For What It's Worth

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Review: Rebel by Zoe Archer

Rebel (The Blades of the Rose)Nathan Lesperance is used to being different. He's the first Native attorney in Vancouver, and welcome neither with white society nor his sometime tribe. Not to mention the powerful wildness he's always felt inside him, too dangerous to set free. Then he met Astrid Bramfield and saw his like within her piercing eyes. Now, unless she helps him through the harsh terrain and the harsher unknowns of his true abilities, it could very well get him killed...Astrid has traveled this path before. Once she was a Blade of the Rose, protecting the world's magic from unscrupulous men, with her husband by her side. But she's loved and lost, and as a world-class frontierswoman, she knows all about survival. Nathan's searing gaze and long, lean muscles mean nothing but trouble. Yet something has ignited a forgotten flame inside her: a burning need for adventure, for life - and perhaps even for love...

I have to be honest and say I had hard time getting into Rebel at first. I had just finished Scoundrel – Book 2 in Zoe Archer’s Blades of the Rose series and I adored it! I would go so far as to say it is one of my top 10 favorites for the year. Both Warrior and Scoundrel are non-stop action adventure tales and I was ready for another one when I picked up Rebel but the tone was very different, more paranormal and introspective. So I set the book aside to give it some space between the previous two books.
I’m glad I did because when I came back to it I found I really did enjoy Rebel.
The one thing Zoe has done better than anyone else this year is give us smart, tough heroines and Astrid Bramfield is no exception. A former member of the Blades, she now lives in solitude in the harsh Northwest Territory after the death of her husband Michael at the hands of the Blades sworn enemy – the Heirs. She has closed herself off to everyone until Nathan Lesperance appears. He’s a Native American caught between two worlds. Nathan’s a lawyer but not accepted in the white man’s world and yet rejected by the Native society for trying to make a better life. They both live as outsiders and Astrid feels an immediate kinship to Nathan.
This is the most realistic relationship of the series. Yes, that instant BAM! love/lust is great but this is a slowly developing love. It means something more. The loss of Astrid’s husband is not glossed over. She’s torn by her new emotions for Nathan and her loyalty to Michael. Nathan respects that and gives her the space and time she needs to be able to move onto a relationship with him, accepting that Michael will always be a part of her.
The Heirs are still the enemy in Rebel as they try to steal the world’s magic, which the Blades are sworn to protect. Lesperance becomes an unwitting pawn in the fight. There is more to him than meets the eye and even he isn’t aware of his own magic. Astrid sees it clearly though and helps Nathan come to terms with his gifts and keep him out of the hands of the Heirs. It’s personal for Astrid. She has to face the men who killed her husband and face the possibility that she may lose Nathan after she has just begun to open her heart once again to love.
Loved: Nathan & Astrid were beautifully developed – I believed in their love. Astrid is fierce! Loved her.
Nitpick: Not quite the rip roaring action and humor of the previous two books in the series and it took me a little while to connect to the story.

Rating: 3 out of 4

Author's website: Zoe Archer
Zoe Archer on Twitter: @Zoe_Archer
Buy the book! Rebel (The Blades of the Rose)
Source: ARC from Zoe Archer for my honest review
Zoe's stopped by For What It's Worth a few times - check out her guest post HERE and interview HERE (NOTE - the contest has ended for that post)


  1. Ohh I do want to read a Zoe Archer book..must read one, or get one soon :)

  2. Fantastic review Karen, I'm reading this one now. I do love her heroines, they are all smart and strong without being overly smart and strong so that I get irritated with their "I don't need anyone's help" attitude. This is the first of the series I've read, so I definitely need to go back and read the other two:)

  3. Thanks for the review. I will be starting this one soon.

  4. these books look so good!! great review, karen!