Friday, December 14, 2012

Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughn

There comes a time in every reviewer's life when she will have to face the insurmountable challenge of the battle between the heart and the head. A book will come along where the heart and the head are so conflicted that it may be unclear if the review is coming from the biased, mushy fan girl side of the reviewer or not. THEREfore, I would like to give Warprize a review of, oh hell, four out of five stars. It's not five star material because it just doesn't capture your attention enough, but Keir makes up for a lot of that. 

So insert all of my fangirl screaming here:
And okay, moving on!

What Was Right
-It's not entirely age appropriate, but who cares? While there are no fantastical elements, it's whimsical enough to feel like you're still knee-deep in fantasy. Although, it would be a lot easier to put it in the"Healer/Mage" subcategory with Touch of Power.
-The "eventual" romance. Seriously, you will read 50% of this book and then wonder why you've read half a book without Lara/Warprize and Keir/Warlord doing anything. It makes sense why it takes 60% of the book for Lara to FITFO, but I don't want to throw the one spoiler this book had into my review. Let's just'll want to give up, but you kind of know it's going to happen, so you pull through. I would definitely say that the warm and happy feeling you finally get to experience makes it worth the wait though.
-Keir. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

What Was Just NO
-The names. Having been working on my own YA fantasy for, oh...ever, I know how tempting it is to create ridiculous names only to create nicknames from them. But it's almost like the characters are suffering from split-personality disorder. Lara is Xylara, who is a princess, but also Xylara, who is a healer. Then she's Lara, for those who know her personally, although they will call her Xylara or some various form of "her highness" when necessary. Of course, Keir the Cat aka the Warlord aka Keir of the ____insert some title Lara rambles on about____ refers to her as Warprize, as do the rest of his people--but don't be fooled; they call her Lara sometimes, too! *throws up hands* mazel tov! 
-The narrative. I think first person POV is great, but I don't care how many little things Lara does. It's not like Outlander, where the little details are what provide such a great mental image of the story. No, Lara just likes to talk about how she will lay down, open her eyes, blink at Keir, yawn and crack her jaw, and then close her eyes again.
-The healing. If you're going to have a healer as your protagonist, it's probably a good idea to come up with more than three medicinal solutions. Apparently, in Xylandia or whatever it's called, 'fever's foe' is the cure for every ailment imaginable. That, or Lara is just a crap healer. Regardless, she never really did anything all that cool. Actually, she's not even that cool of a character. 
I guess this is more of what I expect from a healer??
-The antagony. Oh, the antagony! Could we have more of the antagonist, please? Obviously, Keir is NOT the bad guy, Lara's half brother I-can't-even-remember-his-name-except-that-it-starts-with-Xy is. He was supposed to be the cause of all the bad stuff going on, and yet he barely makes an imprint in this book.

OKAY, I really did like Warprize, but I think I respect the premise a lot more than the actual plot.  of course, I was extremely pleased with the star-crossed love. I'm always, always a sucker for those. if you enjoy being swept away by a lighthearted plot, romance, some adventure, and some more great world building, and I really do suggest that you read Warprize. However, if you are looking for a strong female character, and still read, but tread carefully. 


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