Title: Resenting the Hero
Author: Moira J. Moore
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Somewhere out there, there is a planet where the forces of nature are so extreme the natural disasters so frequent and devastating, that human habitation of the realm is made possible only by gifted individuals able to redirect and dissipate the forces threatening human existence. Unfortunately, though, channeling these forces kills a Source - unless he or she is protected by a Shield. Now, in this world, Sources and Shields are almost always bonded pairs, as they work better this way. This bonding is instantaneous, involuntary, and lifelong - regardless of the feelings of the individual Source or Shield.
Lord Shintaro Karish and Dunleavey Mallorough are one such Bonded pair. Source Karish (or Taro, as he likes to be called), has a reputation of being a party boy - so much so that he is nicknamed the Stallion of the Triple S. Lee, his shield, just wanted a quiet, sedate life Shielding a Source who was not likely to get her into scrapes or adventures. Unfortunately, she got Karish. On their first posting, they have been assigned to High Scape, a city so prone to natural disasters it needs six - now seven - Pairs to protect it round-the-clock. Soon they find themselves in the midst of intrigue involving the deaths of five other Pairs, a league of disgruntled Shields, and a madman with a grudge against the system.
I really like this new world I get to explore in this book and its two sequels. I like the tongue-in-cheek attitude of naming the world's places: Erstwhile (the capital city), or High Scape (presumably in the mountains). Lee is wry in her narration of events, though slightly too stoic and practical for my liking - no one could be that detached, surely! Still, she's not detached enough to see pitfalls I could see coming miles away, so that makes up for it.
I enjoyed this book, and am very much looking forward to reading the next two in the series. This new world intrigues me, and I hope that Moore writes further adventures in this land, with these characters. I would definitely recommend it to lovers of fantasy, and those looking for quirky new characters with a sense of humor.