Friday, April 24, 2009

Elizabeth Vaughan - Dagger Star

Elizabeth Vaughan
Dagger-Star (book 0ne)
Publication Date - April 2008
Buy Here

After captivating readers with her Chronicles of the Warlands trilogy, Elizabeth Vaughan now returns to that world with a beguiling tale of daggers and destiny. A cold and beautiful mercenary known as Red Gloves finds Josiah, a lone figure emerging from the torched fields and razed farms of his homeland. All Josiah knows about the mysterious woman is her dagger-star birthmark, a sign that she is destined to free the people from a ruthless usurper's reign of terror…

Red Gloves aka Red, a mercenary with secrets and Bethral, her sword-sister, travel to Palins, a land suffering from a corrupt government. They hope to find mercenary work. Considering the land is in such turmoil they figure their services would be most appreciated, but that proves not to be the case. Finding shelter with a man who they assume is no more than a poor goatherder, Red learns some very interesting things regarding the birthmark below her breast, and Josiah the goatherder is more than he lets on.

I really enjoyed this first book. Although, I was not too fond of the leading protagonist, Red. There were times that she seemed a little too uncompassionate and just blunt. And the way she is with Josiah at times grated on my nerves. But I think having a wonderful supporting cast of characters standing beside her, making Red not always the center of the story, made her character flaws tolerable. As much as I had trouble connecting with Red, I finally did at the end. The ending was great, it fit Red's character and I was mightily pleased.

Throughout the entire book you are left wondering why Red wears the gloves on her hands. All you really know is that if she should ever take them off you should run--run as fast and as far away as you can! It was quite a shocking surprise the reason why. But it made me like Red :).

I had one other issue, but I don't think it's terribly bad, or cause to not enjoy the book. It's in respect to the Chosen and the Prophecy. It seemed a bit choppy in that you really have no clue how long ago this prophecy was foretold. All you ever get of a past time is 5 years ago. It makes you think that the prophecy started five years ago, but that can't be because Red is an adult, born with the mark of the chosen. It was always in the back of my mind while reading, but I don't think it truly hindered the experience of reading the book.

Having said that, I loved the story plot with the land of Palins in upheavel, the prophecy, the maked 'Chosen Ones', all of it made for a very engaging story, easy to follow. I have White Star, book two in this series, to read. And I'm looking forward to continuing where the story left off in Dagger-Star. I'm also working on gathering the first three books of Elizabeth's set in the same world, Warprize, Warsworn and Warlord!


Lea said...

Good Morning Amy!

Great Review. :) The protagonist sounds a little conflicted maybe? However, as you indicated a reader can often overlook these flaws when the story is good and supporting characters strong.

Thank you so much for sharing!!
Warm Regards

Blodeuedd said...

Morning :)

It does sound great :)
And now I so wonder why she wears those gloves for can't remember they saying anything about that in my book since they story wasn't on them.

So she isn't that likable at times, from reviews I read I saw that many thought so.

Amy C said...

Good morning to you too, Lea :). And it was fairly easy to overlook the flaws I had with Red. They weren't bad, just irritating sometimes :).

Hey Blodeuedd, that's interesting to know that others felt the same about Red. I hadn't read any reviews for it. I had picked up White Star and wanted to read Dagger-Star first. I did have one friend tell me that it wasn't as good as the trilogy. I really did enjoy DaggarStar, so now I wonder how good the War trilogy is if it's better than this one? :).

Blodeuedd said...


I read that they thought book 2 was better. Then the war series must be really good, oh that sure made me intersted in those too. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on those

Mandi said...

I have yet to read this author but she is definitely going in my tbr pile. My OCD will probably make me start with her trilogy first:) I can't read things out of order;)

Is Red Gloves in the next book, or is it a different heroine?

Amy C said...

I'm with you, Mandi, with reading things in order, but from what I gathered of these two sets of books they go together in that they are in the same world. The second book , White Star does have a different h/h. It's Evelyn, who I really liked in Dagger Star. Her hero had a small part towards the end also :).

Oh and Blodeueed, I had to chuckle during one part of Dagger Star because of your review for White Star. THere are those zombies in Dagger-Star too. Not alot but it reminded me of your review and what you said about the zombies!

nath said...

Hi Amy :) Seems you've really enjoyed this book and I'm glad. It offers the opinion of a new reader :) See, I've read the Warlands chronicles before and everyone who I talked to about this books have also read the previous trilogy and we were all a bit disappointed.

The story was okay, but I thought the whole Chosen prophecy would span the whole trilogy and not only one book ^_^;

Anyway, I can't wait to see what you think of the Warlands trilogy :)

Amy C said...

Hi Nath,
You know, I was talking about this book with another blogger, Renee, and I mentioned to her that I'm kinda glad I'm reading this book first and then the Warlands trilogy seeing as how this one didn't hold up to the first trilogy, when I do read it I will feel like her writing is only getting better! Rather than that feeling of disappointment :).

Michelle G said...

I have not read this author either - but I just ordered Warprize. :)

Thank you for the review and the intro to a new author. :)


Anna said...

I haven't read this author either, but I remember when The Chronicles of the Warlands first came out. I never got around to check them out.

Great Revew! :)

Blanche said...

Hi Amy!!

I've not read this author either but it looks like an interesting series!! Great review!!! :)

Renee said...

Oh, so glad you liked it! It's funny cause in many ways, I think what I liked about Red was that she was the Alpha hero in the story, and I found that sort of refreshing.

While the story didn't blow me away, it was a really fun read, and (as I mentioned in my email) reminded me of Zena, Warrior Princess. And, somehow, I enjoyed that similarity in a book, tho' I never enjoyed the tv show. lol

With your review, you've got me looking forward to reading White Star, now! :-)

Leontine said...

I am one of those readers who was swept away with her Warprize trilogy and couldn't get enough of Xylara and Keir! Daggerstar was a pleasant read for me but didn't hold that unique set-up of the Warprize world and that was a bit of a let down.

I also have White Star ordered and I'm intrigued where the author is going to take us. Loved the review!

Tracy said...

This sounds pretty cool - anyone with a character name Red can't be all bad! :)

Amy C said...

Hi Leontine :)

I am looking forward to reading that trilogy. Considering i did like Dagger-Star and everyone likes that trilogy much better, I'm sure I'm going to love it too! I think my plan worked :)!

Renee, I've never seen Xena. I am aware of the show a little though. I didn't so much mind that she was the alpha, well, maybe I did, it just seemed weird! Probably because I'm not like that. Well, maybe I am LOL! I don't know, I think it was more that Josiah was maybe too beta at the beginning. He did get a little more aggressive toward the end. Overall, I did enjoy it. And I'm happy that you are looking forward now to reading White Star!

Haha, Tracy, no she's not too bad :).

Michelle! That's awesome :). I hope you like it. I plan on reading it not too long after I get it. I'm still waiting for it to come in the mail.