Spartan Heart Part Two – A Review

Book: Spartan Heart Part Two
Author: Kristine Cheney
Published by: Astraea Press
Year of Publication: 2011
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Warning: Contains Spoilers

“he liked the way her copper stare flashed perdition and venom. The little spitfire had reeled his head back good when she dared to punch his face. Philip liked her sass. Calculated thoughts gave away the brilliance of her intelligence. She was smart as she was beautiful. Her mind never ceased plotting. This woman came fully stocked with an impressive arsenal of mutiny.” (Chapter One)

Philip, another Spartan warrior is brought back to life from his statued existence by Demona. To materialize her antipathy towards Dorien and Evangeline, she uses Philip to destroy Evangeline. Upon probing Evangeline’s thought, Philip realizes that she is innocent but before he discerns that she  is pregnant with twins and that she belongs to Dorien, an accident occurs while she tries to run away from Philip. Evangeline slips and falls putting her pregnancy in jeopardy. Dorien is embittered with rage upon  seeing the danger his lady love is exposed to, and not recognizing his fellow warrior, he tries to make Philip pay for putting Evangeline’s life at risk but little does he know that Evangeline is carrying his babies. However, fate would have it otherwise, as Philip regrets his callousness and his contrition allows him and Dorien to reunite as long lost brothers. Dorien is taken aback when he realizes that Evangeline has kept the truth about her pregnancy from him, and he feel offended deeply, but he forgives her nonetheless. After all she is his raison d’etre.

Dorien and Philip decides to bring their fellow warriors back to life, who they think still lie buried in their statued forms in the dusty plains of Italy. Together they venture to Italy with a heavily pregnant Evangeline, her best friend Taryn, her doctor mother Eliza, and, Dorien’s assistant Tommy. Will Dorien and Philip succeed in reuniting themselves with the rest of the Spartan warriors? Is there a greater impending doom waiting for them in the Italian soil? How far can Dorien and Evangeline go to save what they have and to protect their legacy?

Spartan Heart Part Two starts with a great deal of action and as the story unfolds, more action roils in holding the reader’s undivided attention. We get to see a different side to Evangeline, as the sensuous and beautiful protagonist of the first part goes through tremendous tribulation both physically and mentally. She is not only pregnant with immortal twins which according to the story is supposedly a very difficult pregnancy, she also suffers excruciating torture in the hands of Demona’s wicked minion Phebus. Somehow Evangeline manages to keep her spirit and her babies intact even under the impact of Phebus’ deathly blows. The nightmare is far from over when Phebus is restrained by Dorien and his brothers from rendering any more harm, because once the  birthing of babies commence, the real  agony begins.

Dorien is seen as being more passive in the second part in comparison to the role Evangeline plays. He is present throughout the story but is rather perceived on the periphery. It is Evangeline on whom the focus rests. Not even the discreet waves of fiery attraction and physical connection between Thessalus and Taryn is enough to snatch the reader’s attention away from Evangeline. Phebus’ character is definitely much more arcane and  intimidating than Demona’s whose egregious threats run hollow as quickly as her physical appearance fizzles out in part two. The newly awakened clan of  Spartan brothers in all their alluring glory  is perhaps yet to display their true purpose in the story in Part Three.

Spartan Heart Part Two is packed with so much action that it leaves the reader gasping for breath.  It is filled  with intriguing twists and turns and is definitely an inevitable page turner. However if given a choice, Spartan Heart part one excels part two in the sense that the chain of events in part one is more well spaced allowing the readers to flow from one event to another in a gradual fashion. Spartan Heart part two is overloaded with action in a way that it allows the reader very little time  to concentrate on anything else besides Evangeline. Thessalus and Taryn’s story could have been saved for the third part but  Cheney surely must have better reasons as to why their affair was incorporated already in part two.

There is no doubt about Cheney’s smooth writing that assuredly grasps and holds the reader’s attention. Spartan Heart part two concludes promising the readers a new turn of events and  undeniable series of twists. The treatment of the story definitely gains momentum in part two but more than one epiphany makes the plot too condensed. On the whole Spartan Heart part two comprises of an engaging continuation of part one. Cheney’s vivid description of the process of birth of the twins is unnervingly graphic. Evangeline’s transformation from a seductive bee-stung-lipped beauty into an expecting mother, into incidences where she is thoroughly de-glamorized is striking as well as it is her character that solely rules the entire novel . On a personal note, although Spartan Heart Part Two feels like a one man show through and through, it undoubtedly provides an intense and a quick read.

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Yoshay Lama

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