Book Review: Sword-Dancer/Sword-Singer by Jennifer Roberson (4/5 stars)

Title: Sword-Dancer/Sword-Singer

Author: Jennifer Roberson

Series: Tiger and Del #1 & 2

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4/5 stars

The OverviewHe 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. She was Del, born of ice and storm, trained by the greatest of Northern sword masters. Together, they discover a kinship and friendship that grows to love while facing dangers of both sword and sorcery.

The  Review:

It’s been several years since I first read Tiger and Del, and I still remember them with fondness. Roberson has a strong first-person narrative not often seen in fantasy novels. It’s a unique blend of characterization and culture-building that really helps get you into the story. The character-development was really successful, and arguably the best element of the series. The protagonists are incredibly engaging and I think a lot of the appeal comes from stereotypical manners expressed in constant opposition to one another; a sort of man vs woman relationship that was surprisingly charming and oftentimes downright hilarious. It wasn’t just the main characters that were great, as Roberson even manages to give the horse a memorable personality.

As much as I enjoyed it, there was a weakness. Apparently, the author wrote the manuscript for the first book in about a week… and you can sort of tell. That’s just simply not enough time to develop a complex plot, so the storyline is fairly straight-forward. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however, because I found some of her other works to be a bit long-winded. A shortened writing schedule means she really had to play to her strengths and jump right into the main plot. As the series progresses, it gets a little more dynamic, but not by much.

Overall, all six books have their own appeal, and I found my excitement for the story as a whole grew with each one. While it’s not the best from a craft standpoint, it was definitely one of the most fun to read. I laughed, I cried, I loved every minute!

by Niki Hawkes

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