"Warcry," Elizabeth Vaughan

Pros: Nifty world-building and characters
Cons: Medieval-type fantasy setting sometimes felt a bit modern in attitude; definitely make sure you start with earlier books
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Review book courtesy of Penguin Group

 

From the back of the book:

Atira of the Bear is a fierce Plains warrior who lives for battle—and values freedom above all else. … Heath of Xy has traveled to the Plains to serve his Queen—but also because he cannot resist the hunger he feels for Atira. Now that the Queen and her Warlord are returning to Xy, he has one more chance to convince this beautiful, proud warrior to share her life with him.

But all is not well in Xy. There is a faction of nobles who are plotting against the Queen and her barbarian Warlord. As cultures clash and tempers flare, Heath and Atira must come together to fight the conspiracy… and to search their hearts for something deeper than raw passion.


 

These days, many book series don’t fall into the old mold of simple trilogies with strong arc plots. Instead, many of them go on for an uncertain number of volumes, have a distinct and separate plot in each book (with continuing elements), and don’t bother to say anything like “book 2 of the X series” on the cover (thus, you might not even realize you’re reading book 2 of a series until you’re partway through it). Sometimes by the time you get your hands on a particular installment, you might not even be able to find earlier books in print any more. Because of this, it has become more and more important that books be able to stand alone. Since publishers often send me books to review from series I haven’t read before, I often find myself in a handy position to let people know whether it’s worth dropping into the middle of a series. In the case of Elizabeth Vaughan’s Chronicles of the Warlands I’d have to say that no, you should really start at the beginning.

Warcry is certainly an enjoyable book. The characters are fairly entertaining, if a bit unexpectedly modern in some of their outlooks, and the world comes across well. I enjoyed the differences between the plains people and the city people, and the ways in which they clashed and got along.

While some characters seemed a little stock, others showed unexpected depth and defied their stereotypes nicely. I enjoyed the politicking and conspiracies, and felt they were carried off well. Warcry doesn’t top my list for the year, but it had no major flaws and fell into the solidly engaging and enjoyable category. Well worth reading.

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