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Michael Dunellen on Books

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The Warrior Enchained

The Warrior Enchained - Sharon Green Note to science fiction fans who read this review: I am re-reading the series from the perspective of whether it qualified as a BDSM Romance. If that idea offends you, you might want to skip this review although if you are interested in reading this particular book, you might get some insight out of this.So the first book was Boy meets Girl. Boy rapes Girl. Boy beats Girl. Girl falls in love with Boy. Boy sends Girl back to her people. The End.This one is quite a bit different. It is much darker really, and just infuriating at times. And just when you think the 3 male lead characters had done the stupidest thing possible, they quite adroitly proved the reader wrong.Tammad seems to believe the measure of a man is the ability to instill blind obedience in his followers. He may actually have the best interests of his people at heart but his willingness to use anyone - especially Terril - to get what he wants showed that he was indeed a barbarian when it counted.Garth seems to believe the measure of a man is the ability to remove himself from the shackles of civilization. His problem, though, is his total lack of any understanding of honor. He was assigned to protect Terry - not engage in a pointless duel. Allowing Tammad to convince him that handing Terry to him was protecting her was just an excuse to try to convince himself he wasn't doing the wrong thing.Len seems to believe the measure of a man is the ability to force women to bend to his will. He could have been the antagonist of the first book except that he was just so pathetic. This time he just shows he has no concept of morality. He was perfectly willing to use his powers manipulate those around him to suit his purposes while telling everyone how awful a thing that would be. And either he was terrible at his job or truly a disturbed individual when you think about the all the fear and terror that had to be going on in the Hamarda camp and how he was completely and utterly unaffected.So basically the book is divided into 3 portions.Terry being dragged back to Rimilia and forced to serveI really think Tammad does love her. But I also think he loves what she can do for him just as much. Early on, she makes the comment about he is destroying her self-esteem. And it got much worse than that before it was over.The interesting thing about sending her back to the Embassy was that he obviously thought it was obvious he didn't mean it because he didn't remove her bands. But not even his lapdog - the one that thought beating women was so funny in the first book - figured it out.The Dagger Fight - I really had to wonder what he would have done if she had held her dagger to her own throat. Fortunately, it didn't end up that way.The “Liberty" Scene - I remember being bothered by that before. This time, it just made my blood boil. What Terry had done was wrong but what Len did to her was revenge, not punishment.There’s always a choice. If you’re willing to pay the price for it, that choice is always yours.I’ve always loved that quote - never forgotten it from the first time I read it. And that was my favorite moment in the whole book.Life among the Desert NomadsI like how Tammad and his l’lenda slaughtered the savages but felt nothing but kinship with what was essentially a group of monsters. If Tammad were actually fit to be an actual leader, he might have understood if the Hamarda hadn't been willing to buy the women, the Savages wouldn’t have been taking them. Talk about a lack of understanding of basic economics.And, of course, this scene ends with the Terry being forcibly raped by Garth and Len because she had had the audacity to manipulate the emotions of their charming hosts - the ones who murder slave girls for doing terrible things like having panic attacks or being boring. And, of course, it was perfectly acceptable for Len to use his abilities on her to punish her for using her abilities on others. This is really the Jump the Shark point.Except of course for Tammad. Apparently he was a little too dense to pick up on the way Hannas reacted to Findra. It is a very good thing that he wasn’t actually into BDSM. Because a hallmark of the lifestyle is Communication. And what he did wrong here was so wrong on so many levels. But you can’t let things like love for a wenda get in the way of your galactic conquering scheme. And the fact that there was such a disconnect between him and what Garth and Len were doing was actually scary since Terry was caught in the middle. But hey, Kednin seemed like such a cool dude, I guess.The ChamaShe was evil, not a doubt, but it took a whole lot of stupidity to allow things to get to that point when there was a mechanism in place to stop it. And without her avarice for Terry’s power, things could been much worse. Like a lot of other reviews said, Terry let a lot of things slide in the ending - way too much, in fact.And while Daldrin wasn't perfect, he did save her life when she was ready to throw herself into the chasm. He gets major brownie points from me for that.So in the first book Terrilian is arrogant in keeping with her pampered background and it wasn’t quite that bad watching her get taken down a few points. But this time she actually has a point that Tammad arrogantly ignores and Garth and Len egg him on because they are such sad little individuals. They thought she was still arrogant but frankly they were wrong. If she didn't want to be there any longer, and she wasn't part of the assignment once Len arrived, she should have been allowed to leave. What makes it worse if that even when she was using her powers it was partially because it was the first time in her life that they had been activated so long without any controls in place. Again, what she did was wrong, but it is fair to point out that two wrongs don’t make a right and frankly she was wronged early and often.If I remember correctly, this was the worst book of the series and I feel that even more strongly now. Hopefully, it gets better from here.