- File Size: 866 KB
- Print Length: 274 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Shield Maiden Press (November 25, 2013)
- Publication Date: November 25, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B001MBU7EK
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,754 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
When Women Were Warriors Book I: The Warrior's Path Kindle Edition
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- Page numbers are just like the physical edition
- Length: 274 pages
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
- Page Flip: Enabled
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Hmm.....much like some other reviewers I really wanted to like this one. In the same way I really wanted to fall head over heals with Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon and Ruth Nestvold's Yseult.
I never fell in love with either Maara (who remains so mysterious and opaque except for when dishing out wisdom) or the main character, Tamras. Possibly it was because the voice of Tamras is so naive and reactive as to feel flimsy at times. It isn't until about the last third of the book that things get interesting, and just when Tamras begins her own apprenticeship, makes some intriguing enemies by standing up for her own feelings, and begins a political manuevering game that draws her warrior into the life of the homestead, the book ends.
Not a fan of the clearly "go buy the next book" in the series kind of dealio either, actually.
Still, I appreciated Tamras' naivete at times because one of the strengths of this book is the way innocent way it approaches life and male-female and female-female politics. Not as something unusual or surprising, but just as a natural matter of course.
And while there are a plethora of attachments and love amongst characters in this book of various genders and power status, it was interesting to me to see that Tamras still called "love" a heterosexual experience, as in "I can't experience love until I become a warrior and am free to lie with a man", and focused mainly on the feelings and sensations and political implications of her emotions with her best friend Sparrow and warrior, Maara.
And the bits of wisdom are good. I especially appreciated the whole "self control instead of indulging feelings" and "realizing you don't have to let anger use you" kind of philosophy Maara espouses (while rolling my eyes a bit whenever she gets on her high horse.)
So a mixed bag for me. Lovely, refreshingly unjudgmental approach to various relationships, interesting world in terms of the the pseudo-medieval politics of the homestead, and a sprinkling of wisdom-bits to wash it all down. In the end, however, I need to fall in love with a character in order to stick with a series and that didn't happen for me here.
This is not a sappy book, or a touchy-feely one with giggling teens going to the mall then saving the world. This story has some very mature themes; it is listed in "lesbian fiction", though I think that somewhat unfairly marks it as negative to some people. Granted, there are a couple of lesbian scenes in it, though they are not at all "in your face" about it. The story possibly could have done without them, but some of the major themes deal with love in its many forms; filial love, romantic love, and even in its own way, love of country, though the Lady's household is not really a country.
I envisioned Tamras as being about 13 at the start of the story, but I am not sure. Overall, she is very mature for her age, and wise beyond her years, though not in a Merlin or King Arthur type wisdom. Her background is very well developed from the beginning, and the reader gets to grow with her throughout. Maaras, her warrior, is a deep character, but very unknown and mysterious. We see development with her as well, but much more slowly.
This is by no means a fast read, but I found it to be enjoyable nonetheless. The author's writing style is very intricate, weaving different themes together without making them all a big pile of mud. Grammar, spelling, and punctuation are all very well done, and it was refreshing to read a book without homonym issues. This book does not dumb itself down for the audience.
So why is it 4 stars for me instead of 5 (I'd say a good 4.5 actually)? Frankly, I would have liked to read at least a little action. The learning and growing and the philosophy one can glean from this book is awesome, but something with "Warriors" in the title should have *some* fighting action in it. But unless you are a hopeless prude about a little teen-age sexual exploration, you need to read this book. You will be absorbed in Tamras' world and love it.
Mostly, this book is "Then I went to Merin's house. Then I went upstairs. Then I did some laundry. Then I felt sad." Nothing happens. The characters seem like paper dolls just wandering through life, and the world around them is vague and watery. I felt I could find better reading material, so I put this one down and never plan to pick it up again.