THE LAST WARRIOR
The Lost Colony Series Book 1
Rating: 5 Cups
Elsabeth is a Kurel, one of a group of humans that have kept the secrets of their home world’s technology alive for generations. She is also the tutor to Tassagonia’s royal children, friend to the Queen, and a spy for the resistance that wants to bring down the current monarch.
Tao is a general in the royal Tassagonian military. He has been fighting the Gorr (another alien race) or “furs” as he and his men call them, for years. He only wants to come home, find a wife, and tend his family’s lands and vineyards. He thinks he has finally brought peace to Tassagonia, but he is wrong in that assessment.
Markham is a childhood friend of Tao’s and his sister, Aza. He cares deeply for Aza and will do anything to keep her and her children and unborn child safe from Xim, her husband.
Xim is the current king of Tassagonia and a tyrant. He listens to others that do not have the kingdom’s best interests at heart.
Aza is the queen and Tao’s sister. She loves her brother very much.
When Tao finally arrives home, it is to a vastly different environment than when he left. In his absence, Tassagonian soldiers murdered Elsabeth’s parents, though at the time he is unaware of this. His first glimpse of Elsabeth, who he finds quite beautiful, is when he sees a soldier rifling through her bag of books at the palace gate. He helps Elsabeth by telling the guard to let her pass, but since she is a spy, she does not want to draw attention to herself and only wants to get away from the handsome general. She leaves without thanking him. However, she is waylaid by Markham, an ally within the castle and childhood friend of Tao, who wants to see Tao take the throne if the resistance can overthrow Xim, the current monarch. However, they are all walking a very thin line because Xim is eaten up with jealousy over the Tassagonian people’s love for General Tao and he would like nothing better than to dispose of him permanently. Also, Queen Aza is Tao’s sister, and she is very pregnant so keeping her, her two children, and her unborn baby safe are also paramount in the eyes of Tao, Elsabeth, the resistance, and Markham. When Xim overhears Tao make a careless remark, he takes it very personally and has his soldiers throw Tao into the dungeon and then orders his execution. It is at this point that Markham brings in Elsabeth and her people in a bid to release and hide Tao where his enemies will never think to look for him. However, hiding a popular Tassagonian general among Kurels will not be easy. The Kurel elders are not so keen on having him in their midst, though they do grant him temporary asylum. Added to the danger is Tao’s suspicion of the science the Kurel’s practice, which the Tassagonian’s see as the dark arts, and the deep attraction between Elsabeth and Tao. Elsabeth is reluctant to act on the attraction, but her heart begins telling her otherwise. Tao does not want to endanger Elsabeth, but he finds his heart turning towards her as well. Will the partnership between the Tassagonian general and the Kurel tutor be able to save both Tassagonians and the Kurel? Will their love blossom into something permanent? Or will the forces trying to disable the Tassagonian government from within cause the destruction of all?
All I can say is wow! What a fantastic book! I have loved Ms. Grant’s books since I first read the The Star King and the subsequent books in that series, but she has outdone herself with The Last Warrior. The world building is extraordinary and makes this book a true keeper. I loved the way she showed how English words got their spellings changed and how they deified Earth and mixed in some other spiritual traditions such as angels. Reading this book makes it easy to see how some things can get changed over time to the point that they are not completely accurate. I also liked the idea of the Kurels who kept the sciences and the practice of medicine alive even though they were persecuted for it by the Tassagonians. I also really enjoyed Elsabeth’s grit and strength, as well as, Tao’s sense of honor and fairness. These two make the perfect couple, and though they come from different cultures, they each have that sense of personal strength and fairness. The fact that they each are willing to do whatever it takes to have the best possible outcome for all really made this book memorable. Of course the love between them and their personal love story just added the perfect amount of spice to an already fantastic story. I will be definitely be buying the next book in this series, and I strongly urge anyone with a taste for sci-fi/fantasy love stories to do so as well. You will not be disappointed; Ms. Grant delivers on all fronts!
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More