Before I begin this review, I must comment on the horrid cover. Although the hero of this book does wear a purple cape and a Norse hat with horns, if the guy on this cover came within ten feet of me with that expression on his face, I would run screaming in the other direction.
Dar, son of Tyr, is a powerful sorcerer and great warrior residing in the realm of the Norse gods, Asgard. Dar has defeated Loki, the Trickster, in front of all the other gods. Loki, being an unpleasant and revengeful sort, has used a magic crystal to send Dar and his young dragon, Firedrake, to the human realm of Midgard.
Dar is not totally defenseless in Midgard because he still has his sword, healing runes, crystal ball and his magic powers. However, he is completely unprepared to deal with 20th century technology. He meets Jennifer Giordano when he leaps in front of her Jeep wielding his sword to attack the oncoming “monster.”
Jennifer has been hoping for a miracle. Her mother died recently, she’s lost her job, and is now in danger of losing her mother’s house. She did not expect her miracle to appear as a Norseman with horns and a purple cape yelling, “Valhalla,” and claiming to be a sorcerer from some place called Asgard.
Jennifer takes Dar home, and believes him when he says Firedrake is a large bird. Soon it becomes clear however, that Dar might actually be a sorcerer and that Firedrake is not simply a bird!
Dar and Firedrake provide a campy style of humor for this story, which is the only enjoyable aspect of this book. Dar’s attempts to relate to the modern world – his chopping up chairs for kindling to cook on, figuring out modern clothing, and using Jennifer’s chair as a pin cushion for his sword, – provided excellent comic relief. And, his reaction to trick-or-treaters at Halloween was priceless.
The plot, however is extremely weak. It meanders between Dar’s attempts to return to Asgard, protecting Jennifer from thugs, Loki’s mischief, and the over-the-top evil scientist who wants to run experiments on Firedrake. When the erst-while Dr. Frankenstein says, “No Norseman or his dragon will ever beat me. I’ve got more degrees behind my name than you can read,” it came across as humorous, something which I’m betting the author did not intend.
The plot isn’t the only weak aspect in this book – Jennifer is most definitely not a rocket scientist. The first time Loki attempts to kill Dar, Jennifer decides her curiosity is more important than either she or Dar’s safety. Even after she knows how powerful the two sorcerors are, she insists on seeing what Loki “looks like.” And, as do many too-stupid-to-live heroines, she never stays where Dar wants her to stay, resulting in extra danger for both of them.
Given the outlandish plot and poor characterizations, the only thing Beloved Warrior has going for it is humor. If you are dying for a campy romance, this might fit the bill, but don’t spend full price – pick it up at your local used book store – you’ll likely find several copies there.