3 out of 4 stars
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The Bonding by Imogen Keeper
Nissa is the queen-designate of Triannon, a planet of farmers where her father rules as a peaceful and fair king. When the planet is invaded by slavers, and many of the civilians get killed by the brutal aliens, the government decides to send people out in space to bring help. There are only one hundred cryo-pods, most suitable for females. The royal family is destined to enter the pods along with lottery-chosen Trianni females. The pods will travel in space until one of them is rescued and can search for the rest.
Five hundred years later, Tam, an Argenti warrior discovers one of the pods in the vast space. There lays a woman, naked and stunning with her red hair spread around her. She is a masterpiece. Tam had come in peace with the idea that he would not found a mate, so when he sees Nissa, the woman in the pod, his hope starts to rise. The stake is really high.
The Argentis is a Tribe that forms very strong bonds between mates. It is sacred to them. Their souls connect somehow and the two become one. Such a bond cannot be broken and if attempted it may be fatal. On the other hand, the males' serum can be a cure to the blue tinge, a disease that Nissa suffers due to the cryogenic life support she's been for so long. It is also the way to bond.
The author has created a world that is so close to and yet so far away from the one we live in. The two main characters have human characteristics in general. Their bodies are human like. Their mating is human like. Their feelings and emotions are human like. They feel responsibility for their own people. They feel love and fondness. They care about their loved one's well being. They sacrifice for what they believe and for their loved ones.
One of the interesting parts of the book is how a world has evolved in half a millennium of slavery. How much of the oppressor has been absorbed by the enslaved. What a person expects to find in a place loved so much after all these years and how much that same place can be called home again.
"The Bonding" is the first book in the "Tribe Warrior" series. It is a very promising start to the series and an introduction to this whole new world. The second book is already out and awaits to be read! It does have a few editing errors, some spelling or minor grammatical flaws, and that is the only reason I rate this book with 3 out of 4 stars.
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