Monday, 2 April 2007

Warlord by Elizabeth Vaughn

Warlord concludes the trilogy that began with Warprize. Lara and Keir finally reach the Heart of the Plains and Lara goes before the Elders to see if they will confirm her as a Warprize. I am already a big fan of the first two books so admit to some bias here. For those readers who were unhappy with some of the occurrences in Warsworn, I feel this story is a return to the form of Warprize, so they should be pleased with the concluding book.

Warlord has been marketed as a paranormal romance and as I mentioned for Warprize, I don't think this is the correct genre for this book. There are no werewolves or vampires, and readers expecting them because of the paranormal labelling may be disappointed. Unlike Warprize though there are some occurrences here that could be considered paranormal, but it's not the main focus of the story.

Trying to think about the story objectively for a moment. :) The trilogy is really Lara's tale, so it will stand or fall on whether you like her as a character. And we only get to know the other characters as much as they open themselves up to her, plus any suppositions she makes about them. I know some readers feel that Keir is not as developed a character as he could be. But by the time you get to this installment you should have an idea whether you like the author's style or not.

After everything seemed to fall apart for Lara and Keir in Warsworn, things finally come together here. Lara realises in Warlord what a task it will be to try and unite the Xyian and Plains way of life; and that there will be no easy answers or solutions. Keir remains intractable as far as the Warrior Priests are concerned, though it becomes clear that they are not all bad.

There are references back to things that happened in Warprize and Warsworn, so if you haven't read those books for a while you may want to refresh your memory before starting the third book. This final part of the story ties everything together - Lara finally gets to see what an ehat looks like; in Warprize Marcus mentioned the cost of pride and we get to find out what he may have meant by that comment; also the references to the uses of blood moss in Warsworn come to fruition here. There is one incredibly dramatic scene, which following the events of Warsworn should leave you with your heart in your throat because Ms. Vaughn showed there that she was prepared to let her characters suffer.

This part of the story is concluded but you are left with the feeling that there's still much left to learn about the Plains people and their Warprize. My fingers are crossed that Elizabeth Vaughn will be returning to the Plains in a future book, I'd rate the trilogy as a whole at an A.


Crys said...

The book sounds great. I admit, it's been so long since I read Warsworn that I kind of lost interest. I guess I should reread the previous books before picking up the new one.

Thanks for the review!

LesleyW said...

Glad you liked it. :)

I found my first read through of Warsworn hard to finish, but I really think Warlord ties it all together, whilst still leaving you wanting more.