WARPRIZE
by Elizabeth Vaughan

June 2005
ISBN: 0-765-35264-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Tor Books
Mass Market Paperback
Rating:



When you pick up Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan, youíll be entering a world where one womanís courage can save or destroy her people. Itís a world where one manís understanding could give him a legendary love or a life without his heart.


Xylara is a Daughter of the House of Xy. She knows her fate will be to provide a marriage of alliance, but sheís determined to live her life as she wants until that day. She becomes a healer and at every turn, she defies her step-brother, who is the new ruler of Xy. Then her country is attacked by the Firelanders and she finds herself faced with the most important decision of her life.


In defiance of her brotherís wishes, Lara has been treating the Firelander prisoners. Itís in this capacity that she comes to the attention of the Firelandersí leader, the Warlord. The Warlord submits terms for a peaceful ending to the fighting. Xymund, her step-brother, must swear fidelity to the Firelander leader and accept him as overlord. Also, the Warlord wants Lara as the Warprize. Those are the terms or the Firelanders will destroy Xy and its people.


Lara knows there really is no choice in the matter. She makes her decision knowing sheíll be a slave bound to her masterís will. Heading into the enemy camp, she believes that the life sheís known is gone. Yet with each moment she spends with Kier, the Warlord, she finds her heart is in danger of being lost to the barbarian. For thereís more to being a Warprize than being a slave and she might find that the ultimate prize will be love.


Ms. Vaughan has written a wonderful fantasy introducing two memorable characters. Xylara is a strong willed princess with a definite picture for her life. When sheís forced to make a choice between freedom or saving her people, we see her true nobility. Her compassion shines through as she helps people she should think of as her enemies. Lara is a complex character with all the failings and strengths normal people would have. Kier is arrogant and dominate, yet there is a soft side he shows to Lara. His willingness to let her learn about his people touches the readerís heart. The story is well-written and fast paced. The secondary characters are just as entertaining as the main hero and heroine.


Run to the bookstore and pick up this debut novel by Elizabeth Vaughan. You wonít be disappointed by the touching relationship that grows between the Warlord and his Warprize.


Reviewed in May 2005 by Jenni.

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