Warprize - Elizabeth Vaughan This was an interesting book to read. Re-published in 2011 and originally copyrighted in 2005, this book felt the hallmark of an older-era romantic fantasy. I put me very much in the mind of Patricia Briggs Masques in the feel of the world-building, and the romance; almost a medieval meets middle world. That said I really enjoyed this book. There were times of breathless anticipation, heartwarming tenderness and an ending that is truly just the beginning.

One of the strong points in this book was Ms. Vaughan’s superb character building. She created an organic quality to the unfolding of her characters that was a refreshing change from some of the intense character immersion that I am used to. This unfolding did come with its own frustrations as well tho, and it took me a while to enmesh myself into the hearts and minds of these characters. For the beginning of the book I felt more like I was floating on the surface of the characters than fully immersed in their trials and tribulations. This might have worked in the author’s favor, as for the beginning of the book our main character is almost skating above herself without being anchored to a solid reality—and that dissociation was tangible for me through the narrative.

I also loved the world-building in this book; the different cultures more-so than the physical landscape, tho even at a level of physicality I would say that Ms. Vaughan excelled in allowing me to become immersed in the world she had created. This was my favorite part of the book and what is likely to get me to pick up the next book in this series and keep reading. I would like to know what happens to the characters, but I would love to see more of this world and get to poke around the corners of it a bit and see what ensues.

To me, I would say that the plot was the weakest link in this story. Even pushing the miscommunications aside, just the plot-mechanic seemed a bit on the shaky side. Maybe it was just a set-up for a larger story-arc but as it stands I felt the villain was a throw-away, the impetus behind his supposed break to be tritely convenient and too easily forgotten, the thick of the story to be in a kind of a limbo, and the conclusion to have left most of what I felt were the interesting questions unanswered. I also felt that the first 250 pages or so and the last fifty had a distinct disconnect and felt rushed as a wrap-up.

Even with these problems I still liked this book and will probably continue to read this series.

I give it a high three stars. ★★★