BOOK & BLOG
May 28, 2006
Book of the Week: Elizabeth Vaughans WARSWORN
I just finished Elizabeth Vaughans WARSWORN. Maybe I was hindered a bit by never having read the previous book about Keir and Lara, WARPRIZE. The book stood well on its own, though. Its a science fiction romance, at least in my classification, about a warrior world with two opposing cultures, that of the walled cities and villages (represented by Lara, last princess of Xy) and the man who is trying to bridge the gap between his horse culture and Xy, Keir the Warlord. In the first book, Keir won Lara, though he has plenty of opposition within his own troops, which contain both men and women warriors.
In WARSWORN, Lara, who is a healer, encounters many problems an almost embarrassing number of problems in her attempt to learn and understand her new husbands society. The Plains people have never encountered plague, and when Lara understands that a village they pass contains the disease, she has a hard time getting them to comprehend the danger. True to her healer calling, Lara insists on helping the villagers. Through no fault of hers, the plague is released into the Plains camp.
Thats not the only crisis in Keir and Laras relationship. They have a determined enemy in Iften, Keirs second in command, and Iften commands a lot of respect among the warriors.
The book ends on an unsettled note, and I see that the third book in the series will be out later this year. WARSWORN was an engaging read, a ripping good adventure with no explicit sex. Lara and Keir have a relationship that strengthens in the course of the book in a realistic way, and I think that makes WARSWORN an excellent way to spend a few hours.
Im in Georgia at the moment, having gotten to take my son away from Fort Benning for 36 hours. Hes a little taller, fifteen pounds heavier, and has a whole new vocabulary. Underneath, hes still my son. Hes living in a world that I know nothing about, but Im learning. He couldnt feel a calling to any particular profession, so the Army seemed like a good choice to him, one some of his friends had made.
Im beginning to think that the late teens, early twenties, may be the most uncertain time of life. I know, I know; early and mid-teens are supposed to be rockiest, emotionally. But consider this: when youre in your late teens and early twenties, youre supposed to know what youre going to do with the rest of your life. Some of you have known your whole lives what you want to do, and if youre able to go right to the path leading to that goal, youre one of the lucky ones. If youre not (and I think that would be the case with most young adults), its time for the Big Choices. Few choices are irrevocable for example, in a few years my son will be out of the Army, if he wants but all of them are important. For young people who havent been drawn to any particular occupation, the process can be agonizing.
I am coming to realize how fortunate I was to have a clear calling, and the skill to follow it. True, there were roadblocks along the way. I had a living to make, and my writing hadnt gotten to any point where I could even think about supporting myself with it. But as fate would have it, when I married for the second time, my husband was able to offer me the chance to write in security. In turn, I was able to finish that first book and sell it, through other equally important bits of luck. Very little choice on my part, right? Except in my selection of a spouse, for which Ill accept a great deal of credit.
If I was able to wave a magic wand, Id distribute dollops of luck to all the young people I know. Theyre living in a precarious world, making difficult decisions that really will affect the rest of their lives.
I cant help you, guys and gals. I can only hope that you get the breaks I got. My hats tipping in your direction.
-- Charlaine Harris
® 2010 Charlaine Harris