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“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.”

This was recommended to me from a friend who was reading it. She was really excited about it so I gave it a shot. I did like that the book was free when I got it. I wouldn’t have minded paying a dollar or two to get it used, but I would not want to pay too much more.

So the basic plot is simple: Tamras (the new girl) moves into the warrior house and instantly feels an attraction for Maara (the loner who no one is really close with). She forces herself on Maara in a friendship and then fights to be the apprentice to Maara. Then pagan style chaos ensues. The book pretty much feels like how I imagine pagan religions are supposed to make you feel. If it is then pagans have the right idea.

It was a really mellow and meandering type book. I felt like that I was taking a gentle stroll even when the characters were in a life or death situation. So while I liked the plot and the world building the author was doing I was able to put the book down for over a month and not have any urge to finish it. I actually did put it down for months. I didn’t even remember I was reading it until I went into the kindle app on my phone by accident.

I loved the world that was built. I loved how women were the main warriors and how it was very much women had power for once. It wasn’t like Tamora Pierce‘s books where the women had to hide they were women to get respect (though I love those books). This was like the adult version of those books. It had lesbian sex scenes and a lot of issues with jealousy that were handled in a mature way. In the teen version that Tamora Pierce writes they are all straight, though there is fanfiction. I didn’t like how lesbianism was seen as the only “option” as being with men would end their careers as warriors so lesbians were superior and lesbian love was the only love expressed. If there was straight love or gay male love they were so minor that I couldn’t even recognize them.

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3.5 out of 5 stars. I would recommend this book to other fantasy lovers.

You can buy this book here.

~Isaiah

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