|By the Sword (Kerowyn's Tale)|
Date: 05 February, 1991 — $7.99 — Book
This book is set shortly after Arrows of the Queen, and takes place for the most part in the old stomping grounds of Tarma and Kethry. In fact, the principal character, Kerowyn, is Kethry's granddaughter. When her brother's wedding is attacked by raiders and the bride kidnapped, Kerowyn is the only one left who can do anything. Adopting a pose that would have her hidebound mother horrified, Kerowyn goes to her grandmother and asks for help.
Kethry passes on the sword Need so that Kerowyn can confront the raiders. Need's abilities compensate for the lack of Kerowyn's skill, and she brings the bride back... only to find that the remains of her family is horrified that she would embarrass the family so by doing something instead of letting the males do it.
So Kerowyn decides to leave home, and Kethry and Tarma train one more mercenary. Kerowyn's not only good at it, she's astoundingly good, and dedicates herself to her calling with a fierce intensity.
Of course, now is when complications inevitably ensue, and they do in the form of a captured Herald... who has the mind-speech that Kerowyn shares. But she fights the idea of being trapped very strongly, and parts from him.
Now, this is the kind of fantasy where you can tell who is going to end up with whom. But it's interesting to see how it gets drawn out in this case, and the ending pairs (plural) are certainly no surprise. Neither is the manner of their occurrence. But it's certainly worth a chuckle from those who can say that truly, they saw that coming... because, of course, the characters involved fight so hard against it, and you know they're going to be happy in the end.