A few weeks ago I read the exceptional retelling of Robin Hood, Lady of the Forest, by Jennifer Roberson and was obviously intrigued with such a talented author. Immediately I set out to unearth her other novels, which of course led me to discover her Tiger and Del fantasy series. Not withstanding its awesomely bad cover, I quickly ordered the first, Sword-Dancer with high hopes.
Known throughout the Southron for his courage and deadly skill with a sword, the Sandtiger has survived his fair share of dangerous and unusual scrapes as a sword-dancer. But from the minute the strange woman with the pale hair and a sword strapped to her back stepped into the cantina, Tiger knows he's out of his league with Del. Tiger is even more stunned to discover that Del wants hire him to lead her through the Punja desert in search of her brother who was stolen by slavers years before. Knowing a crazy undertaking when he hears it, Tiger still agrees to Del's proposal. No sooner do the pair set off, than they are set upon by viscous desert tribes, fierce sandtigers, and the harsh desert itself; that is when they aren't trading insults or clashing swords.
Holy cow this book is a whole new animal. One that I fell in love with double quick. And that includes its 'unique' cover - which I absolutely adore to tell you the truth - because that is Del. Told solely from the perspective of the arrogant and often narrow-minded (yet oh so lovable) Tiger, Sword-Dancer excels at describing the tricky relationship of Tiger and Del. Both are incredibly strong personalities who are more than capable of taking care of themselves but together they form this crazy partnership that simply works. Obviously Del as a foreigner has buckets to learn about the Southron from Tiger but more often than not, she's the one teaching Tiger a thing or two about his deepest self. And Del. That girl won my heart with her fierce determination and her willingness to challenge every accepted tradition - especially when it comes to women being capable of wielding a sword and wielding it well. I love nothing better than watching strong characters go through the toughest of trials and Sword-Dancer does just that. Tiger and Del face some heartbreaking obstacles and emerge all the stronger. Love this book. Love the characters. I'm anxious to see where Tiger and Del go next.
series reading order:
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book source: purchased