You know I’m not usually one for romance novels but Liz Fichera’s, Captive Spirit, sounded like a good one to me – it’s classed as a historical romance. I’m really glad I listened to that little voice because I really enjoyed this book. It’s not a typical romance novel and being based in the Sonoran Desert at the dawn of the sixteenth century made it intriguing to me. I’ve never read anything based in this area which is now known as Phoenix, Arizona so I found it interesting to read about a different time and place.
The book’s main character is Aiyana, a girl who has passed her sixteenth harvest ( I love that method of keeping track of your years) and is very curious about the World Beyond her little village. She felt that the mountains that surrounded them kept them captive from the rest of the world. She felt trapped and she isn’t the kind of girl who wants to just get married, have children and keep house as most did. She’s the type of girl who wants to compete on the Ball Court with all the other boys. From early on you can tell Aiyana is a strong character – not one to faint away at the first sign of trouble.
Only her best friend Honovi knows her secret wish to leave the village. He knows her the best of anyone and just maybe harbors his own secrets with regards to Aiyana; for Aiyana he is like a brother. Then comes the fateful day that Aiyana’s father promises her to a village elder’s son that she doesn’t even know and is definitely not fond of. So what do you do when you’re terrified – you run – especially when one of the respected village elders suggests it.
Aiyana takes off but tragedy hits when she’s captured by Spanish raiders who take her far away from her clan and village. Aiyana is finally seeing the World Beyond but she’s not really liking what she sees. She misses home and her people. Not to mention that one of the raiders, Diego, keeps making her very uncomfortable. Aiyana has no idea what their plans are regarding her and nobody will tell her. However it all becomes clear much too soon – she’s to be traded to an Apache tribe as a trophy wife.
What follows is Aiyana’s struggle to get back to her people and her village. It’s a coming of age story as Aiyana matures into a woman with a woman’s love for a man she never really thought of in that way until it was almost too late for them both. Aiyana is a survivor though and she will stop at nothing to escape. With Honovi by her side they will tackle whatever they need to in order to save themselves. I think along the way Aiyana realizes the true value of home and family and a place where you truly belong. This isn’t your traditional romance – it’s much more!
Captive Spirit is Liz Fichera’s debut novel and it is available digitally through Carina Press here. You can also enter the giveaway I have currently posted for a free copy of the eBook here. Be sure to visit Liz Fichera’s website and blog as well!
My eBook copy of Captive Spirit came from Net Galley.