The Chronicles of the Warlands #1
Xylara and Keir
Even though she is the daughter of a king, Xylara refuses to wait idly for a marriage that will benefit the Land of Xy and so becomes an accomplished healer, a useful skill when her country is drawn into war with the Firelanders. Even though her half brother, the present king, does not want her treating the enemy, Xylara feels she must--both for the honor of Xy and for simple humanity. When her brother suddenly surrenders to the Firelander Warlord, Xylara is stripped of all her possessions and sent to the conqueror as a slave referred to as "Warprize." As Xylara learns to live with the masterful Warlord, she begins to understand the very different social structure and beliefs of those she has seen as uncivilized. Vaughan's brawny barbarian romance re-creates the delicious feeling of adventure and the thrill of exploring mysterious cultures created by Robert E. Howard in his Conan books and makes for a satisfying escapist read with its enjoyable romance between a plucky, near-naked heroine and a truly heroic hero. Diana Tixier Herald (amazon.com – booklist)
The first of the Warland series, I completely fell in love with Ms. Vaughan’s creative fantasy world. The heroine was refreshing, the hero was heroic (and completely lovable), and the adventure they embark on is wonderful.
Xylara is the daughter of the king, making her an elite. However, she has chosen the path to be a healer, loving the fact that she can use her skill to serve her people. Xy is fighting a rebel group called the Firelanders, and she acquires permission to heal the enemy soldiers as well; she refuses to stand by and watch soldiers die for the lack of treatment.
The warlord of the Firelanders agree to cease fighting in exchange for Lara and she willingly sacrifices herself for her people. Her love for people (hers and even for the Firelanders) is wonderful and gives depth to her characters, something rare in romances. To her surprise, Keir, the warlord, is handsome and treats her with the utmost respect.
This story focuses on Lara’s adaptation to the Firelanders and her insecurities about being seen as the slave. It is in written in her point of view, which is also a little different from the traditional romance.
A great start to the trilogy, there were some scenes in the book that I read over and over again, just because it was so dreamy. Fantastical and exciting, I enjoyed this read immensely and when I finished, I immediately started on the next book because I wanted to be with Lara and Keir as they continue their journey together.