Fantasy romance, with a heavy emphasis on the romance.
Six hundred years ago, T’Imoshen’s ancestors, the T’En, conquered the land of Fair Isle. However, over generations of interbreeding, the unique characteristics of the T’En – magical powers and a striking physical appearance (think elvish) – have all but died out. T’Imoshen is nearly the last ‘throwback’ to have the appearance and powers of the T’En.
One of the only others is her betrothed, Reothe. However, although she’s physically attracted to Reothe, something about him has always made her uneasy. (Could it be the fact that he’s clearly a pushy, controlling jerk?)
When Fair Isle is conquered by the barbaric, misogynist Ghebites, T’Imoshen finds herself in the position of being the only one who can negotiate with their General, Tulkhan, to try to save her people from a miserable fate. In her attempts to seduce Tulkhan into favorable agreements, she finds herself hopelessly attracted to her people’s conqueror (Conveniently, he seems to be the most open-minded of all of his lot, even if he is volatile and suspicious.) Meanwhile, Reothe is leading a rebel group that hopes to overthrow the Ghebite invaders, and he insists that T’Imoshen’s rightful place is at his side.
The writing and ‘feel’ of the story is very 90’s, to me. A lot of woman-oriented fantasy with some similarity to this came out around this time. However, this is more romance-oriented than most of them. The majority of this book is the two main characters lusting after each other. However… maybe it’s just me, but I wasn’t really feeling their relationship. The cultures and the characters – even the magic – is all a bit stereotypical.
The book ends with much more of the story to-come. I haven’t quite decided whether to continue with the next books. There are lots of better books out there, but this is a light, fast read and I might just decide to find out what happens next.