Warrior (The Blades of the Rose, #1)

Warrior (The Blades of the Rose, #1)This book kinda defied my shelving system I felt like I needed a vaginal paranormalish adventure tag, but that s weird to even type, so whatever WARNING THERE ARE LOTS OF GRAPHIC NAUGHTY SCENES IN THIS So there It s definitely a romance book, but I think the plot surpasses the genrefication I LOVED this book, and even without the naughty bits I would have really enjoyed it, which is how I like to judge my romancy reads.This is like a Period Indiana Jones caper set in the corset age With magic stuff I mean, brilliant combo on the face of it at least there s no Vampires I really really loved the two leads here, Thalia, the heroine, she was not too dumb to live, and when she lacked skills it was believable, and Gabriel, the hero, was terse and well fleshed out leading man who was not a brutish Alpha thank goodness There are some paranormal magical aspects here in the world building that if you think about it too much it s a BIT dis believable, but the author created a world I bought into and I really enjoyed the characters MOST EXCITINGLY, the three sequels are coming out ONE A MONTH for the next several months WHAT Sono waiting for the rest I love it I really am interesting in how they progress, because in one of them, there s an African American lead hero with a white female These books are set in a late 19th century setting, so I m really interested how the author will be able to deal with this and seem like it s based in reality at all. Wow, I am so pleased that I picked this book up It was EXCELLENT I loved the world and the characters so much.You know how most romances show the pov s of both the hero and heroine But even then the focus is on the heroine s pov with the hero s pov sprinkled in occasionally This book had the reverse and I loved it We spent most of the book firmly in Gabriel Huntley s head I m so glad, because his narrative voice and the innate goodness in him made that the best seat in the house.I loved both Thalia and Gabriel, but I have to admit that Gabriel is my favorite Being in his head gave me an empathy and love for him that I get with very few heroes I really wish authors did this I loved watching him and Thalia evolve from the people they were in the beginning They weren t unlikeable early on by any means, but they were different Gabriel was a man at loose ends, unsure of his future He found himself following a path his friend proposed for him because he didn t have anything better in mind But he jumped at the chance to have a purpose over the one proposed for him and ended up meeting Thalia He was unsure of himself around ladies and was awkward and uncomfortable until he couldn t help but be himself Thalia was Mongol than Englishwoman The people and most attitudes were so much a part of her that she was a delight to read about In the beginning she was a woman on a mission to prove herself She had an opportunity to possibly acquire the status she longed for and she jumped at it Along the way she and Gabriel became a unit and were much stronger together than they ever were apart Neither of them would have made it to the end without each other I thought that was nicely demonstrated by the village contest for the honor of guarding their treasure.The sense of culture in this book was FABULOUS I seriously wanted to be there with them enjoying the feeling of being at home no matter what ger they were in The details of the Mongolian people and their traditions were very appreciated I never felt that the land was wallpaper or the people were caricatures, included only to be a token nod to the land the English people were occupying The details of their lives down to the details of their wrestling really made me impressed with the author s ability to research and include details without info dumping.Another thing that I loved about this book was the actual relationship between Gabriel and Thalia Too often I find the does he she love me of the main characters to be tedious and forced I like it at times, but sometimes it s nice to meet a hero and heroine who don t fight their feelings for each other They embrace them and count themselves lucky to have found each other That was the case here I never doubted their attachment to each other, and they both knew they were in love even when they didn t speak of it The conflict came from the circumstances they were in, not internal angst It was so refreshing I cannot leave this review without mentioning the world Katyana was completely right when she spoke of her difficulty labeling this book as any one thing It was a mishmash of things, but it worked perfectly for it I loved all the steampunk inventions that were brought up Catullus has a quite brilliant mind, and I cannot wait to get to his book to have a peek inside it The Heirs were an interesting enemy I think I liked them because I can see how their cause can come off as understandable in the beginning It s only when you get to the deeper motives that you really see how shady it all is I CANNOT wait to get my hands on the next three books Luckily I already own the second book, so I can jump into Bennett s mind immediately To Most People, The Realm Of Magic Is The Stuff Of Nursery Rhymes And Dusty Libraries But For Capt Gabriel Huntley, It S Become Quite Real And Quite Dangerous IN HOT PURSUIT The Vicious Attack Capt Gabriel Huntley Witnesses In A Dark Alley Sparks A Chain Of Events That Will Take Him To The Ends Of The Earth And Beyond Where What Is Real And What Is Imagined Become Terribly Confused And Frankly, Huntley Couldn T Be Pleased Intrigue, Danger, And A Beautiful Woman In Distress Just What He Needs HOTTER WATER Raised Thousands Of Miles From England, Thalia Burgess Is No Typical Victorian Lady A Good Thing, Because A Proper Lady Would Have No Hope Of Recovering The Priceless Magical Artifact Thalia Is After Huntley S Assistance Might Come In Handy, Though She Has To Keep Him In The Dark But This Distractingly Handsome