The Last Warrior – Susan Grant
“As a decorated soldier, the young General Tao knows only one kind of honor—to his people. But when his own king betrays him, he discovers that his sacrifices, his successes, may not have been for the good of the country at all.
Fate—and his enemies—throw him together with Elsabeth, a red-haired beauty who has served as the royal tutor. Her loyalties, though, remain with her father’s people, the rebellious Kurel, who worship the old ways, even harboring the forbidden arks that brought the Kurel to this planet ages ago. When a threat greater than their peoples’ war looms, intent on destroying the world they both know, the fierce warrior and the sensitive scholar must unite. Together, they must fight for their planet, for their world and for their love.”
The love story in this book was beautiful. The relationship building was intricate and detailed and I loved her style when she was ignoring the world around them and simply concentrating on the feel of his hand or the look in her eyes. It’s the only thing that kept me reading, and that might not be because of the book as much as because of me.
I don’t read much fantasy or alternate world type books, because I just can’t follow, and if it isn’t done explicitly well, they just really annoy me. I did not like the world building here, I did not like the terms used, and throwing Dr. Seuss books in when the world is still new to me REALLY threw me for a loop and I had no idea what to expect. I get it now, but mentioning the Seussinator might have been better done later no in the story, not at the beginning where I’m trying to get used to the fact that the name of the world is a play on Earth, and some of the medicines they use are known as antibiotics and penicillin but others by literal names like “drowse.” If these people are as smart as they are purported to be then the name of the medicine should follow suit, if the Kurel are not simple people and to name things as if they were is an insult to them in my opinion, it goes against the attempts to show them as smarter or above their station. If they know penicillin and antibiotic and continue to use it then they understand the origin and the reason for the names and their own names for medication would follow suit. These are just the little world-building details that stuck in my craw, so I apologize, because, like I said I’m not much for books that require it because I am so very into details that when something is a little bit off it rankles.
If it weren’t for the love story, well, the promise of the love story I would have put the book down the minute I read “drowse” and I’m glad I didn’t. The relationship built between Tao and Elsabeth was touching and believable. It grew slowly, building on trust above learned traits and behaviors. I loved that the characters did not fall to tradition and their prior teachings about the others’ tribe. I loved that they were both open to learn about the other, and their respective peoples. It is very rare to find such open mindedness, and whenever they started to fall into their old ways they caught themselves, no outside force had to correct them. It was genuine and it was powerful. Outside of the world building issues that I am happy to own as mine, the writing was wonderful, it flowed and spoke and created wonderful scenes. My only other stumbling black was reading the pigeon-speak. No. I don’t like that. I know what pigeons sound like, I’m good.
If you read it only for the love story it is worthwhile. I rated it a 3 because I almost didn’t finish it after trying to get through the world building, and that’s a bad thing. Again, for me.
I did not throw my book though I did roll my eyes every time the pigeons spoke (so maybe three times?) The only WTFckry was in the world building. OH! The cover. 1. That’s not Tao, and 2. where was the snow? Whatever.
I received this book from NetGalley for review.