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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
The Mercenary: The War Chronicles Book 1 by Petra Landon takes us into deep space. There, on a space station in Quadrant 5, we meet Saakshi, a former rebel from the planet Budheya. Saakshi has been imprisoned by the ruling Keetari Imperial Forces. Her prison sentence was sold to a trader on the space station, and he employs her as a server in his bar. When a Keetari soldier on leave wanders into Saakshi’s bar, spots her and remembers her from her rebel activities on Budheya, he determines to have this beautiful Budheyan woman as his own at any cost. At her boss’ urgings, Saakshi seeks help from a Hadari’Kor mercenary called Zoran, who captains his own star ship and is currently docked at the space station on Sector 5. The attraction between Zoran and Saakshi is instantaneous and mutual, but both are hamstrung in their ability to admit and express their love for each other. Zoran will do anything to protect Saakshi. As well as the love he has for her, there is the knowledge that the once proud and powerful Budheyan people had, in the past, helped all in the galaxy, including the Hadari’Kor. His love for Saakshi and his moral compass set him in a direct line for confrontation with the Keetari Imperial Forces.
The Mercenary: The War Chronicles Book 1, by Petra Landon is a stunningly good science fiction story. I prefer my science fiction not too heavy on technological wizardry and fantastic gizmos and more focused on character development and plot. This book certainly fills that requirement perfectly. Landon has a wonderfully easy writing style that flows and makes the story an easy read. Her characters - diverse, different species from all over the galaxy - are believable and the relationship between Zoran and Saakshi is both beautiful and filled with angst. I loved that Saakshi was no shrinking violet and was prepared to stand up to and fight whatever was in her way. What she lacked in size, she more than made up for in determination. Zoran was the archetypal alpha male, strong with a violent temper, but also with an incredibly powerful moral compass which, despite his career as a mercenary, guided his every decision. As the first book in a planned series based on the characters introduced in this story, I think Landon is onto a real winner. This book encourages me to read more of Landon and more especially to await Book 2 of The War Chronicles with bated breath.