Held in Dome City as a prisoner of war,
Sergeant Tanya Blake’s broken brain has attracted the
attention of both human and nonhuman scientists. That’s
exactly what the creature who tampered with it wants. The
killing compulsion implanted inside her gives her
quicker-than-human reflexes, which do not endear her to her
doctors or guards.
Enter the Draguls. Draguls are
human-looking, telepathic, winged creatures that take no
sides in the human wars, but do attempt to broker peace
between the fractured human groups. Sorin, a half mutant,
half Dragul healer, is called in by Dome City’s Defense
Minister to analyze Tanya. He’s immediately attracted to
her, even though she repeatedly attempts to kill him.
Can Sorin manage to gain Tanya’s trust
and heal her before she kills him? Or will the prison
governor decide she’s too dangerous and have her murdered
before Sorin can save her?
Soldier is a somewhat
difficult and convoluted read, especially the dream
sequences set in present tense. Once you negotiate that
obstacle, however, the tale unfolds interestingly enough.
Other than really disliking the cover art—poor Sorin looks
like a badly rendered Michael Jackson—I can’t say anything
unfavorable about the story. Tanya is an unlikable heroine,
understandably so since she is trying to kill the hero, and
Sorin’s motives are rather oblique. Perhaps it’s just the
difficulty of understanding why the man would bother with a
single deranged woman, even if his people are pacifists.
There is mention that she is “the One,” which I take to mean
she’s destined to be Sorin’s mate, but there’s not a lot of
clarification around that subject. Ms. Treanor’s written a
meat-and-potatoes filling read, but I’m not certain it’s
enough to spur me into seeking out other short stories
featuring her Dragul characters.