Plot Type: Soul-Mate Romance (SMR)
A Love Untamed (12/2012)
Just after Wulfe took Natalie's injury on to himself (about a month ago), he began to develop Daemon powers, hearing conversations between the High Daemon Satanan and the the evil mage Inir in his head and then inexplicably spouting all sorts of information about the Daemons that he never knew before. As this novel opens, Wulfe notices that Natalie has developed a colorful aura, which the Ferals' shaman diagnoses as some sort of Daemon energy. Then, a gang of Mage warriors attack Natalie's home, badly wounding Wulfe. With some help from an outside source, the Ferals learn that when Wulfe took on Natalie's Daemon scar, he connected both of them to Satanan, the High Daemon who has possessed Inir. Because the Mages are now trying to kidnap both Natalie and Wulfe, Natalie moves into Feral House, and their romance begins to blossom.
The primary action plot completes the ongoing story arc that has been building throughout the series: the final showdown with Satanan and Inir as the Feral Warriors attempt to keep the Daemons in their Daemon Blade prison. The action proceeds at a brisk pace as the Ferals make a last ditch attempt to stop Inir from setting Satanan free even though most of them have lost the ability to shift. During this final battle, the Feral Warriors get some much-needed assistance from a truly unexpected source. The novel's theme is the importance of looking beyond initial assumptions and outward appearances to find the true value of an individual or group. As Wulfe muses, "His scars truly meant nothing to [Natalie], nothing but a chronicle of past events. As hers…would become a sign of her courage and a mark of battles fought." (p. 275)
The romance doesn't proceed smoothly because Wulfe is so conflicted about his own identity—his scarred and battered physical appearance, his impotency, and his Daemon-infected mind. He tries to turn away from Natalie because he is absolutely certain that she is repulsed by his scars, and he fears that he will hurt or kill her when he is eventually overwhelmed by the Daemon power inside him. Natalie is one of those perfect, Mary Sue heroines who always does the right thing. She is so very, very endearing that everyone at Feral House instantly loves her, and she never ever stumbles into any TSTL moments. In other words, she's a boring heroine, sweet and self-sacrificing to the point of nausea. Wulfe, though, makes a great hero, with his emotional and physical scars and his valiant battle against the Daemonic power that attempts to drag him to the dark side. He really deserves a much more complex and interesting heroine than Natalie. Click HERE to read an excerpt from Wulfe Untamed
Now that the series story arc is resolved, will there be more FERAL WARRIORS novels? On Palmer's web site's FAQ page, she discusses that very question: "I still have Grizz's and Vhyper's stories to tell, plus there are other new Ferals who need stories. I haven't decided if I'm going to do a few stand-alones or a new series with its own plot arc. I've also been toying with the idea of writing a spin-off series that takes place in the Feral world. Stay tuned!"
Click HERE to go to Palmer's FERAL WARRIORS page on her web site. That page includes brief character descriptions and back stories, a glossary of terms, and lengthy, scene-by-scene synopses (with spoilers) of all of the books.
This is a standard SMR series, with plenty of sex, angst, and violence. If you love immortal warrior love stories, you might also enjoy other similar series that are reviewed on my blog. Just go to the CREATURE SEARCH page and scroll down about half-way to the sub-heading "Immortal Warriors." Click on any series title to go directly to the review.
Here is a book-by-book list of the soul-mate couples in this series:
NOVEL 5: Hunger Untamed
Here's a glimpse of Kougar's angst as he, for the bazillionth time, analyzes his feelings for Ariana:
NOVEL 6: Ecstasy Untamed
As the story opens, the Warriors are expecting a newly marked Warrior to arrive from Poland to replace Foxx, who died several years ago. Hawke is still trying to recover from his week in the spirit trap, but he's having problems with his hawk spirit and is continuing to lose control when under any kind of stress. When the new Warrior, Maxim, arrives with Faith, a pretty young Therian woman, Hawke is dazzled by her, and the feeling seems mutual. But Faith is supposedly meant to be Maxim's mate, so Hawke tries to rein in his feelings. Maxim turns out to be a big jerk, as he looks down his nose at the Warriors, demands a larger room, and treats Faith very badly—both emotionally and physically. Before long, the Warriors are surprised to learn that when the Ilina queen freed Hawke and Tighe, she inadvertently let loose the animal spirits of the Seventeen—the long-dead Warriors who had been caught in the spirit trap centuries ago. Those freed animal spirits are now marking new warriors to take the place of the lost ones.
Here, Kara tells the story to Faith: "Five thousand years ago, the Therians gave up their power to shift in order to defeat the Daemons, locking them in an enchanted blade. Only one of each animal retained the power of his animal...As recently as six hundred years ago, there were twenty-six Feral Warriors until seventeen were trapped in a spirit trap, which we now know to be of Daemon origin. The men were killed, and their animals never marked another." (pp. 89-90)
At first, the Warriors are ecstatic that they will now be at full strength, but their joy soon turns to despair when dark forces interfere with the minds of the new members of the team. The plot follows the Warriors as they deal with yet another Mage scheme to infiltrate their ranks. Hawke must make peace with his hawk, settle the situation with Faith, and fight alongside his comrades against some new, and dangerous, enemies. The twist in this story comes in the identity of one of the newly marked Warriors. This book is typical of the series, with its emphasis on the love story as it carries along the series plot: the Warriors' continuing battle with the Mage forces. Click HERE to read an excerpt from Ecstasy Untamed.