Posted in Book Review

The Warlord by Gena Showalter

Read Dates: August 10, 2021 – August 12, 2021
Date Published: April 20, 2021
Source: Owned signed and DOODLED hardback

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For centuries, Taliyah Skyhawk has prepared to become Harpy General, leader of the deadliest female army in existence. One of the requirements? Remain a virgin. But, for a chance to save her people, she must wed the fearless leader of the Astra Planeta, Alaroc Phaethon.

The time has come for Roc to sacrifice another virgin bride to his god. There has never been a woman alluring enough to tempt him from his path. No warrioress powerful enough to overcome his incredible strength. No enchantress desirable enough to make him burn beyond reason. Until now.

With the clock ticking, war between husband and wife ignites. Except Taliyah never expected the merciless king to challenge the future she once envisioned. She certainly never anticipated the thrill of their battles turning into games… The problem is, only one spouse can survive.

Love is a battlefield in Showalter’s The Warlord.

Well well well. What do we have here? A new favorite Showalter couple to add to the top of my list? Roc and Taliyah. Who’d have known? I sure wouldn’t have.

I’ve never been a hero. I’ve never wanted to be. I make a better villain.

I honestly thought, before reading this, that I wasn’t going to care for these characters too much. It sounded too much like another couple I had already read and disliked. *cough* William *cough*. Anyway, I was wrong. I liked Roc from the very start. I don’t know what it was about him but he had me. 100% had me. Taliyah was also incredibly enjoyable to read. I enjoyed reading about her history and REALLY enjoyed her spirit. I only rolled my eyes at her like… I don’t know… twice?

“I hear you’re holding auditions for Bloodthirstiest Harpy, and I’m here for my reading.”

The two of them together… even better.

They both learn and grow together so much more fluently than some of the other couples in the series and it made me feel like it was actually a genuine relationship. Some of the others I’ve read felt rushed or like they just straight hated each other and then it all changes at the drop of a hat. This was not that. These two were actually logical people who only wanted to protect themselves and the people they loved. And when they came to realize there was a new “people they loved”, they changed their actions accordingly. Love it. Top notch.

Something else I really enjoyed was the ending. I was reading and reading and realized there weren’t but a handful of pages left and I panicked. So often I find the end coming in a rush and feeling a bit ridiculous… but… THIS ONE MADE SENSE. It was beautiful. I followed it. It was logical. It wasn’t a giant leap and then a sudden crash. It built tension, the tension grew and grew, I realized I had stopped breathing and then BOOM. The climax hit. (For the plot… c’mon get your mind out of the gutter…) But this climax didn’t crash and burn. It hit and it made me read faster. I needed to know how this was going to play out! I needed to know what was going to happen next!

And THAT, my friends, is what I like in an ending. Don’t give me everything in two pages. Build it, work it, let it linger, let it whack me in the face, and then let it plateau for a while. Let the tension stay high for a few pages before you give me my reprieve.

For me, that’s one of the biggest things that set this book apart from most of the other Gena books I’ve read.

If you’ve read any of Gena’s other books, you may be excited to see some other characters you’ve already met. Which ones though?? Hmmmmm? That was a pretty cool part of the book. I must say I get excited when I see people I know. Especially when their stories have already been told and we’re seeing them on the other side of it.

These were two genuinely wonderful characters who played out perfectly and in line with their personality types. I truly enjoyed this book so much.

This book wasn’t so predictable that I could see the ending from the very beginning. I was along for the ride and learning as I went which was another beautiful thing about this story.

I should probably apologize for my tardiness, and I will, just as soon as I’m sorry. As your men are proving with their nineinch salutes, I’m totally worth the wait. Well, he’s giving me ten.” She winked at Silver. “Bravo, sir.”

So, all that being said… there is a second Warlords book coming out February 1, 2022. I have to say, I’m not all that excited for it. I’d rather have had Ian’s story or Roux’s. Even Silver’s! But we’re getting Halo’s. And while I understand why we’re getting his next, I’m not super excited. He was probably my least favorite character throughout this entire story.

Will I end up picking it up anyway? *sigh* Probably. When it comes to Gena I’m like a moth to a flame. I can’t stay away. The little temptress.

I’ll tell ya what I WILL be picking up (as I have already preordered it..) This little diddy:

FINALLY, we get Viola’s book. It’s set to release December 7, 2021, which seems like a LIFETIME away, but I’ll be there for it. I’m a little saddened to see Viola just gets a novella and not a full blown book. I bet Viola would feel the same way, honestly. The keeper of narcissism deserves the biggest book in the series! Am I right?
But regardless, I will be devouring that book the day it hits my kindle. Keep your eyes peeled!

If you’re curious about my mention of a signed and DOODLED copy of The Warlord, let me just boast a moment. So, I never win anything… ANYTHING. But I won this copy of the Warlord from a really hard “find the differences” challenge given to Gena’s Legions by Gena’s tricky little minx of a social media manager, Naomi. I was so excited I SQUEALED when Naomi posted that I was the winner. Here’s a picture of the doodle inside. I will cherish it forever. 💛

✌💛