Angela Knight
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East meets West across time and tradition as three young American women and their Indian immigrant mothers take first steps toward true sisterhood, shattering secrets and sharing joy and tears in Angela Knight's

Buy *Warlord* by Angela Knight online

Angela Knight
416 pages
September 2007
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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The bulk of this book is made up of the story "Jane's Warlord" about a newspaper reporter, Jane Colby, who finds her life suddenly becoming a great deal more complicated when she discovers a large man with a tame wolf in her house. Baran explains that he is a time-traveler from the future sent to deal with a psychopathic criminal from his own time who is preying on women in Jane's town - and Jane will be one of his victims. Baran and his talking wolf, Freika, have to convince Jane that she needs their help and also prepare for the unexpected appearance of the murderer, Druas. Jane wants to continue her life, though, although it's rather difficult with a huge warrior and a giant wolf constantly with her.

The plot of this story is very good, with the time-traveling aspects adding interest and the historical references to Jack the Ripper giving a fascinating angle on other past crimes. Jane is a feisty heroine, and Baran has more to him than just a thick-skulled warrior; both Jane and Baran have to overcome events in their past that could cause them to fail in their missions. As with other Angela Knight books, there is a lot of sex here, sometimes distracting the reader from the plot a little, but the overall story is a good read.

The three short stories also bundled in this collection are less satisfying, mainly because the bulk of the stories seem to be based on the sexual exploits of the heroines, not actual plot, at least in the last two stories. "Warfem", the longest of the short stories, is rather better than the other two as it contains a decent plot. Alina is a female warrior, a Warfem, who has been bound as a slave to a woman for twenty years, having had to give up her lover Baird. When she bumps into Baird again, old resentments and sadness are stirred up, but Alina is as firmly bound to her master as before - the reason soon becomes apparent. Baird is gathering evidence of treason, and it seems like his former love is knee-deep in it. Can Alina and Baird sort out their joint history and rescue a young boy at the same time? This story is well-written and the underlying concept is strong.

Unfortunately, the same can't be said for "The Warlord and the Fem" which, although including an interesting premise (a Warlord has to work to prove to a Warfem that she will enjoy his mastery of her), is rather short on action apart from the sexual sort (with the notable exception of the fight scene at the beginning). The entire story seems to be constructed around their sexual needs - that Baird (the hero has the same name as in the previous story) and Kyna have to come to terms with a dominant relationship. Baird wears Kyna down with chess games (unusual seduction method, that) and with a mock-fight. The story isn't bad; it just seems to peter out, and the sex in this story is more graphic than in the earlier elements to this book.

The fourth story, "Baby You've Changed," has almost nothing to it apart from a sex scene which many people will probably find offensive. Tamir had a love affair with a human years ago, but as she's a Warfem, the human wasn't powerful enough for her; she humiliated him and let him go. Now he has reappeared in her life, but Gage Deauxville is now a vampire, extremely powerful and after Tamir, needing to show his dominance and mastery of her in the traditional Warlord way. The scene is set in the first two pages, and the rest of this story is all about the sex that they have. The description of this event is one that many people may find distasteful, and it's described in great detail, too.

The last two stories were apparently written for an Internet newsgroup by Angela Knight and are rather more explicit than her novels. For me, I think the book would have been more acceptable overall if it had only contained the first two stories. The last two, being more about sex and less about plot, reduce the impact of the earlier stories and may also cause many readers to be uncomfortable with what they are reading. The world of the Warlord and Warfems that Angela Knight has created is an interesting one, and she is good at writing action and plot. However, when the stories become just about sex, they are less successful and a little disappointing.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Helen Hancox, 2007

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