Squawk Radio

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Christina Dodd Finds a Great New Author

Geralyn Dawson told me about WARPRIZE by Elizabeth Vaughan, saying it was the best book she’d read for a long time, that it was the author’s first book and that she was fiercely envious over Elizabeth Vaughan’s talent. Of course, I couldn’t wait for the chance to be fiercely envious, too, so I rushed right down to Barnes and Noble to get the book. I couldn’t find it in romance. They’d shelved it under science fiction because it’s published by Tor who always does science fiction. But it says romance on the spine and it is definitely romance, very intense, the first of a trilogy, and as I read I had the sense of being carried into the beginnings of a myth. It’s supposedly set in a different world, but it feels like earth to me, maybe a Germanic country during the Mongolian conquests. Our heroine, Lara, is a princess and a healer, a woman who grew up in a walled city in a castle, and Lara is given to the conqueror, Keir, as a Warprize. Keir is a nomad, and Lara’s thrown into a world of tents, barbarians and women warriors. The story is told in first person (I know! What’s with all the first person books lately?) but it works so well. What better way to show the culture shock than by letting us see it through Lara’s eyes? How she deals with the change and Keir — and how they deal with her — makes fascinating, completely romantic reading.

I’ve been trying to compare WARPRIZE to other books I’ve liked, trying to figure out why it struck such chords with me, and I have to say the story is very much a sheik fantasy with a heroine who could have been written by Julie Garwood. I can’t wait for the next two books … and the next one isn’t coming out until 2006. Argh! So now, like Geralyn, I’m fiercely envious, too. Elizabeth Vaughan is an author to watch.
Christina Dodd, 3:12 PM