Right at the beginning of September, my Twitter feed was buzzing about Zoe Archer's new book, Warrior. I flagged the title for future reference but didn't rush straight out and buy it.
I ended up putting it on a list for my daughter to take to Barnes & Noble to get me a Christmas present. She wanted to get me a book and actually go to the store to buy it, so I picked out a few titles that were recently released and not terribly obscure (and therefore likely to be in stock). She picked Warrior because she liked the cover and title best. That's my kid for you. She's 6, but she's already all about the adventure stories. (The others on the list were Emily and the Dark Angel, by Jo Beverley, and several nonfiction titles.)
Anyway, I picked up the book with some trepidation, because so many times I've tried a book the majority of readers seem to love and I just don't get it at all. But this book works. It's historical fantasy romance with a good balance of all three. The deviations from the timeline and expected historical behavior feel justified by the fantasy aspects, which are well thought out. And unlike in a lot of books merging romance and adventure, I neither felt the characters were letting their love distract them from High Stakes and Mortal Peril, nor that the love story was tacked on at the end.
Warrior is first in the four-book Blades of the Rose series, which were released one per month through December. I bought the series as a Kindle bundle, and I'm saving them up for my next plane ride or when I'm stuck and need something reliably good to read.