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Rebel (Blades of the Rose) Mass Market Paperback – 6 Dec 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
We learned about Astrid's existence through Catullus (I <3 Catullus) at the end of Scoundrel. We only knew that a few years ago she decided to leave everything and everyone behind to grieve her husband's death. We find her, an hermit, living by herself in a nearly deserted part of Canada. She only interacts with the trappers when she has to. She is a strong and independent woman who survived the horror of loosing her husband in a battle. I really liked her, she thought herself dead inside and refused to get attached to anyone ever again. Nathan Lesperance is an attorney, the only native attorney in Canada. He's been taken from his family, his tribe, when he was a child, to be brought up by the government. As a result he is an outsider, neither belonging with the Indians nor the White men. I really liked Nathan, he is strong and intelligent. When he meets Astrid, something awoke in him. (But I won't say more, so I won't spoil anything *wink*).
When Heirs shows up, Astrid and Nathan are forced to work together to stay alive and search for a Source to protect. Their quest for the Source won't be an easy one. We discover a side of Canada that I've never seen, the wilderness is breathtaking. Once again I felt like I was there with the heroes. It's really something amazing about Zoe Archer's writing.
I felt that the romance took a less important part in the book. I mean it's definitely there...but early in the book it already felt like being set in stone.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
I am really enjoying Zoe Archer's historical adventure romance series set in exotic locales - this time the wilds of the frozen northwest. And Rebel is my favorite of the Blades or the Rose so far. Throughout the series, Archer has done a really good job in making all of her books stand apart, no cookie cutter romances with interchangeable starring pairs here. But as much as I've liked Warrior and Scoundrel, Archer outdoes herself in Rebel, Nathan and Astrid are both well drawn characters and their slowly developing relationship brings a great deal of emotional depth to a story that also has a good amount of action and covers some very beautifully described territory.
So I loved both Nathan and Astrid and I loved Nathan's awakening which added a touch of paranormal to the story and I loved Rebel. I am three for three on the series and I have high hopes for the final Blades of the Rose, and I am really happy that there isn't a long wait for Stranger (The Blades of the Rose) since Archer has already setup her next starring pair and I am looking forward to more of the brilliant and debonair Catulus Graves as he takes his turn in the spotlight.
This book seemed to have a different tone than the previous two. I had it pointed out to me by a friend that there was less humor, and she was right. The tone was more quiet and somber. The characters were falling in love, but they both were rather withdrawn so their connection was quieter.
Other than the obvious factor of Astrid being a member (or prior member) of the Blades of the Rose and Catullus showing up, this one didn't seem strongly tied to the previous books. Perhaps it's because we never met Astrid before, we only heard about her in passing. Whatever it is, I think this one would be able to stand on its own well without having read the previous books.
In the beginning as we were getting Astrid's thoughts about her husband I saw a lot of grief there, of course, but I also noticed some stray thoughts here and there that seemed to subtly be grooming the reader to see the new love interest, Nathan, as a better match than the previous spouse.
"Few possessed enough spirit to gain her respect. Even Michael, much as she had loved him, wavered at times. Not Lesperance. He was her equal. In many ways. A frightening prospect."
See? That was only on page 66 and there were a lot of little comments like that. (Lesperance is Nathan's last name by the way.) Possibly the comments weren't meant that way, but after years of reading romances I am particularly sensitive to the habit authors have of devaluing the previous relationship just enough to make the new guy not have any competition. How can you have a competition with a dead man, you ask? I don't know, I've been wondering that for years.
Another thing that I noticed in this book was that even though we saw a lot more of Catullus than we did in the previous two, we didn't have as many steampunk gadgets as we did in the previous books. It's not a huge negative to me, it's just something I noticed.
Despite liking it less than the previous two books, I still thought it was a fun book. It isn't going to be a favorite of mine, but the action was a lot of fun and Astrid was a strong heroine. I also liked that Nathan's magic opened up an unexpected avenue in the author's world. I didn't think that we'd see any of that in this series, but it was definitely interesting to explore.
After getting to know Catullus a little better here I am even more excited to read his book. Hopefully we'll be able to end the series on a high note.
Astrid Bramfield is a former Blade in self-imposed exile after the death of her husband five years earlier. Solitary and as tough as they come, she hasn't let herself feel anything in a long time. Nathan Lesperance, on the other hand, radiates emotional warmth. A Native taken from his tribe as a child and raised in white schools, he's an articulate attorney with a wild streak within him that he doesn't understand. That wildness inside him becomes stronger when he travels on business to the region where his ancestors lived.
Nathan and Astrid feel an immediate and powerful connection that Astrid at first tries to deny. An early argument about Astrid's choice to cut herself off from family and friends feels thoroughly believable. Nathan's sense of displacement, and his compelling mix of fierceness and beautiful vulnerability, make him one of my favorite romance heroes of all time. His reaction to a huge change, his speech about what Astrid means to him to a Native tribe who aren't too happy with having a white woman trespassing on their sacred lands, and the love scene near the end of the book are sections I re-read again and again.
As always, Archer writes about non-European cultures (in this case, Native tribes) with careful research, respect, and sensitivity. Archer also describes magical phenomena in a more original and credible way than any writer I've read. The story crackles with action as Astrid and Lesperance pursue a mission and later fight with other Blades against the Heirs of Albion.
Catullus Graves, the Blade's genius-in-residence and adventurer with an excessive love of fine waistcoats, has a bigger role in this story. Graves's stoic loneliness, and his meeting with the woman who will be the love of his life, got me very excited to read the final volume of the Blades of the Rose.
Zoe Archer outdid herself with Rebel, after blowing me away twice already with Warrior and Scoundrel. Which only leads me to believe that the fourth book, Stranger, is going to be so outstanding that it will cease global warming and then cuddle with me.
Can not wait!