Warrior is the second book by Cheryl Brooks, and it's a really enjoyable read.
The first-person point of view is a little unusual but works well for the heroine of our story, the witch Tisana, and her ability to speak with animals. Tisana's a great character with a somewhat wry outlook on life - when her former lover Rafe dumps a seriously ill man on her doorstep, expecting her to heal him, she imagines she'll be caring for the mystery man for a month. However, once Tisana
has cleaned him up, she discovers that he is clearly an alien from another planet,
with many cat-like features and equipment that is second to none. He recovers very quickly but, knowing he's a slave, tries to escape.
It doesn't take Tisana long to explain to the man whom she names Leo that although he
is a slave, she won't treat him like one. When Rafe comes back asking for Tisana's help to track a group of men who have kidnapped Rafe's two sons, Tisana and Leo agree to help - along with an ever-growing menagerie of animals. Some of the best moments in this book were where Tisana talks to horses, squirrels, vultures and dogs, and the author's ability to let you see how such animals might consider the odd behavior of humans
is great fun.
As Tisana, Leo and Rafe follow the trail of the kidnappers, Tisana realizes that Rafe knows more about why his children have been stolen than he will explain. Can Tisana bargain for Leo's freedom by helping Rafe? Is there more going on in Rafe's family than initially appears? Can Tisana and Leo make a new life for themselves?
The author has an easy writing style, which means that Warrior
never drags, and the characters are all different and interesting. At the very end there is a brief scene with characters from her previous book, Slave, but there isn't any problem understanding this book without having read the first one. My only slight reservation
is that it's hard to get into Leo's head and understand his motivations a lot of the time, but this can be a problem with books written in the first person, and it does lend him a rather otherworldly and mysterious air, I certainly enjoyed reading this book and I look forward to the next in the Cat Star Chronicles series.