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105 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly amusing and entertaining fantasy novel
The book is set in a world, aparently a far future human colony, where the population can only be protected against frequent natural disasters by the special talents of two groups of people - "Sources" and "Shields".

Sources can "channel" natural forces and dispel coming disasters: Shields protect the Sources and stop them dying or going insane while they do...
Published on 11 May 2006 by Marshall Lord

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If only for the sake of balance...
Apparently unlike the rest of the reviewers I found this book dull and predictable.

The idea for the Sources and Shields was undeniably interesting and even the obviously stereotypical beginning sounded like a fun read.

The plot just seemed too obvious, and the characters. Every scenario was reacted to exactly how you would expect. The interesting...
Published on 10 May 2008 by H. Haines


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105 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly amusing and entertaining fantasy novel, 11 May 2006
By 
Marshall Lord (Whitehaven, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Resenting the Hero (Mass Market Paperback)
The book is set in a world, aparently a far future human colony, where the population can only be protected against frequent natural disasters by the special talents of two groups of people - "Sources" and "Shields".

Sources can "channel" natural forces and dispel coming disasters: Shields protect the Sources and stop them dying or going insane while they do so. In principle any source can work with any shield, but in practice most sources form a natural bond with one particular shield. The bond is involuntary, neither partner having any choice about who they form a pair with, and once formed it lasts for the rest of the life of both partners - it is so strong that the death of either partner causes the demise of the other.

Most pairs form a friendly and professional relationship, some ignore the advice of their training college by becoming lovers, and others find themselves tied for life to someone they can't stand.

Lord Shintaro Karish, brother of the Duke of Westsea, is a Source. He is heroic, brave, virile, talented, charming, disgustingly handsome, and apart from having the reputation of being something of a rake, far too good to be true. Every young shield, expecially the female ones, hopes to bond with him, except for Dunleavy Mallorough (Lee), a practical merchant's daughter who wants to work with someone calm, steady, and reliable. So guess who she gets stuck with.

(There is an amusing scene in a later book set some years afterwards, when Lee and Taro meet the pair which includes the Source Lee had originally hoped she might bond with.)

The hilarious cover art shows a pretty young woman wearing an expression of utter disgust while polishing the shoes of a handsome blockhead who is striking a heroic pose while actually on horseback. This is a piece of whimsy which does not appear in the book. The relationship between source and shield is supposed to be much more equal than this cover art makes out, and Lee is certainly not the kind or doormat who would put up with any such nonsense. However it does give a very good idea of the initial reaction of the practical merchant's daughter on being yoked for life to someone she percieves as a brilliant but pampered and arrogant aristocrat. During their adventures they also meet people who really do think that shields are practically the slaves of their sources.

Shintaro and Lee have to learn to work together in the face of great danger, and at first working together is not the least of the challenges they face.

If you have ever read any of Sharon Green's fantasy novels, this reminded me strongly of some of her better and more recent books. If Sharon Green ever wrote a novel set in a world where men and women are equal and all the characters were completely confortable with that, and the love-hate relationships between the main characters were not so extreme, it would probably be very similar to this.

The book is not quite as funny as the cover art may make it appear, but it is by turns entertaining and exciting.

I can also strongly recommend the sequels. As at April 2014 the "Heroes" series appears to be complete at seven books as follows:

1) "Resenting the Hero"
2) "The Hero Strikes Back"
3) "Heroes Adrift"
4) "Heroes at Risk"
5) "Heroes Return"
6) "Heroes at Odds"
7) "Heroes' Reward."

The books change considerably in tone and style through the series as one set of issues is resolved and new ones appear and as the characters and their relationships develop. But I enjoyed all of them.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Fun :-), 24 Mar. 2007
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This review is from: Resenting the Hero (Mass Market Paperback)
Just adding my voice to say what a lovely fantasy/romance this was :-)

Dunleavy is a Shield, born and trained to unite with a Source and become one half of a bonded Pair. Once bonded, the Shield's job is to protect the Source, who channels energy from the natural disasters that would otherwise decimate the world. The Shield's role isn't as glamorous as that of the Source, but Dunleavy has completed her training, and is prepared for her responsibilities. All she wants is a calm, steady and reliable Source so that she can do her job properly.

If only her Source hadn't turned out to be Lord Shintaro Karish...

Karish - 'the stallion' - is handsome, confident, and an unbelievably talented Source. So talented, in fact, that the newly-bonded pair have scarcely time to bicker over their first meal together, before they are ordered to High Scape, the biggest city on the continent, where natural disasters strike on a daily basis.

