Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Shadow Warrior by Ann Aguirre [Review]

 The Shadow Warrior by Ann Aguirre
The Shadow Warrior (Ars Numina #4) by Ann Aguirre
Format: ebook
Source: provided by the author for review
Date read: April 15, 2019

Ars Numina
1. The Leopard King
2. The Demon Prince
3. The Wolf Lord
4. The Shadow WarriorKindle
5. The War Priest
6. The Jaguar Knight

Ann Aguirre
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Synopsis (Goodreads):
Bitter. Broken. Brutal.
Molded since childhood to be the perfect weapon, Gavriel d’Alana (also known as Death’s Shadow) has devoted himself to serving Thalia Talfayen. The life of a Noxblade is lethal and lonely, and since the princess has no need of him, he secretly believes there’s no reason for him to live—and he should seek a glorious death—but that’s before he tangles with a tiger woman who unleashes his darkest desires.

Tough. Tenacious. Trustworthy.
Magda Versai has a reputation for being unattainable—no deep attachments, only discreet amusements. If she has her way, the pride will never learn of her private heartbreak, as she accepted her curse years ago. Now, she focuses on work, which is why she’s acting as Raff’s bodyguard while secretly hunting for Slay. The search leads Mags to team up with a Noxblade so belligerent that she can’t resisting baiting him.

She’s the steel, he’s the flint, and the sparks they strike together might kindle a fire that could warm them for a lifetime, if they don’t kill each other first…
Thoughts on The Shadow Warrior: Oh, man. A hardened, emotionally stunted (or so it seems on the surface) assassin and the enigmatic shifter who gets under his skin. Gavriel and Magda woooorrrrrrked for me. Mostly, I think, because Gavriel was just so conflicted about himself and his wants and, I don't know...EVERYTHING.

Everything about the two of them worked for me.

Gavriel is kind of a mess. His training has distanced him so much from everyone around him that he doesn't know how to let his guard down and let someone in. Fortunately for him, Magda isn't put off by his growly attitude. In fact, she kind of likes poking at him to get a reaction.

The fact that her shifter strength gives her the ability to knock him down despite all that lethal training is just the cherry on top. Because Gavriel secretly likes that she's not afraid of him. He likes it a lot. To be fair, it takes him a while to come to grips with that, but he comes around eventually and then things REALLY heat up.

Beside the relationship stuff (which is FABULOUS!), Magda is tracking Slay so they can figure out if he betrayed his people or if he's an unwilling guest of their enemies. Teaming up with Gavriel gives both of them a chance to start to trust one another and learn how to lean on someone other than themselves. Throw in a drug that induces zombie-like behavior in those who take it and it's a supernatural free-for-all.

As always, I'm so so SO in love with the world. It's harsh and layered and utterly fascinating. I have so much adoration for this series. SO MUCH.

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