After the last book ended the way it did, I was itching to get this book so I could see how the romance developed between these two lovable characters. A dragon and a phoenix pairing is sexy just on its surface, when you think about the fiery power they have and what it must be like when they finally come together. It doesn't take much imagination to see the possibilities. So this series has been a particular favorite of mine, and The Warrior King lived up to my expectations completely. There was drama, there was angst, and if you like the story of Tristan and Isolde, this was that story with a twist. Now personally, I wasn't a huge fan of the original story, but I loved the way Abigail Owen told it in this book. I felt myself empathizing with both characters and their struggle to keep away from each other even when they desperately needed to be close.
Samael Veles knew the moment he saw her in the mirror's reflection that she was meant to be his. Which made it all the more devastating when the day he meets her in person, she offers herself as queen to his beloved king. Desperate to be loyal but struggling to hold his dragon back, he is in agony as their wedding draws near. But when things go horribly wrong, Sam must keep the woman he loves safe, while also keeping her at a distance for his sanity and his people's future. Meira Amon never thought she would feel the way she does about Samael. She is all about numbers and computers, not people and emotions. Her duty is to her sisters and the future of their families, and so it seems only natural to offer herself to the dragon king of the Black Clan. What she doesn't realize is that her fated mate is one of the king's most trusted men, and when they are thrown together, the sparks they both have been desperate to deny ignite. Now it's all they can do to keep their distance from each other...or lose everything they worked so hard to gain.
As I said, this was a retelling of the classic Tristan and Isolde story, with two people meeting and falling in love, but then the woman becomes betrothed to the man's king before they realize what that means. Then they spend most of the story fighting to not betray their king. This telling is much better than the original, in my opinion, and I was on pins and needles waiting to find out what would happen. It was easy to get absorbed into the story, and I honestly did not see the sun set when I began reading in the afternoon. Soon my stomach had to remind me that I hadn't eaten in hours, and it was time to feed it. Ha! Samael was tortured throughout the book, a dark, brooding hero. Meira was essentially determined to be a martyr alongside Sam, and it was hard at times to read. I understood why they made the choices they did, but at the same time, I wanted love to triumph. As with most romances, there is a happy ending, but the journey to that ending was rough and full of passion.
I still really want to read more about the gargoyles. I think I mentioned that after I read the last book, but...I'm saying it again. To be clear, I need them to get a series at some point.
Can't wait for the next book! Will be wonderful to see how the series concludes.
**I received a free copy via NetGalley and this is my honest review.**