Fearless (The Survival Race Book Two). (She had visited here last week and in preparation for her interview I skimmed through book two of her series, having previously read book one, Captive.) I knew that Fearless would be a book I didn't want to read on deadline, so I put off sitting down to "really" read it for a few days till I could clear my schedule.
My intent was to read a little last night and then finish it early this morning. Instead I read and read and read it last night, not closing the cover on my Kindle till the last page was turned. What an absolutely fascinating story!
If you haven't read K.M. Fawcett's The Survival Race series yet, I'd advise you to start with the first book, Captive, as you'll want to know what transpired, even though Fawcett is quite adept in letting the reader know the high points of what had occurred previously. But this is a new world you should be introduced to from the beginning, the world of Hyborea, where aliens abduct humans to serve as gladiators or brood mares for their amusement.
Unlike Captive, the majority of the action for Fearless takes place on an island that the Hyboreans can't reach, so the island's inhabitants are essentially free. However, even amongst the free there are those in society who seek to force their will on others, and the opening of the book shows an assault by the warlord/king of a Highland community on a small village, where the menfolk and their mates are abducted.
Kedric, the warlord, is in search of men to fill his army for a planned assault on the Hyboreans. As an escapee from their freezing cold city and the son of someone who 'loves' his Hyborean master, Kedric's feelings towards this master race are antagonistic - to put it mildly. Myia, a shaman-in-training from the village he assaulted, is charged by her shaman father to seek Kedric out to heal him, before their community and way of life is destroyed.
Myia makes her way to Kedric's kingdom, which is quite technologically and medically advanced to her lowland eyes. Her skill as a shaman is to enter into the body of someone and heal their soul. The first person she attempts to heal, a guard at the gate, does not react well to this foreigner's spirit virtually entering his body and assaults her. When Kedric first meets her she is both unconscious and bruised, but his immediate reaction to her as a woman, even in that condition, is telling.
I found the growing romance between Kedric and Myia, once they were able to admit their mutual attraction, quite beautiful. Fawcett is someone who is able to not only convey the evident physical passion, with some steamy encounters, but also the soul-deep quality of true love. Wait for the description of Miya's dance for Kedric. Quite a highlight within the story. It was wonderful to see the return of Max and Addy from book one and to catch up on their lives too.
The concept that someone, a shaman-in-training, who could mitigate the aggressiveness that causes war and the desire to harm others was quite beautiful. I could only wish that we could duplicate that, in truth, in this world too. For those of us looking to role models, Gandhi and the Dalai Lama, among other spiritual leaders spring to mind. Perhaps we should all take a few moments each day to contemplate that. (I think Myia's soul healing ways transcended the page!)
I deeply admire Fawcett's ability to create and instill this world of Hyborea with life and a reality that jumps through the page. This really was a story I could not put down and now just want to read more, more, more from this new - and highly talented - writer.
So, in conclusion, I will highly recommend that if you like fantasy, paranormal, and/or historical romance (yes, there is a historical element to these books too), or just a truly fabulous love story, that you add K.M. Fawcett's The Survival Race to your must-read list.
I'm awarding five stars to K.M. Fawcett's Fearless, a passionate, beautiful, and gripping fantasy romance.
From the Publisher
The Survival Race Book 2
Fearless by K.M. Fawcett
Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
Pub Date Jan 7 2014
Myia, a shaman-in-training, wants desperately to protect her peaceful village from the barbaric Highland invaders. To hone her powers of prophetic visions and healing, the village elders send Myia on a quest to heal the Highland leader's heart and stop a brewing war. Myia's mended many souls before, so this should be an effortless duty . . . until she meets the gorgeous, stubborn Highland warlord.
Kedric, a gladiator who escaped enslavement, only wants to liberate the villagers from their common foe-a race that breeds humans for blood sport and genetic experiments. Fueled by his rage, Kedric is determined to take down the brutal enemy. So when a raven-haired beauty with a body made for sin tries to sabotage his mission, Kedric wants her gone. Yet no woman's touch has ever left Kedric more annoyed . . . and aroused. Kedric knows he should shun her soothing embrace-but he can't seem to stay away. As their passion grows, Kedric must decide between fighting his war or surrendering his rage-and his heart-for Myia's love.