Soldier Isn T Easy To Deceive Set in 1874 Mongolia, Warrior is an action packed Victorian romance with a nice dose of paranormal elements along the lines of the best Zo Archer s trademark, starring a resourceful heroine and a rough around the edges but honourable and charming hero When a dying man trusts him with a dangerous secret as soon as he sets foot in England after many years abroad, Captain Gabriel Huntley grasps the last opportunity to slake his thirst for adventure The prospect of settling down in a Yorkshire town working in a factory for the rest of his life doesn t appeal at all and so sailing again toward a new destination becomes a call he can t resist.Arrived in Urga to deliver the coded message, he meets Thalia Burgess, a young, resourceful and unconventional Englishwoman who will both engage him into an epic quest and show him the love of a lifetime.As usual in Archer s stories, a strong sense of time and place set the mood of this atmospheric romp The inventive way the author weaves traditional lore and mythology to create the paranormal world building and the vivid descriptions of the Mongolian landscapes, quite an original scenario for a romance novel, were among the nicest aspects of the book, together with a couple who was quickly able to team up, respect and trust each other, a recurrent feature I ve encountered and appreciated in previous books by Archer and which has kept me coming back for Though for all I loved the setting, the snappy dialogues and the leads characterisations, I couldn t overlook an unsteady pace in the narration making the first half of the story stand out and the second one drag, where the interactions between the hero and the heroine and the situations started to become repetitive Things picked up again in the very last chapters, but I would have liked to see the final showdown with the villains resolved in a slightly less mechanical way.That said, I found the premise of few selected courageous people trying to save the world from greedy evil doers with the aid of magical artefacts scattered in the four corner of the earth really engrossing and the introduction of the next protagonists who sounded equally interesting will have me go on with the series for sure.Buddy read with Anna Before reading this book I thought the Mongolian steppes were like this Now I realize they can also be like this Animals of the Mongolian SteppeShort legged camels Or a link for a closer look at camels and dogs I love dogs with their owners.Mongolian yak Short legged horses And a link entitled eagle hunter.Another link to plain mongole and last, but not least, a good Sheppard and his angora goat.Going through book, starting with Chapter 5 view spoiler Chapter title The True Hammer of Thor image error Instagram Twitter Facebook PinterestDNF 32% I am so angry at this book for not being good I spent 2.99 on the four book bundle when it went on sale, which was a great deal but also a risk, because then if you end up not liking the series, you re out four books instead of just one But oh, my God It s set in Mongolia, and is like Indiana Jones meets Warehouse 13 I was totally predisposed to like this book, but I couldn t stand it UGH.Something about the writing in this book just feels very low quality The sex scenes were awful truly awful I think it s going for a steampunk Western vibe, but it didn t really strike the right balance, and the language was much too modern to feel authentic Also, insta love, you old bastard I thought I told you never to darken my hallways again, and yet here you are, loafing around like you own the place I d like at least a semblance of some romantic tension.It s a shame because the concept a secret society who defends magically infused objects called Sources from evil people was great, and very much in line with some of my favorite movies like The Mummy and the Indiana Jones series minus Crystal Skulls because that was the Jar Jar Binks of the Indiana Jones series And this book was the Jar Jar Binks of the steampunk romances I ve read lame, cringey, and oblivious Next1 star And what are these paragons called, who safeguard the world, and save England from herself Before she even spoke, he knew that everything was about to change And change forever The Blades of the Rose With the Blades of the Rose series, Zoe Archer has given us a fabulous new world With characters that captivate and situations that are exciting and action packed, Warrior is a cross between Indiana Jones and The Mummy Trying to fit this into a single genre is difficult because this story is fantasy, historical romance, action adventure and steamy hot goodness all rolled into one.Captain Gabriel Huntley of the Thirty third Regiment witnessed a brutal attack, and tried to intervene In the end the victim, Anthony Morris, died, but not before he in turn saved Gabriel s life Anthony s dying request is that Gabriel deliver a compass, and a message, to his friend Franklin Burgess in Outer Mongolia Far away, true, but did Gabriel really have a choice, though After all, Morris had just saved his life, but still Outer MongoliaBut then Morris pleads,Please You must deliver the message to Burgess Thousands of lives at stake More, manyGabriel knows there s no way around it, he has to go his honor and the debt owed to a dying man demanded it Then, three months later when the message is delivered, he realizes that his journey hasn t ended, it s only just begun.Thalia Burgess would like nothing than to follow in her father s footsteps and be accepted into the Blades of the Rose, a secret society whose members devote their lives to making sure that certain magical artifacts never fall into the hands of The Heirs, another secret organization who would use the powers held by the artifacts to gain control over the entire world But she s not so sure about this Gabriel Huntley who came all the way from England, bringing news of Anthony Morris death, and isn t interested in accepting his help, in fact, she wants nothing to