Dunleavy braces herself for the task ahead: shielding a Source like Karish is her idea of hell, but she's going to do her job properly if it kills her. Which makes it really annoying when, facing disasters left right and center, Karish seems to insist on being... nice.

This was a great light fantasy read, with a nice *touch* of romance. Wonderful lead characters and story, a lot of humour (though not outright comedy) and a nice warm fuzzy feeling at the end - swiftly followed by a desperate urge to read the sequel :-)
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, 24 Mar. 2007
By 
clairefromwales - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: Resenting the Hero (Mass Market Paperback)
Now I'll admit that's not a very promising title for the review, but I really wasn't sure what to expect with this book. That awful cover had made me pass it over several times, but it stubbornly sat in my list of recommendations, I was between books, so I thought 'why not?' - and was very glad that I did.

The story is set in a world beset by extreme natural disasters, and where civilization can only be maintained with the help of specially talented individuals. The 'Sources' can channel the forces in a natural disaster and control them, but they can only do this with the protection of a 'Shield' guarding their minds. Each Source and Shield is 'paired' - an instantaneous, involuntary bond between two individuals, but with no guarantee they'll even like one another. The two talents come with certain idiosyncrasies - Sources are flighty, occasionally talk nonsense and not all that great at interacting with the world; Shields are stoical, dependable and organised, but can be driven into a frenzy by music. Their training keeps both, especially Shields, away from the real world until they are paired and there's plenty of situations where they don't know what to do.

Our heroes - Lee (a Shield) and Taro (a Source) are at once horribly mismatched, she's the sensible daughter of a merchant and he's the wildly heroic son of a leading aristocratic family, yet at the same time profoundly and deeply connected.

For most of this book, Lee judges Taro on his reputation and thoroughly disapproves of him but, unconsciously at first and then with more conviction she slowly recognises his worth.

It's a mark of the success of the author that I still liked Lee's character, but it was a fine line because she is so unperceptive at times. If the book wasn't written in the first person I'd probably have wanted to slap Lee!

The first person perspective is effective, but can be a challenge because Lee has so little understanding of what motivates the people around her. In a scene near the end, Taro helps her through a very difficult time by telling her about what he and others think of her, but she dimisses it all, not recongising its truth.

It's an interesting relationship between the two leads. It's clearly a love story and yet it isn't. It'll be interesting to see where the author takes them in later stories.

This book also introduces the political machinations of their world and Taro's unexpected powers open some questions about what the Triple S Guild that controls the destinies of all Sources and Shields is really up to.

It's an inventive concept, with engaging characters and an interesting world. Definitely worth a read.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable fantasy with nicely observed human moments!, 30 Mar. 2007
This review is from: Resenting the Hero (Mass Market Paperback)
Although this is a fantasy story (read the synopsis/other reviews to get the idea) it's actually about the relationship between the two characters Lee and Shintaro. She responsible, ordinary, perhaps lacking confidence and he (apparently at least) celebrated, dynamic and totally self-confident.

Lee resents the reputation Shintaro has built up around himself and his aristocratic pride - he can't stand her prejudice (any of this sounding a little bit Jane-Austeny?) These two find themselves inextricably bound together so that they have to work together, live near each other, and if one dies it kills the other. In the end, of course, each comes to perceive the worth of the other and they work together to prevent a disaster.
If you like books about odd-couple partnerships or tension between people of a Lizzy/Darcy variety, this is definitely for you!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If only for the sake of balance..., 10 May 2008
By 
This review is from: Resenting the Hero (Mass Market Paperback)
Apparently unlike the rest of the reviewers I found this book dull and predictable.

The idea for the Sources and Shields was undeniably interesting and even the obviously stereotypical beginning sounded like a fun read.

The plot just seemed too obvious, and the characters. Every scenario was reacted to exactly how you would expect. The interesting plot points were quickly discarded, the scenes seemed almost random.

Despite much of this the story carried just enough that I bought the sequel.
Advice: Never read a book to find out how the story ends, you will only be tormented with endless annoying sequels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than the title suggests, 2 Dec. 2007
By 
Helen Hancox "Auntie Helen" (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Resenting the Hero (Mass Market Paperback)
The title of this book was a little offputting, as was the cover art, but it was actually a very enjoyable read. It's rare to start a fantasy that seems to have such an original plot and whose characters are quite unformed and young but who grow up rapidly during the events of the book.

