Merrimon Book Reviews

From Medieval Book Reviews
Immortal Warrior

by Lisa Hendrix

Passionate medieval paranormal romance: A cursed Viking, half-man and half-eagle, meets his fate.

IMMORTAL WARRIOR by Lisa Hendrix starts off a new paranormal series with a bang!  A cursed Viking, half-man and half-eagle, meets his fate head on in 11th century England when instructed to marry Alaida.  Grounded in medieval history and literature, Lisa Hendrix's imaginative romance is passionate, dark, and refreshingly both familiar to medieval lovers and yet completely new.  IMMORTAL WARRIOR is an excellent paranormal romance --- but to the medieval lover, it is all the more exquisite.

Cursed by the evil sorceress Cwen, Ivar Graycloak must live forever as half-eagle, half-man. Ordered out of his solitary existence by William Rufus, son of the Conqueror and the king of England, Ivar receives reward for his actions to foil Mowbray. Ivar would trade his soul for an estate, a place to start over and put the past behind him. Not only does William give him Alnwick with the instructions to build a castle, but also Tyson's granddaughter as wife! Lady Alaida is just want Ivar wants --- beautiful, feisty, and passionate. Ivar is a kind, passionate lover by night but every morning he disappears. Even worse, after nights of passion and love, Ivar suddenly won't touch her. Distraught by the dark vision of the future, Ivar knows he cannot subject Alaida or future generations to this fate. Alaida might just hold the key to the Cwen's curse, but will she free them or plunge them into darkness forever?

First in a new paranormal series, Lisa Hendrix's 11th century medieval romance IMMORTAL WARRIOR combines intriguing historical and literary references with darker fairy-tale paranormal powers, legendary curses and passionate romance. From a passage in the Dyrrekkr Saga of Ari Sturlusson, Lisa Hendrix creates a memorable imaginative romance that will appeal to both paranormal and medieval lovers alike. The brooding strong handsome but solitary Viking Ivar, also known as Sir Ivo de Vassy in the Anglo-Norman setting of the romance, stirs the heart with his longing for companionship, a home, and his unabashed appreciation for the passionate Norman lady Alaida. Haunted by his secret, a secret that would endanger not only himself but Alaida herself, Ivar is a man who can only live in the darkness of night. Ivar is a man who longs to experience the simple pleasures humans take for granted, the very things he cannot have. Fiery Alaida inflames Ivar with a deep passion as she chafes against those customs that reduce a woman to an obedient servant. Willful, ardent and clever, Lady Alaida is exactly the kind of woman Ivar needs to motivate him to stand up against his past. Lisa Hendrix creates two strong independent characters. Intriguing secondary characters, especially the half man and half bear Brand, add a rich dimension as their interactions with Ivar and Alaida bring humor and drama to the central romance. Lisa Hendrix brings IMMORTAL WARRIOR to a dramatic, dangerous turning point with intriguing plot twists. The ending brings a smile with a bit of humor after an intense, emotional read from start to finish. Even the epilogue moves with its final description and imagery.

IMMORTAL WARRIOR is undoubtedly a romance that will thrill paranormal lovers but it will hold a very special place for medieval lovers. Bringing together Norse sagas, English history and medieval fairy tales, Lisa Hendrix brings her imagination to bear to create a story that will delight with its familiarity, but a familiarity in a completely new context, that of paranormal romance. Tinged with a delightful darker echo of Chaucer's Wife of Bath 's Tale (The Canterbury Tales), John Gower's The Tale of Florent (Confessio Amantis) and the Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell, Lisa Hendrix adds her own unique vision to this popular classic tale of magic. Lisa Hendrix's IMMORTAL WARRIOR is absolutely stunning, especially with all the exquisite medieval details she embeds within the story.

Publisher: Berkley Sensation (November 2008)

Book Clubs:
Lisa Hendrix's website (www.lisahendrix.com) has a handy PDF list of reader group questions.   With its richness of detail, rich character portraits, dynamic plot, historical and above all magical detail, I believe this book would be an excellent choice for book clubs.  Quite simply, there is plenty here to facinate and provide for lively discussions.  Also, IMMORTAL WARRIOR is a fast read ---it just captivates so that it is hard to put down.  The blend of paranormal and historical romance together makes this a fun choice for a varied group.

Reviewed by Merrimon, Medieval Book Reviews
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