Review: Sword Dancer by Jennifer Roberson

Sword-Dancer (Tiger and Del #1)

by Jennifer Roberson

SOUTHRON BLADE SKILL,
NORTHERN SWORD MAGIC…

He was Tiger, born of the desert winds, raised as a slave and winning his freedom by weaving a special kind of magic with a warrior’s skill. Now he was an almost legendary sword-dancer, ready to take on any challenge–if the price was right…or the woman pretty enough.

She was Del, born of ice and storm, trained by the greatest of Northern sword masters. Now, her ritual training completed, and steeped in the special magic of her own runesword, she had come south in search of the young brother stolen five years before.

But even Del could not master all the dangers of the deadly Punja alone. And meeting Del, Tiger could not turn back from the most intriguing challenge he’d ever faced–the challenge of a magical, mysterious sword-dancer of the North.

jennifer-roberson-sword-dancer

My Thoughts

The book in its entirety is narrated by Tiger which is somewhat disappointing since we never get to hear Del’s inner voice but once you get over that, you enjoy Tiger’s way of seeing things. Tiger’s an arrogant male chauvinist though I’ll admit he has a right to his arrogance. Del is the antithesis of the kind of woman he and every other Southron male are used to. Tiger’s sword skill which is unmatched in almost all of the South is matched by Del…a woman! Tiger is off put and almost afraid (though he certainly wouldn’t admit to it) of Del’s sword, for it is magic and Tiger puts his faith in skill.

The world building is detailed which was surprising since the novel was kind of short but beautifully rendered nonetheless. There is depth to the characters and if you take to the series, you’ll absolutely fall in love with them. It’s true that Tiger’s views on women are not very flattering but when you get further into the series, you’ll se them changing and evolving. This is just the first book in the series but if the books are short, the series is long enough to give satisfaction. There are eight books out of which only one is yet unpublished. It’s an amazing fantasy romance, though the romance part doesn’t really take off until the second or third book. You can see it’s headed in that direction almost from the beginning but since you don’t know Del’s thoughts, its hard to tell. The characters as well as their back stories have layers upon layers which will unravel the further you get into the series.

The average rating for this book is 4/5 stars and that would be my opinion as well. I wont say I haven’t read better but I will say that it is still unique.

 

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Preview to reviews: Eva Ibbotson 

Lets start with the ill-fated beginning of our great relationship…

I’m a big fan of romance and I’ve read my fair share of M&B’s and Harlequin. More than. In fact I went through a phase where it was almost over one book a day, everyday. Ebook, of course. I dint want my Mum to know, I was quite young after all (then). Well lets just say that after a while all of them started bleeding into one another and looking more or less the same. Dont get me wrong, I still read the occasional Harlequin romance though mostly in the historical section now. In fact stuff like Lisa Kleypas or Catherine Coulter is a re-read all time favourite for when I need a dose very badly.

But the kind of book that full fills a craving in you, having enough depth to pull you in and enough reality to make you believe, that’s the kind Eva Ibbotson writes. It may sound dramatic but that’s the way I honestly feel when I read her books. I would like to say that I don’t play favourites but not every book is the same even when written by the same author. The first book of hers I ever read was A song for summer. I wont say I even liked it much (I was fourteen and my definition of a good romance was love, a quick conclusion and a happy ending). Actually I forced myself to read it but halfway through I put it back on my shelf. I don’t think I picked it up again until at least a year had passed. And this book grated the most on me for that one year since it was the first book I’d left unfinished. By the time I picked it up again I’d been through a few of her titles for younger readers (which were actually the only titles in fiction that I read without a glimmer of Fantasy or Romance). This time I decided that just like swallowing a pill, I’d get it over with quickly. Not half as bad as my memory of it.

Of course, for some unfathomable reason, the next time I was in the book store, I decided to pick another one of Eva Ibbotson’s romance titles. This time it was Magic Flutes. After reading it I truly understood the beauty of her writing and magic in her story telling. I then searched for more of her books and fixated on A countess below stairs. Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t find it in the book stores though it could be that you can’t always find titles you want easily in India. I decided to read it in e-book format. Okay let’s get one thing straight. Anyone who’s interested in sex scenes is gonna be disappointed. Not because they’re badly written but because they are not written at all or if they are, it’s not descriptive at all. Just warning you before hand. If you’re interested in a beautiful love story and not just one with lots sex scenes, you’ll be pleased.

The reason I’m writing about Eva Ibbotson is probably because I read – A Company of Swans recently and couldn’t resist. Since I’ve already incorporated the word favorites, how can I not talk about my very favourite out of all her titles The morning gift. It took me about four to five hours to read the book, start to finish and I could not move until I was done. That said, Eva Ibbotson does not write Regency Romance. Her storyline is based around the world wars and the back drop is mostly Vienna, Russia or England. They end up mostly in England where most refugees flee. It’s mostly from the point of view of the female protagonist with the occasional p.o.v. of the male. Infrequently, we also see into the head of a side character. I’ll say this, I never really got into A song for summer, even to this day but it doesn’t negate the fact that I absolutely adore her other romances.

The Morning Gift

The Morning Gift is a beautiful, classic romance from much loved author, Eva Ibbotson.

Ruth lives in the beautiful city of Vienna and is wildly in love with Heini Radik, a brilliant young pianist. But her world is about to change forever.

When Hitler’s forces invade, Ruth’s family flees to London, but she is unable to get a passport. Quin, a young professor and friend of the family, visits Ruth and, in an effort to bring her back to London, he offers a marriage of convenience. As Ruth throws herself into her London life, Quin begins to fall desperately in love with her. Things are further complicated by the arrival of Heini. . .

They’re beautifully written books and if your interested in checking out the author and any of her titles then:

Eva Ibbotson@goodreads

Also I promise to try to keep from babbling about my own thoughts and experiences and focus more on the novel and review next time.

P.s. – While I love romance and am a great fan, my first love is still fantasy, so if anyone wants any recommendation or has any for me in that area, I’d be only too glad.

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Books and Reveiws and first blog posts…

When it comes to choosing what books to read, I am peculiar, erratic and unpredictable, sometimes even to myself. That is not to say that I follow no pattern at all, just that most times the what and when is a question mark, and sometimes even the why. I’ve been meaning to blog review posts for a good long while now because frankly anyone who’s as much of a Bibliophile as I am being able to keep my opinions to myself since I have nobody around me to tell them to or discuss it with is driving me crazy. I’m first and foremost a fantasy freak with romance not much further down the scale. Of course a combination of both is perfect too.

Every time I think of blogging, I get stuck at how to begin or rather where. So I figured since I’m going to procrastinate endlessly, why not just do it. So….its my first post and I suppose I’m just sort of introducing my motives and what I’m blogging on. As I already said, fantasy and romance – I’m going to be reviewing novels or series in these genres.

This is not exactly a tour of my bookshelf but it does give you a little bit of an idea. This should be good enough for an introduction!