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Warrior (Blades of the Rose Series #1)

Warrior - Zoe Archer I purchased this book when it was released, and I started reading it but for a number of reasons I never finished it. Until now. And oh my. This is the perfect mix of adventure, magic and love.This story begins in Southampton, but most of the action takes place on the Mongolian steppes and in China. At times, it felt like I could feel the wind blowing in my hair, as I read about their adventure. The setting felt realistic, from the ride through the steppes through the time they spent with the Mongolian tribe. The journey through Mongolia felt realistic, from the fact that Thalia steered away from the settlements. I liked at the clues to the next part wasn't easy, nor obvious, and that they had to figure it out on they own. And let me tell you, there were unexpected twists.But an solid worldbuilding and a good plot isn't enough for me. Nope. I have to love the characters as well. Which I did. Gabriel is an ex-soldier, but he has a sense of honor that makes him stick by Thalia's side. And Thalia.. Raised in Mongolia, she is hardy, and used to travel. I must admit that she is the perfect woman for Gabriel.Even if they feel an instant attraction, they fight it for a long time. I loved that, since it felt like a realistic reaction, since Victorians would have considered it unseemly if they had made love too soon. When they give in? Sizzling. That is all I am saying.Despite all the good things about it, it sometimes that potential enemies turned out to be allies a bit too easily. Still, I was able to brush it away and focus on the story.