February 10, 2016

Book Review || Warrior's Woman

Warrior's Woman
LySanTer Trilogy #1
Johanna Lindsey

Published: orig 1990 (cover reissue 2010)

Avon, mass market pbk, 422p.
ISBN: 9780380753017


In the year 2139, fearless Tedra DeArr sets out to rescue her beleaguered planet Kystran from the savage rule of the evil Crad Ce Moerr.  Experienced in combat but not in love, the beautiful, untouched Amazon flies with Martha, her wise-cracking, free-thinking computer, to a world where warriors reign supreme - and into the arms of the one man she can never hope to vanquish: the bronzed barbarian Challen Ly-San-Ter.  A magnificent creature of raw yet disciplined desires, the muscle-bound primitive succeeds where no puny Kystran male had before - igniting a raging fire within Tedra that must be extinguished before she can even think of saving her enslaved world.

from original back cover, 1990

As strange as it sounds, this was the book that kicked off my love for sci-fantasy as a teenager. I remember borrowing this from my friend in Yr 10 French (thank you, Becca!), and devouring a good portion of the book in that one double lesson.  I loved it, and I didn't want to give it back, but luckily I saw the same book at the local store a few days later and begged my mum to get it for me - and she did.

While it may just be a cheesy romance book to most people, the introduction of the Martha, the AI computer who seems to run Tedra's life, and Corth, a humanoid robot, characters that belong to Tedra DeArr, were the first artificial characters that I'd come across.  Up until then I'd been reading the usual teenage stuff or English required reading, The Outsiders, Picnic at Hanging Rock, etc., but hadn't made the jump into more adult books in my personal reading life.

Included in the wonderful world building are the amazing creatures Lindsey created.  The taraan, sa'abo, fembairs, and the hataar.  These were the first fantastical creatures I'd come across in fiction outside of mythology, and while not a complicated plot to follow, the story just swept me up and let me forget about the world for a few hours.

With Warrior's Woman I got a glimpse into an amazing word where a woman could be strong and tough, and fly through space in search of adventure. It didn't hurt that her soon to be love interest, Challen, was amazing in my imagination, but still, it was far more than just a romance book to me.

Fast forward way too many years. . . 

So now picking this book up and re-reading it with the perspective of an adult, I find that there is still something charmingly naive about Tedra and Warrior's Woman.   Yes, it's sexist in places, and quite cheesy and formulaic to boot, but I still rather like it.  Tedra is still a strong female protagonist, and Martha - although silicon based - is just as feisty.  Corth takes a back seat in the scheme of things, and even bossy-boots Challen will defer to Tedra in some matters.  Quite enlightened for a barbarian.

I loved the contrast between the futuristic Kystran and the feudal/medieval (with a twist) Sha'ka'an cultures.  Shades of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court there with the culture clash, and this is well demonstrated in the scene where Tedra had no idea what an uncle is despite knowing the word, or when she asks the crystal necklace to change colour to annoy Challen ;-D

It's now many years later, and I still have that original book - now battered and tattered - that sits on my shelf beside the replacement copy I bought.  Warrior's Woman is great book, quick and fast paced, that continues to hold many memories for me ;-D

Oh, and if you're interested, it is the first book in a trilogy.   I won't tell you who the next two books belong to - because that would be a HUGE spoiler ;-D

Until next time,

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