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Stranger (The Blades of the Rose, #4)
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Stranger (The Blades of the Rose #4)

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  568 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
He protects the world’s magic—with his science. But even the best scientists can fall prey to the right chemistry…

Looking For Trouble

Gemma Murphy has a nose for a story—even if the boys in Chicago’s newsrooms would rather focus on her chest. So when she runs into a handsome man of mystery discussing how to save the world from fancy-pants Brit conspirators, she’s sensing a
Mass Market Paperback, 463 pages
Published December 1st 2010 by Zebra (first published January 1st 2010)
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Warrior by Zoe ArcherScoundrel by Zoe ArcherRebel by Zoe ArcherStranger by Zoe Archer
The Blades of the Rose
4th out of 4 books — 15 voters
Soulless by Gail CarrigerThe Iron Duke by Meljean BrookClockwork Angel by Cassandra ClareChangeless by Gail CarrigerBlameless by Gail Carriger
47th out of 287 books — 808 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,612)
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Jan 05, 2011 Lynette rated it really liked it
There is a heroine in this novel. Her name is Gemma. That is all I'm going to say about her. Not that she's not a nice person, but really, who really cares about her when Cattulus Graves is around? I mean really?

I don't get it when my on-line book buddies start talking about how much they love this hero or that hero. I think they need to get a freakin life. Once I hit my later teens I was never one to go gaga over movie stars, music stars or the like, maybe because I knew it was all a façade. If
This one was a little disappointing to me after the fabulous three books before it. Having said that, there were some things I really, really liked about it, and I appreciate that the last in a series is sometimes very difficult to write.

Some things I really liked about this one:

- The hero and heroine are both great, really great. All the heroes and heroines in this series have been excellent, and these two are no different. Neither of them is one-dimensional, and the hero, in particular, is mor
♡Karlyn P♡
Overall I thought it was enjoyable but I did start to struggle at around the halfway mark. I'd give it a 3.5 to 4 stars. I really missed the balance of reality vs. paranormal that the other books had. This one was pure over-the-top fantasy world like Alice in Wonderland or something along the lines of an acid trip, (i.e.,16-feet tall imaginary historical characters coming to life.) Nothing felt real about this story, so it wasn't what I was expecting or hoping. Also, didn't really love the relat ...more
*sigh* It's always so sad to say goodbye to a series. But it's also wonderful at the same time. Seeing everything tie together and resolve itself is great. This book was no exception. We got to see all the previously mentioned characters draw together to fight the ultimate battle against the Heirs. It was really nice getting to see the previous heroes and heroines and reaffirm that they are happy together.

Catullus is the one constant character through all the books in this series. He is a brilli
While I loved how Catalus and Gemma's romance really flourished and grew with this book, the book dragged in places. But since this book was the last in the series it stood to reason it was going to be bigger. I was surprised at what magic the Heirs brought forth, but in the end ZA managed to make it work for me. It was a good wrap up to the story and that series.
Meljean Brook
Jun 27, 2010 Meljean Brook rated it it was amazing
Magic and legends, fast-paced and sexy, with a twist of steampunky Victorian tech for added flavor. STRANGER doesn't come out for a while, but the first in the series, WARRIOR, comes out in September. I haven't read that, but after being introduced to the characters in this (the 4th book), I'm looking forward to reading the others.
Mandi Schreiner
Dec 02, 2010 Mandi Schreiner rated it really liked it
Gemma Murphy has been following Catullus Graves and his friends for some time now. After first seeing him in the Northwest Territory of Canada, she now finds herself on a boat, to England. A reporter, she loves to investigate, and she knows Catullus and his crew have many secrets.

Catullus is a member of The Blades of the Rose, a secret organization that protects Sources, those items that hold magical power throughout the world from the evil Heirs of Albion. The Heirs now have the primal source,
Rachel- Goodbye Borders
Sep 08, 2015 Rachel- Goodbye Borders rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2015
I have been intrigued about Catullus since he was introduced. Happy he got his own story. Gemma was introduced in Rebel and I thought she was just as awesome as he was. I liked that we saw couples from the other books all make appearances in this one.
There are multiple roadblocks blocks to saving England (and the rest of the world). My compliant was there were so many. One gets figured out and overcome to be promptly replaced by another (and again, again). I admit to enjoying it, at first, but i
Paranormal Romance
Coming from a long line of Blades, the hero has seen and experienced it all. That is until he meets the heroine. As a reporter, the heroine is driven with the need to know and when she catches wind of a secret organization looking for the destruction of the world, she follows the beautiful black man to England. When she's discovered, the hero is adamant about the dangers with being associated with the Blades and can't stomach the idea of her vibrant life being snuffed out. But the heroine's feis ...more
Nov 30, 2010 Melindeeloo rated it liked it
Stranger, the fourth book in Zoe Archer's excellent Blades of the Rose, brings the series to a close and provides a final bow for all the past pairs.

Stranger didn't manage to displace Rebel as my favorite of the series, but it was still good. The hero Catalus Graves, genius inventor is quite reserved, so his romance is not as fiery as some of the other Blade's romances. And the book has a different feel from the rest of the series, since the leads quest to stop a magical takeover of epic conseq
Jan 14, 2011 Julie rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
I have been looking forward to reading this book, but at the same time I have been dreading it because it’s the last in the series for now. At least, I hope only for now… ‘The Blades of the Rose’ series by Zoe Archer is a fun series filled with adventure and wit. And Stranger, book four in the series, is no exception.

Stranger takes place pretty much immediately after Rebel ends. Catullus, Astrid, Lesperance (and Gemma in the shadows) are on a ship crossing the Atlantic on their way back to Engla
Dec 28, 2010 chanceofbooks rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. Awesome read in a can't-miss series. You *must* read Rebel to enjoy this book--this is the only book in the series that really depends on the others, especially in the opening chapter. Which is okay, because Gemma is introduced in Rebel, and it is nice to see a longer story arc for her and Graves. However, Archer does totally leap into it in Chapter One, so you might want to have Rebel handy :) Archer doesn't disappoint with breakneck action, a lot more magic than the other four books ...more
Dec 11, 2010 May rated it really liked it
Shelves: series
This conclusion to the 4-book series of "the Blades" was different than the previous three in many respects. The others all got 5 stars from me, this one I can only give 4... because it just didn't have the "it" that I freaked on with the other books. I wonder, because it was the 'conclusion' of this series (though it could have future installments without a doubt) if it could have possibly lived up to my every outragous hope.

Ways it's different from books 1-3:

1. There was not the amazing "loc
A fabulous end to a marvelous series!! I have been waiting for Catullus Graves' story since the first book...he is such a great character. We've seen his brilliance in the other books, but we really get to know and understand the man in this one. Yes, he's brilliant, but he's also a little shy and feels foolish talking to women. Enter Gemma, intrepid woman reporter in a time where women were supposed to write recipes and fashion columns. Catullus and Gemma met in the last book, and we immediatel ...more
Jan 04, 2011 Shauna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: paranormal romance readers
This is the first steampunk paranormal romance novel I've read, so I have nothing to compare it to in that respect. If you are particularly into steampunk, be aware that the focus here is on the romance, and the steampunk inventions, although required for the plot, are not explained in depth. (The cover picture of the couple standing in what appears to be an underground laboratory deceived me into thinking there would be a lot more science and description of cool inventions in the book than ther ...more
Jan 14, 2015 Sunny rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
Although this one is the same insta-love and continual lust preoccupation of the other three volumes, I enjoyed both the two lead characters so much that I didn't mind... Until they got to fairyland where I completely and utterly lost patience with them. Ok, imagine this: the world is going to be destroyed as you know it, unless you save it swiftly. Do you hang out with you new lover, kissing, speaking words of love, etc etc, or do you get off your ass and save the world already? Sadly the autho ...more
Jan 09, 2016 Sara rated it liked it
For such a strong series, this finale was an utter failure. It wasn't... terrible... in general, but it certainly didn't live up to the other books in the series. I was especially looking forward to Catullus Graves' story, too -- but the hero and heroine were (for the most part, except for a few separate, standout moments) stilted and two-dimensional and had no real chemistry whatsoever, and had nothing to draw or keep them together except that standard-mediocre-romance-novel crutch of being imm ...more
ms bookjunkie
Nov 28, 2010 ms bookjunkie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to ms bookjunkie by: SonomaLass & co on Twitter
Dear Zebra, I can haz moar Blades of the Rose books? Pretty plz! Because, DA-YUM are they awesome and different and fun and emotionally satisfying and fantabulous… I needz moar soonest!
Disclaimer: I have not read the other books in this series, and I picked this up thinking it was a fantasy/romance novel and not the romance/fantasy/steampunk novel it is. If I was grading this on a strictly romance book criteria, I suppose I would give 2-3 stars.

I use to read romance novels. I even re-read Outlander a couple years ago and liked them. I enjoy the work of Jacqueline Carey. I don't mind sex in a novel at all. But as I got older, I read less and less romance novels. I find my patie
I hate to say this, but what a disappointment. Both in terms of Catallus's story and the final battle against the Heirs.

As to the second part, the story just bored me in the middle. The Heirs plan felt a little flat to me. It didn't excite me like I'd hoped it would. The actual final battle was engaging however. It had all the characters I've grown to know and love and a feeling of breathless excitement.

