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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Traitors by Michelle L. Levigne

Traitors by Michelle L. Levigne
Publisher: Mundania Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (176 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Orchid

Lord Edrix Faxinor regretted his brilliant diplomatic insight the moment he realized it landed him in the role of ambassador to Sendorland, the hereditary enemy of his country, Reshor. Still aching from the death of his betrothed, he set sail in the hopes of bringing peace between the two warring nations.

Arriena of Traxslan was the lowest of the low -- a poor relation, living on the charity of her domineering, cruel cousin, Lord Mordon Traxslan. She had dreams of being a scholar, despite the "sin" of being born a woman, with supposedly limited intelligence.

Then her cousin offered Arriena a chance to have some choice in her future -- but it could cost her life. Because she resembled Faxinor's dead betrothed, she was ordered to enchant and ensnare him, to give Sendorland power over him, and force him to betray Reshor.

Arriena had grown up unable to trust anyone. Could she trust Edrix with the truth, and possibly her heart? To save Arriena, could Edrix risk becoming a traitor?

Two very different countries with a common border. Reshor: where men and women are treated as equals, able to train for warrior or priest and still marry and bear children. Sendorland: where women are the property of men, to be used as bargaining pieces or in any other way their male relatives see fit.

The parents of Arriena from Sendorland die and her cousin Mordon inherits the estate. He permits Arriena to study as long as she restricts herself to old useless scrolls. Mordon has a plan to trap the Ambassador from Reshor into betraying his country.

Edrix is the Reshor Ambassador. He is attracted to Arriena but thinks she has been thrown in his path for ulterior motives. As he gets to know her he falls in love with her but can see no future for them.

With no choice but to obey her cousin, Arriena must decide whether to betray her country or help the man she is falling in love with. Edrix has to discover how he can win Arriena and rescue her from the evil society of Sendorland.

The minor characters were involved in the main story but also had their own problems to solve. Jeshra, the King of Reshor's niece and a Sword Sister has to protect the King's heir. Prince Rafnar, the heir, is trying to represent his father in Sendorland. Other minor characters enrich the book with very solid reasons behind their appearance.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The author portrayed both main characters delightfully. Arriena presented as a beautiful, but shy young woman. Beneath the shyness and obedience to her cousin, she had a determination that nobody but her slave servant was aware of. Edrix is a man to rely on, someone to confide in who will protect the woman he loves. Throughout the book I hoped Arriena and Edrix would find the happiness they deserved, but the author kept me guessing right to the end.

Definitely an action, adventure romance that kept me enthralled to the last page.