Reading this book was emotionally exhausting.
This book is the sequel of Liquid Fire (that I haven’t read) and some of the characters from that book are the main protagonists of this one.
The title is Lionslayer's Woman, but actually it is about two love stories.
Two woman, patrician and her slave and two man, freeman and slave are running across the Roman Empire to save the patrician’s mother and little sister. They get separated: the patrician, Galeria, and the freeman, Nexus, go after the mother, while the two slaves, Cyra and Decaneus (called Cor Leonis – Lion Heart) go after the little sister.
During the travels, they all fall in love respectively with their travelling companions, with all the problems such relationships comport. How can a freeman have a future with a patrician? How can two slaves from different households be together?
The love part was a tiny, teeny bit overdone. What I mean is that they fell in love with each other too quickly. In all honesty, Nexus was suffering from he death of his love and he was fighting his attraction – his torment was real and well descibed. Decaneus instead just looked at Cyra and BAM he was in love! I would have liked a bit more of the “growing love” part.
Several problems are brought up: the society, the caste relationships, the treatment of woman, the Stoic view of life, the laws of Roman Empire… It was really interesting, I liked how it gave a view of the way of life in that period.
What I found exhausting sometimes, was the very impulsive acts of the women. Even they admit their TSTL actions, but only after said action brought them, and those around them into peril.
Another example with Galeria this time. While Nexus is salving her mother from being sold into slavery, instead staing in the inn as explicitly instructed by Nexus, what she does? She goes, alone in the middle of the night, to try to warn another Stoic family that maybe they’re on the list for the Imperial Purge and could be killed as her family was. Obviously she get’s abducted by slavers!
This was irking me a lot, because those same women were described as highly intelligent and logical….
Obviously they never repeated the same mistake, but, in my eyes, that didn’t absolve them from making them in the first place!
The men were much better, in my opinion. Their behaviour was coherent and intelligent. They just got into panic state when their women were in peril, but they didn’t act without thinking! On the contrary they acted with cunning and intelligence!
The story was very interesting and fast pacing! A lot of things happened, but everything was solved to satisfaction at the end. Obviously, there was a HEA – this is a romance novel after all! :D