Catullus. Well, I've loved him in all the previous books and was so looking forward to his
Jan 09, 2011 Malin rated it liked it
Stranger is the fourth and concluding book in Zoë Archer's Blades of the Rose series, and as such, is not the best book in the series to start with. The other three books, Warrior, Scoundrel and Rebel can all be read independently of each other and in every which order, but to fully get the story in this one, one should at least have read Rebel first.

Catullus Graves is the genius inventor of gadgets (think Q in Bond) for the Blades of the Rose, a group of adventurers from all over the world dedi
If I compare the last book in The Blades of The Rose series with the others, this book is GREAT. But I decided to give it just 4 stars

Don't get me wrong, the adventure still exciting, the idea is fresh, and the sex is still steamy. But there are some aspect that make me reduce the stars. Maybe because I feel the last part feel too rushed. Still I adore Catullus and Gemma, their adventure to the underworld is great and I love the scene at the cabin, LOL!

Love Bennett who give advice to Catullus an
Mar 20, 2011 KarenF rated it it was amazing
I just love this whole series. I think that Scoundrel remains my absolute favorite from it but this one gets a bump up for a great ending to the series. One thing I love in this series is the way that Zoe Archer focused on the myths and magic of each region where the books were set. The desert golem and the dragon of Mongolia in Warrior, the Greek Gods and Heroes in Scoundrel, the animal totems of North America in Rebel and finally the Fae and Arthurian legends of the British Isles in Stranger. ...more
Beth Cato
Jun 14, 2013 Beth Cato rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, romance, 2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 29, 2012 Crystal rated it really liked it
First off, while I'm not particularly caring about the color of the skin of anyone in this book (or real life), it seemed a bit anachronistic there, not to mention that I doubt many white Americans would have been unprejudiced. At least it was addressed. Still seemed odd. That out of the way...

The series is apparently wrapped up, and what a bumpy ride. The first one, while good, was dry, the second was v. enjoyable by contrast (Day is v. entertaining), the third had a h that I never really warme
Jul 06, 2013 Ria rated it it was ok
I wanted to love this. Warrior and Rebel were fine but I have a huge soft spot for Scoundrel ("Monkeys in hats!"), so I hoped that the Blades of the Rose series was a bit like pre-JJ Star Trek movies: even numbers good, odd numbers... well, subject to fanboy debate.

Catullus Graves is fascinating in theory: nineteenth century inventor, genius, lover of waistcoats and well-spoken Englishman with African roots. Brilliant.
Sadly, his story was underwhelming and I am struggling to pinpoint why exactl
Sep 06, 2011 Tammy rated it it was amazing
This was a spectacular end to the series! I was a huge fan of the character Catullus from the start. Following my disappointment from the last book , I was skeptical of this one. I was afraid his love interest wouldnt be interesting enough for him. I was truly happy to discover that I SERIOUSLY underestimated the author.
Lets talk about the character Gemma, his love interest. She was in my opinion ,one of the best ,most fascinating characters in recent romances. She was, without a doubt ,a fant
My review is posted on Joyfully Reviewed:

Reporter Gemma Murphy is often considered an anomaly: she’s a woman who wants to write about more than traditional “female” topics. Gemma has to work twice as hard as a man to get a good story, so she never lets the prospect of one pass her by. So when she’s on the edges of the Canadian wilderness and overhears an elegant Brit talking about magic, saving the world, and danger, how can she pass the story up? But the
Lizabeth Tucker
Dec 05, 2013 Lizabeth Tucker rated it really liked it
Blades of the Rose 4

The Heirs of Albion have the Primal Source in their control. Despite knowing little about it, they are prepared to use it to gain their ultimate objective, a world controlled by Great Britain. The Blades of the Rose are converging on England, including Catullus Graves, Astrid Bramfield and Nathan Lesperance. Following them is American reporter Gemma Murphy, a woman whose interest in Catullus is more than just a story.

Gemma’s talent is certainly helpful for someone in her line
Michelle Kelly
I really enjoyed The Blades of the Rose series. Rebel still stands as my favorite book.

Stranger was a bit different than that other books in that it had tons more magic. Maybe even too much magic. It was boardering on a bit too way out there for me. I loved the concept of going to the Otherworld and I dug the idea of Merlin and Arthur but it just got wild. There was certainly no lack of action and there is no way anyone could be bored reading this book.
I loved that Stranger brought back all th
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Zoe Archer is an award-winning romance author who thinks there's nothing sexier than a man in tall boots and a waistcoat. As a child, she never dreamed about being the rescued princess, but wanted to kick butt right beside the hero. She now applies her master's degrees in Literature and Fiction to creating butt-kicking heroines and heroes in tall boots. She is the author of the acclaimed BLADES OF ...more
More about Zoe Archer...

Other Books in the Series

The Blades of the Rose (4 books)
  • Warrior (The Blades of the Rose, #1)
  • Scoundrel (The Blades of the Rose, #2)
  • Rebel (The Blades of the Rose, #3)

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