Monday, July 1, 2013

The Conqueror Series by LJ Maas

                                                                            Artwork by LJ Maas

Tale 1: Journey's End - 195 pages
This story offers a twist on the traditional Conqueror tale presenting us with an older version of the Destroyer of Nations than we're used to seeing. In her mid-forties, the Conqueror is a ruler who's now grown weary of the intensity and violence of her younger days. Still a remarkable beauty and still capable of the ruthlessness that carved out her empire, Xena is nevertheless now a warrior in transition - a woman who's learned that no amount of conquest or riches will fill the emptiness within. It is with little enthusiasm then that she prepares to inspect the batch of slaves offered by one of her governors, knowing she must choose one as the customary gift she usually accepts but now seldom uses...only this time a pair of frightened green eyes literally takes her breath away, awakening a compassion and protectiveness within the Conqueror she hasn't felt in years. In the days and weeks to come the feared Empress will find herself going out of her way to avoid frightening her young slave. Struggling against her own rougher edges and the pitiful submissiveness that has allowed Gabrielle of Poteidaia to survive years of servitude, Xena will work to return the dignity long stolen from the young woman, discovering in the process that the heart of a slave may just be the greatest treasure she ever wins. ~Lunacy~

Tale 2: The Petal of the Rose - 270 pages
The second entry begins with the Lord Conqueror looking forward to the marriage that will turn her one-time slave Gabrielle into Queen of the Empire. It's a joyful time for the two as they get more comfortable in their relationship and as the young woman who stole the Conqueror's heart tries to put her past behind her to embrace her new role in Xena's life and the realm. One challenge immediately presents itself, however, when a visitor from the Centaur nation arrives - a very angry young man with a secret connection to the Conqueror and an attitude that could get him in more trouble than he could ever imagine. In the weeks ahead, Xena and Gabrielle will have to deal not only with this visitor but with a long-time presence in the Conqueror's life - a darkness which still resides within the warrior and which only the gentle emotions stirred by her betrothed seem capable of mitigating. ~Lunacy~

Tale 3: Time's Fell Hand - 600 pages
The series continues as the Conqueror and her beloved new wife prepare to go on a tour of the empire. With a deeper level of trust between them than ever before, the two will share painful memories as Gabrielle reveals a devastating secret and Xena recalls the events that led to her embracing a life of violence. Together the two will work toward healing those old wounds as they set off toward their childhood homes and Amazonia where a former slave will officially become queen of the Amazons. ~Lunacy~

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