Warprize needs to ask better questions.
Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan (Chronicles of the Warlands, #1)
Chronicles of the Warlands Series Order
SHE MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN HER PEOPLE AND HER FREEDOM…
Xylara is the Daughter of the Warrior King, Xyron. With her father dead and her incompetent half-brother on the throne, the kingdom is in danger of falling to the warring Firelanders.
Before she was old enough for a marriage-of-alliance, Xylara was trained as a healer. She can’t usurp her brother or negotiate a peace–but she can heal the brave ones injured in battle.
But not only her countrymen are wounded, and Xylara’s conscience won’t let Firelander warriors die when she can do something to save them. She learns their language and their customs and tries to make them as comfortable as possible, despite their prisoner-of-war status.
She never expects that these deeds, done in good faith, would lead to the handsome and mysterious Firelander Warlord demanding her in exchange for a cease-fire. Xylara knows must trade the life she has always known for the well-being of her people, and so she becomes…
Thoughts on Warprize
Guys, sometimes I get hung up on QUESTIONS. And these questions fester and grow and needle and suddenly I’m yelling, “Why did you wait 200 pages to ask what it means to be a WARPRIZE?” at Xylara aka Lara aka Warprize.
Seriously. 200 pages before she works up the nerve to ask, even though she has no problem asking about tattoo meanings or customs or ordering people around. Instead, she takes the word of her half-brother who, if she bothered to OPEN HER EYES AND SEE BECAUSE IT’S SO OBVIOUS IT HURTS, is a horrid excuse for a family member and ruler.
Despite that (and the weird names), I kinda liked Warprize. It’s fantasy and romance with historical elements and I am intrigued by the world. It was probably the first book I’ve ever stumbled over first person narrative, though, as I kept expecting to see “she” and “her” and each “I” and “my” was jolting and I had to remind myself that no, Amanda, you’re not reading a third person book.
Though now I’m reading the blurb for the second book in this series and it’s the same couple and while I liked them, I’m not sure I want more of the same. Gimme the happiness of other couples, dammit. Is it too much to ask that one couple’s journey is solved in one book instead of four? Correction. Lara and Keir get three books and there’s a new couple in book four. Is it just me, or does that seem unfair?
I will say that I liked the romance progression between Lara and Keir. Lara clearly has no idea about what’s going on or how Keir feels, but he never forces her into anything. Instead, he draws her in by taking care of her and letting her practice her healing. Good stuff.
In sum, great “I need an escape from life” book, but not a series I’m intending to continue. It pays to ask the right questions, yo. Also to have descriptive love scenes. How does everything fit together? I DON’T KNOW. (Well, I know, but I had to guess for this.)