Vaginal Fantasy had a few stinkers over the winter months but, when the ladies throw down a great read, all is quickly forgiven.
Over the winter, we were given the first book in The Paradox Trilogy, Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach. To say that the women in my book club loved the book is an understatement…. most of us went and bought the whole trilogy.
Fortune’s Pawn, along with its sequels Honor’s Knight and Heaven’s Queen, play out like an epic space opera with a dash of romance. To read just the first book is truly an incomplete experience, especially if you’re one of those people who has to finish what you start.
Deviana “Devi” Morris is the kind of butt kicking heroine that makes for great reading. A straight shooter fully in charge of her own sexuality, when she sets her eye on a prize, be it a man or a job, she gets what she wants. Her armor space suit, the Lady Grey as Devi calls it, and her favorite guns, Sasha and Mia, read almost like a fully realized characters. Together, Devi, the Lady Grey, Sasha and Mia, are a formidable fighting force.
Paradox is Devi’s home world. It has a monarchy and its people value honor and glory to their king above all else. Dying in armored battle while in service to the holy king is a warrior’s greatest hope. (How Klingon. 😉 ) When Devi hears that surviving a year as a guard on a ship called the Glorious Fool is a fast track to becoming a Devastator (the most elite knights who serve the king directly), getting herself off of Paradox and on the Glorious Fool is a foregone conclusion.
Once Devi is on the ship, we get introduced to the different races in the universe and her shipmates. The xith’cal are man-eating reptiles and the aeon are like giant birds. The lelgis, which sound like space jellyfish squid things, are the most mysterious of them all. Devi’s shipmates are comprised of one xith’cal, one aeon, and a host of humanoid oddities. A young girl named Ren doesn’t speak or even really look at anyone and Ren’s handler, Rupert Charkov, is the perfect tall, dark and handsome with a secret. Nova, Devi’s roommate, is the ultimate space hippie and the ship commander, Brian Caldswell, seems like a tough but fair man.
The pacing of this book fast. It doesn’t take long for Devi to get on board the Glorious Fool and, once there, unraveling the secrets of her shipmates, death, and danger become an every other chapter occurrence. Neither the Glorious Fool or her crew are what they seem to be and they definitely don’t want their ship mercenary to know what they’re up to. Unfortunately for them, Devi is not just muscle for hire. Her brain doesn’t stop calculating odds and she survives the least survivable situations with grit and determination and a warrior’s flare for the dramatic. The fight sequences are pulse pounding and rarely let up because, for a supposed merchant ship, the Glorious Fool sees a lot of action.
To say much else would be spoilery. While the romance of Devi and Rupert is extremely important throughout the series, the sexy times are light and the action is strong. Devi is an action heroine for anyone that likes their romance novel ladies strong and in charge. If you loved Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max or wish you were Zoe from Firefly, the Paradox trilogy needs to be added to your read pile!