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When Women Were Warriors Book I: The Warrior's Path [Kindle Edition]

Catherine M. Wilson
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (629 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Winner, 2010 EPIC Ebook Award for fiction in the Mainstream category.

"The strong, supple prose on display in all three novels, the intelligence of the plotting, and the skillfully varied pacing make this a standout trilogy--highly recommended"
--from a review by the Historical Novel Society

"Breathtakingly gorgeous writing … a multi-layered tale of such depth, breadth and insight that it was very nearly a spiritual experience…"
--from a review by T. T. Thomas on

"…there’s no ring of power or glowing sword of specialness; the magic, like the tone of the book, is quiet. It feels real."
--from a blog review on livejournal

When she was a child, the author happily identified with all the male heroes she read about in stories that began, "Once upon a time, a young man went out to seek his fortune." But she would have been delighted to discover even one story like that with a female protagonist. Since she never did find the story she was looking for all those years ago, she decided to write it.

In Book I of the trilogy, Tamras arrives in Merin’s house to begin her apprenticeship as a warrior, but her small stature causes many, including Tamras herself, to doubt that she will ever become a competent swordswoman. To make matters worse, the Lady Merin assigns her the position of companion, little more than a personal servant, to a woman who came to Merin’s house, seemingly out of nowhere, the previous winter, and this stranger wants nothing to do with Tamras.

"…Both men and women of all persuasions seem to love these books... Very rare. Bravo, Bravo, Bravo!"
--from a review by T. T. Thomas on

"Think Beowulf--only comprehensible and with girls."
--from a review on the blog, The Rainbow Reader, by Baxter Clare Trautman

Product Details

  • File Size: 610 KB
  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0981563619
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Shield Maiden Press (November 25, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001MBU7EK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,749 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
249 of 258 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Music of Words January 1, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition
"All the women of my family had gone to war... Now my turn had come...So it is the custom that a free woman leave her mother's house to bind herself and those of her blood to a neighboring clan, either by the sword or by the cradle." Set in the British Isles during the Bronze Age, thus begins the tale of Tamras, just sixteen, as she leaves her home and everything she knows to continue the custom of her clan and journey to become a warrior's apprentice. The story is told from the perspective of the main character who has led a quite sheltered life prior to this point.

From the title the reader would expect simply a tale of battle and blood, but this story instead surprises and mesmerizes one in its wonderful intricate weaving of words that become a delicate fabric of story and feeling. Words flow like a gentle meandering stream and one is swept up in the actual thoughts and emotions of the main character as she experiences growth and change when she enters the world of a warrior's apprentice. The battles in the first book of this trilogy are few and are not the main focus of the story.

I am a book lover and have been an avid reader of many genres for over fifty years. I do enjoy a good story just for the sake of the story while often thinking that the writing is simply mediocre. Seldom, however, do I read a book where I feel that the actual writing drives the book. This book is a true gem not to be missed. There are so many books out there to be read, but a limited number where the telling is as good as the tale. This is a book for those who love the smooth feel of words on their minds as a story progresses rather than just the action driving the book.

Note: Because of the imposed segregation of the women in this society of warriors, this story does have a couple of scenes of female sex.
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected Pleasure January 31, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Since getting my Kindle I've read quite a few self-published stories and books, and while some of that stuff is so bad as to be unreadable I've had fairly good luck with picking fiction that is at least decent, even if somewhat flawed. Usually the flaws show up in lack of editing and proof reading, but often times the writers show a lot of promise or talent.

When Women Were Warriors by Catherine M. Wilson is an exception in that it's a very polished, professionally crafted book by a self-published author who as far as I can tell doesn't have any traditional publishing credits. I ended up being very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the writing and the book.

Wilson's writing is very smooth and she does an excellent job of creating intriguing characters with depth. The story is slow in unfolding, and yet the pacing is just right so that it doesn't drag. The book kept me interested all the way through, even though there really isn't any action to speak of or major exciting events. Which again points to the skill of the writer. The story is primarily about the experiences and internal changes the characters undergo.

I would label the book as fantasy in that it's medievalish in what appears to be more a made up world than historical. But it's not traditional fantasy, in that it's only kinda swords and without the sorcery. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a well-written, character-driven story about female warriors within a predominantly female setting.

