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Review: Warcry by Elizabeth Vaughan

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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 the fierce Plains warrior woman Atira of the Bear must come together to fight the conspiracy… and to search their hearts for something deeper than raw passion.
A barbarian woman and a castle guard find love amid political intrigue in this pleasant blend of romance and classic fantasy, the fourth installment of Vaughan’s Chronicles of the Warlands (after Warlord). The queen of Xy is now the beloved bride of a barbarian warlord. In their retinue, Heath of Xy, son of the royal seneschal, woos the lusty warrior woman Atira of the Bear, whose dislike for city life and settling down amusingly recall male barbarian romance hero stereotypes. As Queen Lara attempts to regain control of the fractious nobility, Heath and Atira team up to fight conspirators and thwart assassination attempts while helping to lower the cultural barriers between the subjects of Xy and the warriors of the plains. Hints of the interesting plains culture will engage fantasy fans, and the protagonists’ convincing chemistry will please romance readers.  

Warcry is the 4th installment of the Warlands series, but the focus is on the romance that was hinted at in the previous books between  Atira of the Bear, and Heath of Xy. It’s told in their POVs instead of Lara and Keir. The ex-Warlord and his pregnant Warprize have arrived to Xy, so Lara can safely deliver her heir and cement her position as Queen which due to the events in the first book has left a few enemies who aren’t as welcoming or happy with their return.

I adored the previous books and Warprize is one of my all time favourite books, and I have been eagerly waiting for the followups to see what happens next and how their return to Xy plays out. It was definitely well worth the wait! Unlike the original trilogy of books which was told in the 1st POV of Lara, Warcry is narrated mainly with Heath and Atira’s POV which expanded on the outside political intrigue and events. But it also help to explore more thoroughly Atira and Heath’s issues, like the ones Lara had with Keir, were filled with misunderstandings and fear that were obstacles in their relationship. In a lot of ways the tables were turned with Atira being the stranger in a strange land and Heath giving her the space and helping her to understand that committing to a relationship can be a good thing and it’s nothing to fear about.

Although some people may see the swift POV’s which sometimes can happen in mid scenes and in the midst of action. I actually felt it added to the fast pace of the book, and added to the political and tense tone that plays throughout the story. I think this is one of the highlights of the plot, because the political subterfuge  which threatens Lara and her family was well thought out. It was tense and not as predictable. I also loved how the setting which was mainly based in and around the castle of Water’s Fall reflected the tense atmosphere of the plots surrounding Lara as well as mirroring Atira’s and the rest of the Firelanders who felt claustrophobic about this huge ‘stone tent’.

I really loved how the romance between Atira and Heath played out throughout the book, although in a lot of ways it  wasn’t as prominent as previous books and was more of a secondary story to the main plot of the book.  I didn’t think this detracted from the story or their romance because it was already established in the previous books, and that has carried onto this book really well without losing any of their past issues or attractions.

Atira’s and Heath’s growth also shows how much they changed from their initial encounters with each other and as well with their encounters with living with each other’s cultures and people. I loved the symmetry with Atira being the person who learns new things and learning there is more to the people of Xy. The focus on Heath and Atira also expanded their characters. During the original trilogy, Heath was more like Lara’s little brother and although I found his character cute, he never really stood out for me. However in Warcry, he was definitely more fleshed out and I loved how patient but also determined he was to win Atira. And his skills and political knowledge about the people who lived in Water’s Fall added to the story. Nonetheless, I think Atira’s growth was the most apparent, and I loved her journey from the gruff and fixed in her ways warrior in the previous books to the woman who realises that change is a good thing and adapting to it mirrors the broader themes of the series about two cultures clashing but adapting to survive.

It was also a joy to revisit Lara and Keir who we do get to see a lot throughout the book, and it does feel like their story and romance was the secondary relationship but seen through the eyes of others without detracting from the story. We also see how their new changes — as well as the repercussions to those changes — to Xy and the People of the Plains continued, which I loved and really makes their story a true saga with more hints to come.

Warcry is a wonderful installment and I was sucked into this book and the characters. It really felt like I was revisiting old friends. I also get the sense that with the hints in the book, there will be more to come, especially with Keir’s ambitions of wanting to become a War-king and the fact there are still a few threads left open about Lara’s enemies and the political subterfuge that Elizabeth Vaughan has tantalizing hinted. I really hope there is more to come from this world and characters because the ending was something that I didn’t expect.  It was a huge fun twist which I enjoyed because it will add some interesting things in future books for this series. And I look forward to seeing how it all pans out.

Warcry is a well written story filled with tense political intrigue and balanced out with a fun and sexy romance with great touches of humour. It also carries on and continues teasing us with hints of more to come in future books. It’s a wonderful instalment in the Warplains saga and it  will definitely leave readers hanging on for more!

I give Warcry a B+

By Has

Has is a voracious reader and a geek at heart! She is a fan of most sub-genres of romance and fantasy, but especially loves fantasy and some sci fi. She's currently looking out for historical romances with unusual settings, and fantasy romance, in the vein of Anne Bishop and Elizabeth Vaughan who are on her list of favourite authors. She's also a fan of authors such as Tamora Pierce, Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews, Ann Aguirre, Lisa Kleypas and Nalini Singh. She is always on the look out for new authors and loves the feeling of discovering a brand new author and books she loves.

10 replies on “Review: Warcry by Elizabeth Vaughan”

I need this book.

I desperately need to re-read the others in the series as well. It’s been far too long and forgetting deets. Warprize has been a favorite of mine. Love that book.

Great review!

i’ve gotta get my hands on this book ASAP. Keir and Xylara’s stoey is one of my all time favorites. I’m so glad to visit back with this world and characters 😉 I enjoyed your review!

@ Heller I think – you really need to reread or read the previous books to get the full impact of the story here. It is definitely not stand alone although I suppose you can read this and understand the main plot but you definitely lose backstory.

@Leontine Thank you!!! I loved Warprize! I loved how the book followed Lara and Keir and the ongoing story threads without detracting from the main romance and political intrigue.

@KT/KB I want their story too!!! I do know Elizabeth also has plans for Josen and Simus but I am with you about Liam and Marcus and def want more Lara and Keir. I also want to see how Keir’s quest to be War-King pans out.

Has: I don’t think we’ll get a primary story with Marcus and Liam. It will remain as a secondary.

But when Liam said he wanted to kidnap Marcus, I swooned ;P

Yeah! I do think things will def go ahead now with Marcus and Liam and I felt the same way! Loved Anna’s reaction when Liam confronted Marcus LOL

I think the 3rd person POVs worked and it helped to add tension and pace to the story. I agree about the ending but I think that links up with events in Destiny’s Star which focused on the Plains and the Firelanders.

But now she just did something really stupid and is probably going to pay with her life very soon. Can she trust a dragon known for his temper with her life even if she is attracted to him too? Words cannot express how good this book was! He has lived hundreds of years without anything to challenge or surprise him.

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