Friday, September 03, 2010
By Jennifer Roberson
What do you do if raiders swoop down on your village, slaughter its inhabitants, take you captive and sell your little brother as a slave? Well, if you are Del, you manage escape and then you dedicate yourself to becoming a fierce sword fighter in order to eventually track down your lost little brother.
After being a student of the sword, young and beautiful Del is fully capable of taking care of herself and she sets off to rescue her little brother, who was taken five years ago. Taken into the harsh desert south, a place totally alien to the likes of Del, a pale, blonde northern lass. And even though Del is an accomplished swordswoman, she knows she is no match for the hostile environment of the South. So she enlists the aid of one of the best swordsmen of the South, Tiger.
Like Del, Tiger has a past full of pain and sorrow. And like Del's little brother, Tiger too was a young slave boy subject to all the neglect, suffering and indignities which that implies. So even though he thinks Del is on a fool's mission, he agrees to guide her across the desert to the slave dealer who may know her brother's whereabouts. But the challenges they come up against may be tougher than any even the hardened desert swordsman Tiger has ever faced.
This was, all in all, a rather disappointing book. Del's time as a captive of the raiders is completely glossed over. No description of her time there or how she managed to escape is given. At one point in the story, Del and Tiger are drugged and captured, Del sent to a harem and Tiger to labor as a slave in a mine. That time is also just skipped over with almost no details given, especially as to Del's experience in the harem. Seems like the most interesting details of their lives are omitted. But page after page goes on and on about Del's experience with a life-threatening sunburn. Too much detail there. It seemed to me like the best parts of the story were left out.