do with him at all.After delivering the message to Burgess and his daughter, Thalia, Gabriel is even curious about what it all means the significance of the compass and the cryptic message He s offered his help, but it s clear to him his help isn t wanted But why let a little thing like that stop him Gabriel decides he s going to help, whether the Burgesses want him to or not, and it s a good thing for us he did, because the story that follows is so, so good and I would have hated to have to missed it Gabriel and Thalia are great together I love strong, independent heroines, and what makes this even appealing is that Gabriel comes to recognize her strengths and doesn t get all alpha caveman and refuse to let her use them to help find the priceless, magical artifact before The Heirs get to it first The story their journey had me sitting on the edge of my seat, anxiously following along as they discovered and about The Heirs, the artifacts, and even themselves Warrior is a fast paced, exciting story and I m happy I decided to give it a try It s not the kind genre mix that I usually find appealing, but Zoe Archer has created a world so interesting, so captivating, that I can t wait to read the next books, Scoundrel, Rebel and Stranger, and see what lies in store for the Blades of the Rose.4.5 5 stars. Reading Zoe Archer s Warrior reminded me why I adore reading romantic adventures books This book had everything I love in romance, two amazing lead characters in Gabriel and Thalia, a touch of magic and a ever spanning world weaved so subtly, you just want to get lost into the world of The Blades of the Rose To say this is just a paranormal romance or just a adventure romance would be putting this book to shame, it s just so much While many PNR or series suffer the world building syndrome where the author shoves all this information down the reader s throat, you don t ever feel that way with Warrior Much like Gabriel who s thrown into this hidden world of magic, you re learning along with him about this magical world and hidden historical goodies about the people and the Blades This is also helped pushed along with the two leads Captain Gabriel Huntley and Thalia Burgess Their attraction and Army of Two keep the story going, with Gabriel at loose ends after leaving the army and Thalia wanting to prove herself as Blade to protect the Magical Source from those whose wish to use it for their own gain and destroy anyone in their way The Heirs Both are great characters that you understand right off the bat and grow even as the story moves along You see the subtle changes in their relationship from learning to trust one another to falling in love While there was a instant attraction between the two, ZA builds on this to where the reader understands just why the characters fell in love with one another and how their willing to risk each other s lives for one another There s only been one author who s really stuck in the hero s head through a romance story, and ZA is another You re able to get into Gabriel s head and see from his great POV I loved Gabriel, his protectiveness and his great sense of honor to do the right thing Instead of turning his back, he leaped into the frail in order to help, and that just won me over in an instant Thalia was amazing, a strong woman whom could fight like a Lioness and love just as fiercely, she started out to prove herself, but in the end it was about being with Gabriel and protecting the Source from evil And the way the evil villain s of the story get theirs YAY Turns bloodthirsty level down This was an awesome book, and the starts to I hope to an even amazing series, place a badge on me because this book made me a Blades of the Rose fangirl 5 stars Paranormal RomanceWOW What an extraordinary, freakin fun read this was I loved it Warrior is one of the most unique, entertaining romances that I ve read, with an exotic setting, captivating, complex characters that you ll love, a thrilling combination of Victorian era historical and paranormal, and an exciting, perfect mix of action, adventure, steampunk, magic, suspense, humor, and blistering hot love scenes.And if you re concerned or doubtful about the level of romance, no need to worry at all because it s than satisfying and plenty steamy In fact, the romance is one of the strongest, and definitely sexiest, elements of the story The relationship between fierce, protective, honorable, brave, gruff, loyal, hardened warrior hero, Captain Gabriel Huntley, who s about actions than words, and spunky, bookish, feisty, spinsterish, kick butt heroine, Thalia Burgess, who s all the relatable and lovable because she s genuine and tough yet insecure, is the best thing about this Their attraction and chemistry is magnetic and explosive from the start, and their romance is believable, passionate, fun, emotional, volatile, touching, and intensely erotic Gabriel and Thalia share a soulful, deep connection and become each other s warrior, protector, and savior I love a good action adventure, especially with a to die for, sexy warrior hero and a strong, plucky heroine who can stand by him in a fight without being emasculating, and this than deliveredit kicked major ass I had an absolute blast reading it Warrior is an amazing, highly enjoyable read worthy of big 5 stars But if you still need some convincing, here are some of the things that make it so awesome A Action, adventure, arresting artifacts, archery, and author Archer s amazing writing W Warrior hero and heroine who bravely fight together to save the world from tyranny see evil villains below E Evil, elitist villains who s lust for greed, power, and global domination threaten all of humankind.S Suspense, scorching hot sex, secret societies, sandstorms, windswept steppes, severe desert landscapes, and supernatural elements O Occult, occasional laugh out loud humor, and odd, fascinating characters.M Magic, mystery, majestic Mongolian setting, multiculturalism, and mysticism E Exotic locations, cultures, languages, and