Title: Warrior and Priest
Author: Katie Howe
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 200 Pages
At a Glance: Such a great story with wonderful characters and a fascinating world.
Reviewed By: Jennifer
Blurb: On an earthlike planet ruled by the Elite, a rite called “the Gleaning” is used to select suitable spouses for those of merit. Nico Stamford is a member of the Geisha class. Though he has been trained for marriage all his life, becoming a healer and a priest in the process, all he wants is to cook and open a restaurant. Instead he becomes a candidate for the ritual. He hopes the Goddess will look kindly on him and eliminate him before the final choices are made. Alex DeVrie is a member of the Warrior class who has recently returned triumphant from a clash with an alien enemy. Made a duke of the Sixth Land as a reward, all Alex needs now is a husband. As soon as Alex sets eyes on Nico, he refuses to settle for anyone else.
Tradition says they can part ways after a year and a day. But love begins to grow as they unravel the mystery behind tragic events in the Sixth Land, and they uncover a conspiracy that could change their society.
Review: There is so much to say about this book, and I’m not sure what I can say without just reciting the entire book, but I absolutely loved this story, and I am completely psyched that there will be a sequel. I completely fell in love with Nico and Alex and loved watching their relationship grow.
Nico is a member of the Geisha class. He is trained for marriage, and he has also become a healer and a priest, but despite this, he loves to cook and wants to own a restaurant. Despite all his attempts to the contrary, he becomes one of the final candidates for a ritual called the “Gleaning” which allows high individuals in society to choose a spouse. Nico, much to his horror, is one of the finalists and is selected by the very man he had been attracted to in the first place, the warrior Alex, who is now the duke of the Sixth Land. Alex is looking for someone with good diplomatic skills, and he’s hoping Nico is it.
For some, the start of the story may move slowly; however, I enjoyed it. Yes, it takes a while to get past the Gleaning, but the author does a superb job of showing society in this earth-like world. I loved the world building because it added a depth to the novel that I’ve found many others lack. I enjoyed getting to know Nico before he gets married to see what his ambitions were. Most other authors would give minimal backstory and jump right into the Gleaning ceremony.
After the ceremony, the couple has to spend a year and a day together before they decide whether to continue with the relationship or move on. While it seems that Nico wants to move on, his feelings for Alex begin to grow, and as Alex learns more about Nico, the more he cares for him as well.
Especially enjoyable was their time in the Sixth Land. I feel Nico really started his growth there, especially once he was able to take over some responsibilities of the house and do what he loved. He also doesn’t let Alex push him around.
All the side characters are also fun to read about and add more layers to the story, from adoptive brothers suddenly becoming present in Nico’s life, to the young priest-in-training valet he acquires who is not quite…as socially skilled as most.
Seriously, give this book a shot. It’s a mixture of sci-fi/fantasy with a bit of a historical regency romance feel to it set on a near earth-like planet in the future. I know I, for one, cannot wait for the next book! The sooner the better!
You can buy Warrior and Priest here: