The Golden Lynx - C.P. Lesley I swear I read the description of the book, but for some reason my brain only focused on tsar and Russia. Automatically, I thought of a typical Russian novel set in a palace. My expectations took a quick swerve though as I read the prologue. Instead, the story starts with the mythical beginnings of the Tartars. The prologue was a nice surprise and rather interesting. After the prologue we meet Nasan, a Tartar girl who is sort of tomboyish in demeanor. She likes to hunt, shoot, ride horses, sneak out of the house, practice martial arts, etc. Her behavior is not totally out of the ordinary for a girl in her culture, but she’s getting to the age where she needs to start worrying about wifely duties. Without going into too much, events happen and Nasan ends up married to a Russian, whose cultural norms differ drastically from Nasan’s. Although there are some historical characters included in the story, this is not a historical fiction book about them. The story’s main focus is about Nasan, her cultural assimilation, her night time adventures and more importantly about solving a mystery.

Overall, I liked the characters and the story. Sometimes the internal dialogue was a bit too much for me. The inner dialogue tended to bring the story down a bit by being obvious and repetitive. I would have liked more showing than telling in those parts. However, I did like Nasan. I thought she was a kick ass heroine. I liked seeing Nasan assimilate into her new life and grow into a woman. I also loved the cultural and religious touches in the book. Things like the grandmother doll and the “beautiful corner” stood out for me. It made the story rich and interesting.

I think anyone who is looking for a different kind of historical fiction book with a bit of romance, mystery and adventure thrown in will be able to appreciate this book. I look forward to reading the next one in the series.

This book was chosen in my Historical Fictionistas group as a Featured Author Read. C.P. Lesley was kind enough to send me a free copy for the discussion.