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The Quilty Reader

Lawyer, mother, avid reader. Game host extraordinaire! Partner in crime to Obsidian Black Plague! My bookish weaknesses include classics, fantasy, YA, and agreeing to read more books than is even remotely possible.

Desert Flower by C.P. Lesley

Desert Flower (Tarkei Chronicles Book 1) - C. P. Lesley

Full disclosure: C.P. Lesley is an author and a member of one of my GR groups. She is someone that I consider a friend. I can't claim that this review is completely unbiased, but it is honest.


This is a very unique book. It is sci-fi, romance, a bit of a space opera, involving a lot of ballet. It is set on other worlds, with characters of other races that all interact with one another. There is space travel. It has elements of thriller as well, with a backstory related to an invasion by a group of villains.


I don't read very much science fiction, so I'm a bit out of my depth here. But I will say that I really enjoyed this book. C.P. Lesley is a solid writer, and her characterizations were great. I am also not a ballet aficionado, but I thought that the way that she blended the ballet sections - her female MC, Sasha, is a prima ballerina - into the book were really enjoyable.


Mostly, though, this is a romance between a man and a woman. It was convincing and compelling and, honestly, sweet. The male MC, Danion, is a bit Spock-like - unemotional, and of a race that repudiates the idea of emotional "love." The bond that is created between them is a little bit odd, but is a nice metaphor for the joining of lives and souls that a real marriage can represent.


I got this book through the KU. I've not read anything of C.P. Lesley's before - most recently, she has been writing historical fiction. This book was cleanly edited and well-written, enjoyable and engaging - I will definitely read her work again. I will definitely read the follow-up to Desert Flower, Kingdom of Shades, to see how Danion & Sasha's story ends.