Review: On a Barbarian World

cover-on a barbarian worldTitle: On a Barbarian World
Author: Anna Hackett
Series: Phoenix Adventures #8
Genre: Sci-Fi Action Romance
Length: Short novel
Available: Dec 21st


When an independent deep-space scout crash-lands on an unknown alien world, the last thing she expects is to find herself claimed by a barbarian warrior.

Aurina Phoenix spends most of her time zooming through uncharted space and gathering intel for her family’s deep-space convoy, but her life takes an unexpected detour when a meteor shower brings down her ship. She finds herself on a barren, low-tech planet inhabited by dangerous beasts…and lands in the arms of a brawny barbarian warlord.

Markarian warrior Kavon Mal Dor is known for his skill in battle. He lives to protect his clan…and to avenge the murder of his father. Every move he makes is part of his grand plan for revenge, including finding a legendary sword and marrying a warlord’s daughter. But when a beautiful skyflyer crashes into his world, she is the one thing he never counted on.

Fighting their incendiary attraction, Aurina and Kavon make a deal: she’ll help him find the sword and in return, he’ll give her the emergency beacon she needs to get home. But as the search for the sword plunges them into a dangerous adventure they find themselves consumed by a powerful passion and questioning everything they’ve ever wanted.

Source: ARC from the author

Well, this was fun. Barbarians and space! (Sadly not Barbarians in Space!, ’cause that would be tricky to explain, but still…) Space ships, advanced tech, an extremely independent woman and a shirtless guy with a massive sword – and that’s not a euphemism… although it could be 😉 – who claims her almost the moment she crashes onto his world. This is a total space romp in fine Hackett style, and it also includes some alien ancestry, a bit of a clan feud and – since this is a Phoenix Adventure – there’s even an ancient artifact to keep an eye out for.

As I said, fun!

I really liked Aurina. She’s confident and independent, thoroughly capable of taking care of herself, but also not foolish enough to be stubborn for the sake of stubbornness. Her crash leaves her in a potentially tricky situation, but she handles it brilliantly and I loved how she teaches Kavon a few manners.

Ah, Kavon, the muscled warlord with a heightened sense of honour and a sad past. Yes, there are aspects of him that are a bit cliché and I was initially a little confused about why he had such a stilted way of talking while his friend didn’t, while his introduction is a massive info-dump, but past all of that he’s actually pretty sweet. I love how he never belittles Aurina or thinks of her as anything less than what she is. He’s also perfectly willing to respect her whenever she proves herself and seems to welcome her constant challenges. He’s kind of adorable, and the pair of them make a great team.

I enjoyed the wider plot about the First Warriors and just what happened on the planet too, not to mention the search for the sword and the monsters they meet along the way. That side of the adventure was great and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I do wish things between Kavon and his dishonourable neighbour had been explored a little more, so it didn’t feel quite so flimsy and cartoon villain-ish, while the ending actually made me roll my eyes a bit. I expected better from Aurina than that.

All that aside, if you’re looking for a space romp that mixes tech in with alien barbarians and a pseudo-medieval society with monsters and mining operations, then this has all that and more! It’s also fun and sexy and contains big swords. Escapist adventure at its most entertaining, and a fine addition to this series. I can’t wait to see what lies in wait for both sets of Phoenix brothers and their extended families next.

On a Barbarian World is out December 21st!
Visit Anna Hackett for more details.


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