cover image Claimed by the Enemy

Claimed by the Enemy

Shauna Roberts. Nicobar, $11.99 trade paper (264p) ISBN 978-1-938125-13-3

In this hackneyed historical, Roberts moves a familiar story—an elite warrior marrying a local chieftain’s daughter to establish local control—from its more common setting of medieval England into ancient Mesopotamia. Ur-sag-enki has longed for Princess Nindalla ever since he was a poor farm boy. Now she’s the widowed crown princess of Susa, and he—after being forced into the Akkadian army as an adolescent—has just killed her husband and assumed the governorship. His position depends on her marrying him, but she just gave birth to her third child and has her own worries. Her husband’s concubine wants her children and is in cahoots with the scheming chamberlain, whose plans for Susa don’t include the new governor. Roberts knows her history, perhaps to a fault; reading that the hero believes “his liver so overflowed with love” may be accurate, but it’s as jarring as her handy tear-outs are daunting. The story would have benefited from more attention to smooth storytelling and multidimensional characters. [em](BookLife) [/em]