Heart Of A Warrior
by Johanna Lindsey, fantasy (2002)
Avon, $7.99, ISBN 0-380-81479-X


I'm lost. Johanna Lindsey's Heart Of A Warrior is a sequel of sorts to Warrior's Woman (am I right?). I haven't read Warrior's Woman, so I'm lost.

What's annoying is that it's not as if I'm lost in the middle of an exciting plot, but damn it, I'm lost because the author pops in so many characters from the previous book without bothering to introduce them adequately to newbies. Worse, these characters are useless, irrelevant to what little there is of the plot, and a waste of time for newbies like me.

To top it off, the main characters are pretty one-dimensional.

Brittany Callaghan is a modern woman. Incidentally, this author cannot do a modern woman well, if this story is anything to go by. But more later. One day, she saves a tall, blond hunk reeking of cheese - think Fabio - from what she believes to be a claustrophobic attack. He isn't in need of rescuing, actually. The hero, Dalden Ly-San-Ter (doesn't that name remind you of a towering macho pillar of cedar cheese?), is actually from some faraway planet - I think (like I said, I'm pretty much lost as to what is going on here).

Lots of silly non-exciting adventures happen, culminating in our heroine's going to our hero's world. Dalden What-A-Crock's adventures on Earth are pretty mundane but at least his reactions to his environment ring somewhat real, but Brittany, lost in an alien world, immediately starts fretting on how she will get a job in that world and feel occupied and modern. Or something like that. She displays no fear or curiosity. She just wants to be what Ms Lindsey seems to perceive as a modern woman's preoccupations: get a job, get a career, and whine that she's getting too old to pop out babies. I really wonder. I mean, geez, here is a woman stuck in a brand new world, and all she cares about is how she will remain independent?

Uh, okay.

There's this woman named Shanelle, who's Dalden's sister (I am very sure about this, but I can be wrong for all I know). And their mother is some super warrior woman who liberated her planet - after she has a man to help her, of course, and I'm told her story has a rape scene starring the hero and Xena, so so much for female liberation there. And there are other characters, but to be honest, I don't know who they are and I really don't care either. They are pretty one-dimensional, except for that neon signboard on each space-waster's head saying "BUY MY STORY TOO!"

As for Dalden and Brittany, well, their battle of sexes boils down to one simple premise: she may want to be independent and modern, but it's all hot air. Really. Stuff her a cucumber and watch her purr. Or something like that.

Heart Of A Warrior is pretty readable in a very cheesy, unexciting way. It's a standard cheesy fantasy story that, if it has a zillion love scenes starring horny kitty sexfiend Familiars, may just be a pretty good interstellar bodice ripper. Wait, then we'll be reading a Dara Joy book instead of a Johanna Lindsey book. Hmm. Never mind.

Rating: 67


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