The heroine, Dunleavy Mallorough, is a Shield. This is someone with a supernatural ability to help those people who are Sources and who are able to direct the weather and reduce natural disasters on the planet on which they live. However Shields and Sources bond to each other as a once-in-a-lifetime bond and to ensure that Shields don't bond to the wrong people they are kept entirely separate their entire youth. Dunleavy has been at the Shield academy since she was four years old and as the book starts she is twenty one years old and about to attend a bonding ceremony where she might, if she's lucky, find the Source with whom she will bond. This bonding is by no means all good, however; once bonded if one of the pair dies then the other also dies. Lee is also unsure about being bonded to several of the possibilities; there are some good men and women who are sources, and there are two in the line-up that she would like, but there are also some bad ones - Creol who has a reputation as a rapist and generally unpleasant man and Lord Shintaro Karish whose womanising ways and general notoriety overcome his physical appeal and charm to Lee.

Of course Lee ends up stuck with Shintaro and they get sent almost immediately to the town of High Scape, a town that needs a great deal of Source and Shield Pairs to keep it safe. But almost as soon as they arrive they discover something dangerous in the offing which kills several of the Pairs. Lee and Karish's lack of harmony in their pairing doesn't help, especially when Karish is attacked and then abducted. Can Lee do anything to find him? She is so young and their pairing is so untested, can they make any difference against the evil that she begins to sense.

There were some moments in this book when the pacing was a little off but generally it was a very enjoyable read. There are some lovely touches, such as Lee's susceptibility to music, and there's a very, very small romance in the story, but most of the attention is on the lives of Lee as a Shield, the evil they work against, but also the evils of the Shield and Source training system. I enjoyed the story very much and have already ordered the follow-up which continues the stories of Lee and Karish.
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4.0 out of 5 stars different take on fantasy romance, 18 July 2011
This review is from: Resenting the Hero (Mass Market Paperback)
Sources and shields - Taro and Lee are opposites. Taro is flashy, popular, charming, attractive. Lee is calm, studious, steady. Sources and shields are paired for life to battle the elements. Lee desparately doesn't want to be paired with Taro but of course she is. And comes to the pairing with her prejudices firmly in place. Taro is perplexed at first and gradually maddened by what he sees as Lee's skewed view of his character. The attraction is certainly there and as they battle together the relationship develops and they realise that they are loyal to each other, not just because its the job, or because their lives each depend upon the other but because they start to care for each other. This is the first of a series and the relationship aspect is a bit of a slow burn!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed Hero., 10 Aug. 2008
By 
Patrick Mullane (Cork, Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Resenting the Hero (Mass Market Paperback)
I must confess I was looking forward to this book, perhaps a bit too much. It seemed an interesting premise of magic users working as pairs (Shield and Source) to act as a type of preternatural disaster fighting duo. And to be fair, it is competently written and does deliver on plot in a faux-Victorian setting, if rather plodding at times with some moments of light humour thrown about. What I found lacking was the rather cardboard characters. The heroine's special skill seems to be glibly ignoring all sense of personal danger whilst the eponymous hero, seems to be drawn directly from 2-D misunderstood types R'us. As there is a sequel to this, perhaps the characterisation might be improved upon by the author.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Still not sure about this Series, 6 Mar. 2013
By 
Harried Grandmother (South Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Resenting the Hero (Mass Market Paperback)
After looking at all 3 books was still not sure if these were for me so again gave this one a miss
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6 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very original and fun, 9 April 2007
This review is from: Resenting the Hero (Mass Market Paperback)
Dunleavey is really annoyed when she is bonded to Shintaro Karish, mainly because most people want to be bonded to him and she likes to think she should be betterthen that. Karish is a famous stud, although very good at his job, which is all she, as his Shield, should have to worry about. She is even more annoyed when, after a first evening of awkward conversation, they are immediately given the best post she could of asked for as a result of his fame-the turbulent and generally odd city of High scape.
Having antagonised Karish and not knowing anyone else, the only friend Dunleavey has in High Scape is Aiden Kelly, a man she inadvertently caused to be injured in a bench dancing contest, who loathes sources like Karish and keeps trying to persuade her to think the same way.
This is all before a bizarre natural disastar puts all the other pairs out of action, leaving only Dunleavey and Karish to defend the city. And after Karish is kidnapped, Dunleavey, with Aiden's help, has to figure out who's behind it...
Reading some of the reviews i was surprised.Although everyone liked this,like me,it is surprising to hear it called a romance. o.k so it does have some of that but that would be a certain interpretation.
This makes me smile, ive been reading it all day and you definitley should too.
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