre.
Nitpick: The setting of Mongolia wasn’t my favorite but again this is personal preference not the writing itself.
Rating 3.5 out of 4 ......... Pure Escapism!
Author's Website: http://www.zoearcherbooks.com/Home.html
Buy the book! Warrior (The Blades of the Rose)
Pre-order Scoundrel (The Blades of the Rose) (trust me on this! <3 Bennett)
Read Zoe Archer's introduction to the Blades of the Rose
Win a signed copy of Warrior HERE !