The Traitor's Bride

Keepers of Xereill Book 1

Romance - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
266 Pages
Reviewed on 06/26/2018
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

The Traitor's Bride by Alix Nichols is the first book in the science fiction romance series, Keepers of Xereill. Convicted without a trial for cowardice and sedition - a heavy and improbable transgression for one who previously has had praise lavished upon him as a hero - Lord Areg Sebi is publicly whipped to the roaring delight of an overly enthusiastic crowd. But there are a handful who are disgusted by the display, and one of them is Etana Tidryn, a female with the ability to potentially save his life. Whether or not she's willing to take the risk and has the courage to elevate herself from her lowly status in a caste of latent untouchables is another matter altogether.

I'm still in this world and mulling over this tale despite having finished The Traitor's Bride some time ago. Alix Nichols is a powerhouse writer with descriptive scenes and world-building without the usual information dumps often found in the genre. It helps that the story has genuine, palpable, delicious sizzle to it, which is also exceptionally well done. As it's a part of a series I was prepared for the cliffhanger. What I wasn't prepared for was the scramble that ensued after finishing to jump into the next book immediately. Luckily, book two, The Commander's Captive, has already been soon as my husband falls asleep... I would absolutely recommend this series to anyone looking for science fiction that delivers both the fantasia of a new world and the heat of a searing romance packed into one creative punch. This was an easy five-star rating for me as the story and writing are divine.

K.J. Simmill

Major Areg Sebi dared to dream of a better life. Where people had access to level-two technology to make their quality of life and chance of equality better. When he dared to voice this, his punishment was swift, swifter than any war criminal. First he was publicly lashed, then forced to confess to a crime he did not commit. Etana, a laundry maid who shared his vision of the future, had but one chance to prevent this execution, invoking an ancient law. What she hadn't realised was the lengths his captors would go to in order to ensure he was no longer a threat, or what the dangers stacked against her hero would unlock within her.

The Traitor's Bride is the first book in Alix Nichols' romantic science fiction series, Keepers of Xereill. It is a romance with no lack of passion, all of which is tastefully executed and portrayed. The stakes are high as Etana tries everything within her power to save her hero, Major Sebi, and unlocks a gift someone of her class should not possess. You will love, you will hate, and you will pray that certain characters get their just deserts. In the first book in the series, readers are given an excellent, but not overwhelming, sense of the world, social structure and way of life for the people of Eia. The Traitor's Bride is a love story, but that is not all it is; it is an engaging, tense, and thrilling exploration of new worlds, the heroes and villains within and, of course, the many obstacles in love's path. I certainly won't hesitate to pick up the next book in this series.

K.C. Finn

The Traitor's Bride is the first in the Keepers of Xereill series, a collection of connected sci-fi romances by author Alix Nichols. This first novel introduces readers to the brutal futuristic world of Xereill, where a disgraced army major is about to be executed for treason against the ways of his own society. Major Areg Sebi appears to have one last shot at redemption. A seemingly simple laundry maid, Etana Tidryn, knows the feel of Lord Sebi’s body against hers. The soldier has sparked a passion in her that unlocks powers within Etana. Only she can save him from the fate that he has already accepted, but she’ll have to cross the unjust caste system and uncover the conspiracy of the Nobles to do it.

On the romance side, Alix Nichols has mastered the emotive, heart-pounding narration of passion. Etana and Areg fly off the page whenever they meet, with fast-paced and well-written romantic scenes that are sure to engulf readers who love this genre. The world of Xereill was well described and conceptualized enough for me to understand the caste system and plots going on behind the scenes, but I felt it didn’t quite have enough concept to be called a sci-fi novel as well. The Traitor's Bride definitely ticks all the boxes for suspense, romance, twists and turns, but readers looking for an engrossing new sci-fi scenario to fall into may have to read further to truly immerse themselves in the ways of Xereill. All in all, however, it was an enjoyable read and a perfectly good start to a new series.