customs and erotic romance.And how about this Warrior to play the part of Gabriel image error It s very true that if you do something well, people will notice That s how I feel about this book Zoe Archer did a fine job with Warrior If I were to imagine a dream book based on my favorite historical action adventure movies, with the romance ramped up, then this is a very good example Warrior has a couple that I totally loved Gabriel is a man s man, and I adored him for it He s not macho and overbearing Nope He s just a rough and tumble guy who s spent his life as a soldier, and it s made one heck of a man of him He worries about his lack of social polish but his worries are groundless as far as I am concerned, and Thalia too I adored him I liked his confidence as a warrior, his ease with dealing with very hostile situations, his deep sense of honor I liked how he committed himself to protecting Thalia and seeing her fulfill her mission He was willing to stand up for a cause that didn t even make sense to him And he showed a remarkable ability to adapt and to react to the very strange situations he found himself in I loved how he adored Thalia for who she was, and didn t feel the need to change her into the average Englishman s ideal woman She was his ideal, instead Gabriel might consider himself rough and unpolished, but he definitely knew how to take care of his woman Thalia was an awesome heroine I liked that she wasn t the typical English rose She d been raised in Outer Mongolia, and was a woman of that world She d yearned most of her life to take up her father s work with the Blades, and when she got her chance to prove herself, she was determined to do so Thalia respected Gabriel for who he was, admired his strength, and the innate essence of him She realized that he was the man she d been waiting for, but couldn t believe that he d want her and not a perfect English lady Seeing their love affair unfurl like a blooming flower was such a pleasure This book is very steamy, and wildly romantic A perfect combination There are many sigh worthy scenes between Gabriel and Thalia I was very invested in this couple, and I was cheering for their happy ending together.On top of the great romance, this is a fantastic historical adventure I loved the setting and the way that it was as much an integral part of this story as the romance I think Ms Archer did a great job of bringing this rollicking, good old fashioned in the vein of Indiana Jones and Stephen Sommers the Mummy movies story to life Ms Archer showed a respect for the Mongolian culture and its people Before this book ended, it felt so familiar to me, I could have been on the Mongolian steppes myself The action and adventure aspects were fantastic There is a sense of risk throughout this story, right from the beginning I loved the fact that although Gabriel was a formidable warrior, he was not blood thirsty He respected life, but was than willing to fight and kill for a worthy cause Conversely, he went out of his way to save others Sigh break required I liked the fact that Thalia could than defend herself I loved how things unfolded in the final confrontation in this book Thalia didn t get shut out of the action, just because she was a woman In fact, she plays an integral role in fighting the Heirs I think that Ms Archer handled the multi cultural aspects deftly There is no preachiness here, but she addresses the imperialistic drives of the British Empire, using it as a backdrop in which there is a struggle between two groups who differ in their attitudes about how the British Empire will succeed One group, The Heirs, wants to use the magical treasures of various cultures around the world to expand Britain s influence The Blades of the Rose want to protect the cultural heirlooms and preserve the heritages of the various countries I loved the fact that there were major players of various ethnicities in this story, and none stereotypically portrayed I am already enad of Catullus Graves, who is the intellectual giant of the Blades, constantly inventing nifty instruments to assist them in their endeavors And the best part is he s black and very British I love to see the breaking of cultural stereotypes that portray people of color as intellecutally inferior when the truth is that people of black heritage have been responsible for many scientific advancements in society although they typically remain unacknowledged for it I remember talking to Ms Archer on an forum about multicultural characters in urban fantasy She posted about Catullus having a book of his own, and I put this series on my wish list right away, not just for that reason, but because I love historical adventure, especially with fantasy elements She is my heroine The magic was very grand in this novel There were some very novel elements, and I loved how the magic of the Sources was such an intrinsic, naturalistic force, tied to the people and their lands It was beautiful Ms Archer has a great imagination, and she put it to very good use in this book.I must say that the praise for this new series is well earned I had to think long and hard about what I was going to say in this review, because I hate being repetitive I want my words to count here A great book deserves a well written review It s the best tribute to an exceptional author and her work I am a huge fan of Ms Archer now, and I cannot wait to read of her books.

Zo Archer is a RITA award nominated romance author whose stories are about smart, capable heroines and the heroes who love them She is the author of the acclaimed Blades of the Rose series, as well as the Hellraiser, and Nemesis Unlimited series, among others She also writes Regency set romances as Eva Leigh Visit her on the Web at

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  • Mass Market Paperback
  • 370 pages
  • Warrior (The Blades of the Rose, #1)
  • Zoe Archer
  • English
  • 12 March 2019
  • 9781420106794

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