When Women Were Warriors Book I: The Warrior's Path
I usually do not read fantasy books, but The Warrior's Path changed my mind. Catherine M. Wilson writes a beautifully well-crafted story that incorporates the elements of fantasy without entering any stereotypes. The first of three books in the When Women Were Warriors series follow Tamras, who trains to become a warrior like the other women in her family. However, when Tamras enters the House of Merin, she cannot become an apprentice like she'd hoped to be. Instead, she is assigned as a companion for Maara, one of the warriors who isolates herself. The other warriors are suspicious of Maara since she is not from their clan.
At first, Maara shuns Tamras, and does not want a companion. But when Maara is injured in a battle and Tamras stays by her side, the bond between companion and warrior is strengthen. As the story continues, the alliance between Tamras and Maara grow so strong that Tamras pledges her life for Maara's. In addition, Tamras risks valuable alliances that would benefit her clan to follow her heart, which also leads her along the path of becoming a warrior.
The Warrior's Path also contains a love story between Tamras and another companion that artistically describes the exploration of love and passion. Each of the characters are highly developed and realistic. It is one of those rare gems that is also incredibly empowering to women, and as the title suggests, most of the warriors are women. Wilson creates a fantastic world where women are a powerful force that governs the lands and fights the battles. I hope that the next two books are just as interesting and well-written.