ISBN/AISN: (ISBN 13) 9781540105141 / (AISN) B07QS1SBRN
May 6, 2019
Fantasy romance, New Adult romance
Rating: 4 cups
Naomi of the Gob Edis people holds the caste or status of her servant mother although her father is the tribal leader. One morning she encounters a handsome noble stranger who is seeking a bride from a tribe other than his own. She is smitten at once but realizes this man must select her sister, the reigning princess, so she leads him and his two servants to meet her father, staying true to her role as her sister’s handmaiden.
Akiba is desperate to find a bride to avert a legendary tragedy for his people that befalls when its leader is not wed to a suitable consort. He becomes betrothed to Nona, the Gob Edis princess, sight unseen and agrees to return for her in the future. He has found Naomi charming and appealing but feels her status puts her beneath him.
Before Akiba returns to claim her, Nona falls ill and is nursed to health by a young shaman from a nearby people. They fall in love and she marries him. When Akiba returns to claim his bride, he finds she is no longer there. He is insulted and furious. The ensuing conflict ends with Naomi taken by Akiba as a slave or “Tribeless”, the lowest caste among the folk of that region. He cannot admit he cares for her although he tries to protect and shelter her. When disasters begin to happen to his tribe and their lands it appears the curse of the single chief is unfolding. How can he avert the destruction and demise of the folk he leads? Naomi hatches a wild plan and disappears.
In the tradition of Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear series and the Gears’ tales of early Native American tribes, this unusual romance paints a vivid picture of a fictitious primitive South Asian tribal society. The whole cast of characters were vital and realistic, adding to the tapestry, but Naomi’s daring and integrity stole my heart! The hero was a bit of a jerk at times although he had courage and strong values. The complex plot absorbed me while I was never sure until almost the end how it was going to turn out. My only complaint is the author, probably seeking to make the dialogue sound casual and friendly at times, used some modern words and a few slang terms that briefly jerked me out of the pleasant reader’s trance. Otherwise it was a wonderful book, a mild or sweet romance suitable for readers of any age from YA on.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance and More