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GUARDIAN OF HONOR
ROBIN D. OWENS
ISBN#:  0-373-80215-3
February 2005
Luna Books, Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.  
225 Duncan Mill Rd., Don Mills, Ontario  M3B 3K9
Trade Paperback  
$13.95
409 Pages
Fantasy
Rating:  4 Cups

Alexa Fitzwalter survives law school, passing the bar and the sudden, tragic death of the woman she considered more like a sister than just a best friend.  After being brought up in foster care, Sophie was the only family Alexa had and now she is gone.  Grief and a strange dream song lure Alexa on a dangerous trek through tough, snowy terrain in her home state of Colorado.  A cold night and a perilous journey mysteriously turn into spring blossoms and a feeling of renewal.  Alexa is drawn to a beautiful rainbow and invited into a sensation of joy and belonging.  Imagine her surprise when the pleasantry abruptly ends with the attack of a big, hairy monster and a sudden fight for life!

When Alexa survives the awful experience, she finds herself in a strange place called Lladrana.  Here people are classed as Marshalls, Chevaliers, and Black and Whites and speak a foreign language.  They utilize magic, bathe in a healing pool of beautiful blue and dwell in fear of monsters called renders, slayers, soul-suckers, and dreeths.   Alexa is stunned to find they have summoned her, petite and feminine, as their Joan of Arc.  A shapeshifter, or feycoocu, named Sinafin becomes Alexa's constant companion and guide.  

Certainly Alexa shares no common ground with the people of Lladrana but his stunning features are part of her attraction to Bastien Vauxveau.  He is a Black and White which is considered lower class and somewhat imperfect, but not in Alexa's eyes.  It does not take her long to discover that behind the scars that mar his beautiful body is also the soul of a friend and lover.  Bastien fights his attraction to this strange new being, but before long he "Tests" to become a Chevalier and dedicates himself to keeping Alexa in Lladrana for good.  

Wow is all I can say.  Robin D. Owens has an imagination far beyond my own limited one.  I found myself whisked into a world that I never fathomed, but was quickly captured by Alexa's determination and spunk.  I pictured Bastien's herd of Volerans (flying horses) and thought I smelled the putrid stench of the tiny, scaled worms that fell like rain on Lladrana.  Alexa's bravery amazed me, and I cheered during her Testing, but prayed that The Snap would offer her a quick way home. The story is filled with one imaginary creature after another, and you will believe in them in the end.  You will find yourself mesmerized with this science fiction fantasy, if only you are brave enough to start turning pages.

Brett Scott
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance

 

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