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Warprize, by Elizabeth Vaughan

This is both a debut novel and the first installment in the “Warlands Chronicles” trilogy. I read the first two installments the moment they came out, and then despaired because the third one wasn’t going to be released for months and months and months. By the time it did come out, I had moved on, and so it languished, buried in my TBR mountain for… well, it seems like forever (but it was probably slightly less than that). A couple of weeks ago, I finally got around to reading it—which I did in one night, instead of sleeping. Boy, was I vividly reminded of why I was waiting so eagerly for the third installment to come out!

And so, here’s my (oh man so belated) review.

The back cover blurb:

She must choose between her people and her freedom…

Xylara is the Daughter of the Warrior King, Xyron. With her father dead and her incompetent half-brother on the throne, the kingdom is in danger of falling to the warring Firelanders.

Before she was old enough for a marriage-of-alliance, Xylara was trained as a healer. She can’t dethrone her brother or negotiate peace—but she can heal the brave men injured in battle.

But not only her countrymen are wounded, and Xylara’s conscience won’t let Firelanders warriors die when she can do something to save them. She learns their language and their customs and tries to make them as comfortable as possible, despite their prisoner-of-war status.

She never expects that these deeds, done in good faith, would lead to the handsome and mysterious Firelander Warlord demanding her in exchange for a cease-fire. Xylara knows she must trade the life she has always known for the well-being of her people, and so she becomes the…