Recommend by: Riley
Stolen is the most recent installment in the Warriors of Hir series by Willow Danes. It is my favorite of the series, as it really deals with the clash of Hir and Earth cultures.
The premise of the Warriors of Hir series is that the enemies of the Hir have unleashed a plague on the Hir population that has killed off most of the females of the world. Their population faces extinction unless they can find a race with females that are biologically compatible.
As it turns out, Earth is a planet that is full of compatible females. In Stolen, Earth woman Summer has been abducted by a Hir warrior, otherwise know as a g’hir. Unlike previous abductees in books 1 and 2 of this series, Summer has not warmed up to her captor. She will do anything and everything to get back to Earth. When Summer escapes from Ar’ar, the g’hir that thinks she is his mate, Summer runs smack into Ke’lar. Ke’lar tries to help Summer, but his idea of help does not always align with what Summer thinks help is. The ensuing adventure is dangerous, fun, sexy, heartbreaking and heartwarming. I don’t mind saying, as I was reading, in a couple passages tears were welling. A little.
The concept of an alien race needing Earth women to save their people is not unique in Sci Fi Romance. I would compare Warriors of Hir to Angela Castle’s Warriors of Kelon series, and Evangeline Anderson’s Brides of the Kindred series. The fact that it is not unique is a testament to the popularity of such a story.
In truth, I’ve enjoyed all three books in this series: Captured, Taken and Stolen. What I like about these books is how effectively the author deals with an alien culture. She sets the scene on the planet of Hir with descriptions of technology, geography, food, dress, animals and even other alien species. Language is not assumed to be universal and is dealt with. But mostly, cultural differences are evident and provide a framework for the plot of Stolen and for the entire series. At this point the cultural education is pretty one-sided. The Earth women end up adapting to the Hir culture. If you ask me, the g’hir warriors need a serious lesson on Earth culture. And if you are wondering what I am referring to, consider the titles of these books. They refer to a Hir courting ritual. These cultural differences often add a slice of humor to the story, especially when it comes to language.
The first book in the series, Captured, will be released in the audiobook format within a few weeks. If you are an audiobook fan like me, perhaps you’ve listened to a book that has multiple narrators. Such is the case with Captured. A man narrates the male point of view and a woman narrates the female point of view. I like this format, mostly because you avoid imitations of the voice of the opposite sex. I had the opportunity to listen to a sample of the recording. If you are considering starting the Warriors of Hir series and enjoy audiobooks, I think you will like this recording.
Willow Danes is a pen name for author Ariel MacArran. She has a Sci Fi Romance series under that name also. The Tellaran series is a favorite of mine and was my personal introduction to Ms. MacArran’s writing. The Seer, Stardancer and The Consort take place in a fascinating alien universe. These books have a socio-political complexity that provides an intriguing setting for the excitement, emotion and adventure that make up the Tellaran series.
Depending upon your frame of mind, each series can be appealing. The Warriors of Hir is the lighter series. The plot is fairly simplistic and it is more about the romance. The Tellaran books each have a complex plot and while the romance is certainly important, suspense and intrigue are what keep the story moving. There is a chronological order to both series, but each book can be enjoyed as a standalone.
So, decide on your mood and pick a book. Go. Now. Read!