||Shield Maiden Press
||Oct 1, 2008
Set in the British Isles during the Bronze Age, a time when matrilineal societies predominated and female warriors were not uncommon, When Women Were Warriors tells the story of Tamras, a young woman of the warrior class who leaves home to be fostered in Merin’s house, a fortress guarding the northern border of a rich agricultural valley.
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When Women Were Warriors
In Book I of the trilogy, Tamras, our hero, 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.
Tamras’s journey begins with the smallest of steps. She sets aside her disappointment and performs as well as she can the humble tasks given her, and eventually she succeeds in winning the trust and then the friendship of the cantankerous warrior to whom she has been assigned.
In the first year of her journey, Tamras will make a series of choices that often seem insignificant, but they will flow from her character and from her good intentions, and they will determine her destiny.
Book I of the trilogy is available for free from Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com
A free download of Book I of the trilogy is available in multiple ebook formats from the author's website:
“In ancient days, when only women were warriors … ”
“When was that?”
“I don’t know. A long time ago, I suppose.”
“How long ago?”
“I have no idea. It’s not important. It’s just the way you start a story.”
“All stories begin like that.”
“I don’t know. They just do.”
When Women Were Warriors: Books I, II, & III
Wilson’s utterly remarkable trilogy set in Bronze Age Britain opens with spirited young Tamras being sent to the household of Lady Merin to learn comportment, the ways of court – and the arts of physical combat. In Wilson’s imagining, Tamras’ society is a prehistoric matriarchy in which women wield a great deal of power and trained for war right alongside the men, and the trilogy follows Tamras as she first encounters this wider society – including a foreign warrior named Maara, with whom Tamras strikes up a passionate friendship. Moving smoothly through the course of her three novels, Wilson lets us follow Tamras from impulsive childhood to confident young womanhood, and she so expertly fleshes out the world and the people around her main characters that the effect is immersive.
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.
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Catherine M Wilson