Shield’s Lady by Jayne Ann Krentz
Shield’s Lady Sariana is businesswoman from a Prime Family in the East who didn’t pass her university tests to complete her chosen career. She takes a job in the West to help restore the finances of a Prime Family in the West who are jewelry artisans. Two spaceships had landed on Windarra centuries before. One ship landed in the East with the logical business people. The other landed in the West with the artistic people. The two societies have recently rediscovered each other. Sariana is one of the few Easterners in the West. She is still learning their laws and customs.
Sariana recruits a Shield against his will. Gryph is in the city looking for a wife. The Shields are a clan of people outside of any Family. They control the wilderness border and catch the rogue bandits there. Legends say the Shields were on Windarra before the humans. They seem to be human but may be a bit different. Sariana arranges for Gryph to be drugged and brought the the jewelers’ home. It takes some time, but she is able to convince him to help them retrieve the stolen tool that will restore the family fortune.
The family try to warn Sariana about Shields, but it takes her a few weeks to discover how dangerous Gryph can be to her. Together Gryph and Sariana travel to the wilderness to recover the missing tool. Together they face a foe that could destroy Windarra. Together, they both learn that the future both had envisioned for themselves is changed because of the other. Can they accept the new future instead?
I was excited to discover this 20-year-old novel by Jayne Ann Krentz because it’s one of her early science fiction romances. Shield’s Lady is a precursor to her St. Helen’s and Harmony settings. Windarra is another well-imagined world that follows the rules Krentz has set. The societies in the East and the West have well established class distinctions. Krentz doesn’t belabor the point, but although the caste system appears to be working, she shows the cracks in it.
Gryph is one of Krentz’ early characters with psychic ability, with Sariana showing latent abilities as well. This was well before her Arcane Society series. Once again, I really enjoy Krentz’s novels like Shield’s Lady. She could have easily stayed in a cozy science fiction/fantasy genre without continuing on her romance career – similar style to Anne McCaffrey, for example. Instead, she is able to combine both in a believable novel that is fun and well paced.
There’s sizzle in the romance scenes and space ships in the background. Shield’s Lady is good paranormal romance.
Notice: Strong sexual content, Non-graphic violence