Here's a quote from the book I really liked:

"I tried to remember how I had felt at home when I was looking forward to seeing someplace new. Everything there was so familiar that I longed for something different. Now I longed for just one familiar thing.
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97 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great read! November 26, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
On vacation with my trusty Kindle, I happened to notice this book was available for free download. Got a sample, was intrigued, ordered the book. Read through it in two days and was so taken with the characters that I actually ordered - and paid for! - the second in the series. I've just bought the third, and am completely engrossed. Yes, perhaps not as detailed as Rothfuss or Martin - she's a new author, hey! - I found I didn't miss any of the detail at all. Reminiscent of early Valdemar (Mercedes Lackey) stories. Worth reading.
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63 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved reading this book January 18, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition
This title would never have attracted my attention, however I saw an offer on "kindlekorner" for a free copy of Book 1, so I took advantage of it. When it arrived I was in the middle of reading "Blind Man's Bluff". I decided to put it aside and just read the first few pages of "When Women Were Warriors". It really caught my attention so read the first couple of chapters. At that point I could not put it down, as I was consumed in the story and continued reading until the end. Then I finished the book I had been reading. I just purchased book 2 & 3 and have already started reading book 2. I am so happy I saw the free offer for Book 1, because reading it really expanded my horizon. This author really paints a clear understandable picture in these three books. Excellent read!
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187 of 227 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars rip off December 31, 2010
By Asha
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First and foremost this IS NOT a trilogy. These three "books" equal one book. The first book, which I purchased for my kindle for $1, has NO CLIMAX. At this point I was interested in the story, so thought I would give the benefit of the doubt and buy the second "book".It was $9.99 on kindle, which is a lot for any e-book as far as I'm concerned. The second book starts on chapter 28,(hmmmm) the first book ended on chapter 27. See where I'm going with this!! Oh yeah, and it has a climax, BECAUSE IT'S THE MIDDLE OF THE BOOK. These are not books unto themselves, and not parts of a trilogy, simply PARTS OF A BOOK. This person took a book, ripped it in thirds, slapped covers on and voila, trilogy. I don't appreciate this sly tactic. It's actually not a bad story from what I've read and I would have liked to read it through, but baiting people to pay $21 for an e-book ( much more for a hard copy) is wrong. They can keep their third "book". I can do without.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
I'm not certain how to explain this story line. It is an interesting read with good characters. I liked the flow of the story with its hint of mystery regarding the warrior's... Read more
Published 12 hours ago by Livi's Nana
2.0 out of 5 stars Not compelling
A decent piece of writing but I could not muster enough interest to want the next volume.
Published 1 day ago by Yakov
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful read
I very much enjoyed this trilogy! It is s must read in my opinion, the story really keeps you on you toes.
Published 3 days ago by Amanda Montgomery
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good story
Published 3 days ago by jam1936
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
so so
Published 3 days ago by Frances Harrison
1.0 out of 5 stars meh
This book was okay. No obvious errors or typos, but nothing to really recommend it in my opinion. I never connected enough with the characters to care about the storyline and... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Well written with good story and character development.
Published 7 days ago by HonoluluBill
5.0 out of 5 stars good book. but wish i had realized it was ...
good book. but wish i had realized it was a series before i read it.
Published 8 days ago by shoppergal
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
couldn't even finish it...sleepy
Published 13 days ago by grant culpan
2.0 out of 5 stars the beauty and joy of being a woman-woman warrior
lI wish the author would have written more about the essence, the inner self, the beauty and joy of being a woman-woman warrior. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Dalis Jurado Soons
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More About the Author

In the interest of full disclosure, I should state that my author picture was taken in 1968, more than 40 years ago, so if you should happen to run across me in real life, don't be disappointed that I no longer resemble the young woman you see here. I have grown old, and although not so cute on the outside, I am much lovelier on the inside.

I chose this photo for my Amazon author page because in it I am standing by the entrance stone at Newgrange, a megalithic passage tomb in Ireland, built over five thousand years ago. If mysterious portals exist in the world, this is one of them. Many authors will tell you that their stories come from a mysterious place, and when I began to write my trilogy, When Women Were Warriors, I suspected that perhaps I had once stepped into another world without knowing it and brought back some ancient long-forgotten tale. Wherever the story came from, it came more through me than from me. I made it from my own life and from my own experience, but I also heard a voice whispering within me that was not quite mine.

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