GOOD THING: There's some pretty complex character work here, as Sonja faces multiple conflicts. Ultimately, they all boil down to Duty versus Want. Sonja has a duty to her people to destroy the magic-cursed bloodline that threatens her land and her reign. At the same time, she has the duty implied by her oath to offer herself sexually to any man who can beat her in combat and the duty of continuing her line. This is all contrasted against her want to save the rebel leader Ariok from his curse and her honest attraction to the noble warrior mage.
BAD THING: Ariok - who was shaping up to be an interesting and unique character - seems now to be little more than Michael Moorcock's Elric trapped in the body of Conan.
The Final Verdict: A complex character study of Sonja, let down only by the realization that the potential love interest is but a pastiche of other, more complex sword-and-sorcery heroes. Still worth a read, though.
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