After finally tracking down her long-ago kidnapped brother with the help of master sword-dancer Tiger, Del now faces the daunting task of returning to the North to finally pay the price for having slain her sword-master. Tiger isn't about to allow his basha to return to her homelands alone to face a trial and possibly death and so comes along for the ride. All too quickly however, he discovers that the North is nothing like his beloved desert South. Not only is he faced with an unfamiliar landscape and colder temperatures but demons and magic which Tiger stoutly refuses to believe exists. Even though the proof is right before his eyes. Frustrated with the whole venture, a miserable Tiger watches as Del becomes increasingly more detached and withdrawn even as she daily tries to prepare him for the uncompromising severity of her former home.
Well. Whereas Sword-Dancer left me extremely satisfied if not entirely hungry for more Tiger and Del, then its sequel, Sword-Singer left me astounded and downright DEMANDING for the next installment. After having already spent one whole book with these two outstanding characters, I thought I had a pretty good handle on their histories and motivations but boy howdy was I ever wrong. Clever Ms. Roberson had plenty more surprises up her sleeve in Sword-Singer. For most of the novel I truly felt like I was there, right along with Tiger, discovering detail after detail about the North and Del for the very first time. I sympathized with his frustrations and unhappiness even if I sometimes wanted to pop him upside the head. But then, Tiger wouldn't be Tiger without a rash response here or there.
Although once again, Del in her quiet yet unyielding way utterly stole the show and my heart in Sword-Singer. She is so fierce yet still feels every choice so deeply - even though she tries to hide that facet of her personality. I simply do not know how Del has managed to continue after enduring hardship upon hardship. But GAH!! How in heavens name could Jennifer Roberson end the book in such a way?!? Horrible cliff-hanger that it was, I'm still fuming at my mailman for taking over three weeks to bring me the next book, Sword-Maker. You can bet your sweet socks I didn't waste any time diving right back in.
series reading order:
~ Sword-Dancer - my review
Because Everyone Likes a Second Opinion:
book source: purchased