REVIEW: The Battle Lord's Lady (Battle Lord Saga, #1)

The Battle Lord's Lady - Linda Mooney

I'm sad to say that I didn't like this book, at all. Here were some of the thoughts that I had while reading it:

(1) The genocidal backdrop didn't exactly put me in the mood for romance. Yes, I know the "Cleaners" had a "lifetime of conditioning" against the Mutahs, but that still doesn't make me cool with the genocidal behavior. It would have been better if we had known earlier on about the Blood attacks, and how Yulen's people thought Bloods/Mutahs were the same. At least that would have been a better excuse for the attacks in the beginning of the book than a "lifetime of conditioning." In the beginning it seemed as if they hated the Mutahs solely for their mutations, while that was only really part of the reason. But, since we didn't find this out until close to the end, the attacks on Atty's compound seemed purely genocidal in nature, and it was hard to get invested in a romance born from that atmosphere.

(2) Yulen becoming so intrigued/smitten with Atty from the get-go didn't seem to make much sense, and therefore, it was hard (or, impossible) to get invested in his character and their relationship. So, a guy who went through such lengths as to be scarred in order to save one of his men, because "he wasn't going to risk losing another man," could so quickly fall for a girl who just killed sixteen of his men? Why did he fall in love with her so quickly, and more importantly, how did he?

(3) Of course, conveniently, Atty doesn't have any of the disfiguring kinds of Mutah traits.

(4) "Like two halves of a whole, they each slowly slid off their horses." Oh boy, so mawkish. The whole romance in general was oversentimental, really.

(5) It sure doesn't take long for Atty to start calling Yulen "Yul," and ask if he has a wife. Again, the relationship between the two happens so fast with no real development.

(6) Mary Sue much?
“Why do I get the feeling she’ll never cease to amaze us?”
“She cooks.  She can shoot the eye out of a flea at a hundred paces.  And she’s a one-woman ammunition depot.  The only thing she isn’t is a lusty wench in bed, but I guess you already have plans on what to do about that one, right?”

(7) All the plot points seemed pretty forced. For example, did anyone reading this actually think that Atty might lose her powers after losing her virginity?

At the end of the day, this is a romance book, with a very poorly developed romance. I didn't feel anything stronger than apathy about the relationship between Yulen/Atty, and therefore, I felt very detached from the entire story. None of the fantasy or world-building elements were interesting enough as to save the book elsewhere. The characters were one-dimensional. I'm struggling to try and think of one positive thing about this book, but just can't seem to do it. I did manage to finish it, so, there's that, I guess.