Title: The Warlord (Rise of the Warlords #1)
Author: Gena Showalter
ISBN: 1335926666 (hardcover)
Published: 2021
Pages: 384

“‘Why don’t you do your duty as my spouse and provide for me? In case you’re wondering, I’m size perfect.” Like every woman who’d ever lived.” p. 184


If you’re looking for a book that panty soaker chapter after chapter while also being a battle of wits and snarkiness, well, this book is just the one for you!

Ever since last summer, after a visit with my mom, I came home with an armload of books, many of them being that of the Lords of the Underworld series. And from the first moment that I started reading book 1, The Darkest Night, I’ve been hooked (and drooling) over the demon-possessed warriors. Granted, The Warlord, is not part of the LotU series, but it is a spin-off from it and it’s a fantastic start to the new series by Gena Showalter. Some of the guys from LotU as well as Taliyah’s sisters drop in for a little visit, well, flash in really.

But enough about LotU as they’ve had their fun (at least for now), it’s Taliyah’s turn to bring forth (even more-so now than ever before) her fierce warrior-goddess self. And she does it quite well, if I do say so myself. Pretty much from birth Taliyah’s has trained to one-day take over as The General of the harpies and she won’t take anything lying down. Well…maybe she does but we’ll get back to that. We got to know bits and pieces of the badass harpy in previous books but we weren’t able to get to really know who she is and what she thrives for and The Warlord gives us a fantastic insight into just who Taya is, and boy were there some surprises.

One of the biggest shockers of them all was that we find out that she not only has one father, but two. Weird, I know, and of course impossible right? Well, it turns out that Erebus Phantom, the Bringer of Death and creator of phantoms, meshed himself with that of his brother, Asclepius Serpentes, the creator of snakeshifter and one of the times they brought their horrible selves to Harpina, they mated with that of Taliyah’s mother, Tabitha, with the result of that being the creation of Taliyah. As you can guess by now this gave her the extra abilities outside of just being a regular old harpy, she also had the abilities of a snakeshifter as well as that of phantoms. Granted, her mom, cousin/sister, and aunt had to kill her first for the phantom side to come forth, but hey, why not die at the age of nine for the greater good, right? Oh, I almost forgot to mention, the brothers were the son’s of the god Chaos. Fun times. So yeah, that’s where the goddess part of the wonderful, resilient Taliyah comes into play. But the life as she knows it soon comes to an end as she’s the only one that’s now able to save the lives of her fellow harpies.

Now, this wouldn’t be the smokin’ hot story that it is if we also didn’t include the manly part of it so here comes none other than Alaroc “Roc” Phaethon. As T-bone sums it up, “Prince Charming with a rap sheet” with his “chiseled perfection and raw sex appeal.” Who the hell wouldn’t want a piece of that?! Just thinking about the Astra Commander makes the skin heat and the heart beat faster. He’s used to getting what he wants, when he wants, no questions asked and who does that remind you of? That’s right, no other than Taliyah Skyhawk, Terror of All Lands, herself. Roc isn’t your typical man-of-destruction either, if he was this book wouldn’t have been half as fun and interesting as it was; no, he is none other than one of the Astra Commanders that goes around destroying one place after another all because they are looking to gain power in every way possible. But there’s of course a catch. In order to gain this power that they so desperately want, each of the Astra Commanders have to complete a task that is set upon them by their god. Now, we don’t yet know what the others are going to have to accomplish, which I can assume we will learn as the series continues on, but Roc finds that he’s tasked with something he believes that he can accomplish with no problems what-so-ever.

That is until he meets the cold-hearted harpy. Granted, he did bring this on himself as not only did he go through the door thousands of years before and agreed to complete said tasks, but when he arrived at Harpina he did ask for the bloodthirstiest harpy out of them all to wed. Yup, I said that correctly, to hitch himself to. He believes that he’ll have no trouble with completing this task as he has never had a problem with doing so before with the previous twenty that he had wed and sacrificed, but we all know that Taliyah is far from typical and easy going. She may have agreed to become his bride only to save the others in Harpina, but she sure as hell wasn’t going to make things easy on him; especially after finding out that he plans to end her life once the 30-day waiting period was up. All the traps and ways she came to think of trying to kill him continually made me laugh.

Of course, the one thing that neither of them expected to happen while they go about bullying each other is to fall in love with one-another. Taliyah, in love?! No way! Refused to believe it at first myself. She was set to be The General of all things, one that required her to stay a virgin for the rest of her immortal life, a duty that didn’t allow her to ever have her consort. Well, a consort is someone she didn’t think that was ever going to be something she would ever want anyways so it wasn’t such a hard thing to miss in her mind. She tried to stay true and hold strong to her dreams but she soon realized that not only was Roc her consort, but she was his gravita, his mate. There was no way of getting around that, that’s for sure, no matter how hard either of them fought against the truth. Gotta love the hard-headed couples (and I really do as they always make things interesting and entertaining).

Once the two knuckleheads finally realized they were meant for each they now have to face the fact that Taliyah is going to have to die all so the Astra don’t end up cursed for the next 500 years. So at this point Taya not only has the hard task of choosing between her people and that of the love of her life’s men, but Roc also has to make the difficult decision of figuring out if his men are more important to him or that of his gravita. Not something that I would want to have to go through, that’s for sure. Thankfully in the end everything comes together as it should but I won’t give those details away as I hate to ruin an ending so I guess you’ll just have to read it for yourself. And if you think all of the info I have already given pretty much gives you everything that goes on within the book, you are so wrong.

I can’t wait for book two in Rise of the Warlords. I know that Gena is working on finishing it up to get it shipped off to publishing but we don’t know as of yet which Astra Commander it’s going to be about. I’m really hoping it Roux and Blythe as they would mesh so well together (that is after Blythe stops hating Roux for what he did). I highly recommend this book as well as the Lords of the Underworld series. I haven’t had a change to read any of her other books but I will definitely be doing so as soon as I’m done reading the series I’m currently on, Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas. I’m about to start book 5 but wanted to take a short break inbetween as I couldn’t wait any longer to read about Taliyah and Roc. I hope that you give it a chance, too, as I don’t think you’ll be at all disappointed.

About The Warlord

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter begins a dark, sexy new series—Rise of the Warlords—with a fan favorite character from her beloved Lords of the Underworld series, Taliyah Skyhawk. The ice maiden faces off with her greatest enemy, a villain brutal beyond imagining.

For centuries, Taliyah Skyhawk has prepared to become Harpy General, leader of the deadliest female army in existence. One of the requirements? Remain a virgin. But, for a chance to save her people, she must wed the fearless leader of the Astra Planeta, Alaroc Phaethon.

The time has come for Roc to sacrifice another virgin bride to his god. There has never been a woman alluring enough to tempt him from his path. No warrioress powerful enough to overcome his incredible strength. No enchantress desirable enough to make him burn beyond reason. Until now.

With the clock ticking, war between husband and wife ignites. Except Taliyah never expected the merciless king to challenge the future she once envisioned. She certainly never anticipated the thrill of their battles turning into games… The problem is, only one spouse can survive.

Love is a battlefield in Showalter’s The Warlord.

A list of Gena Showalter’s books can be found on her site here – Book List – she even has it in printable format that can be found here – Printable Book List.

Have you read this book? If so, what did you think of it?

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