Jennifer Roberson, |
The Sandtiger, the South's greatest sword-dancer (with the possible exception of Abbu Bensir) -- though now dishonored and outcast -- has returned to his homeland. Having discovered that even though he grew up as a Southron slave - it turns out he is not only the scion of a ruling family, but also a mage of some power -- he is now following a dream that has been plaguing him. In the dream, a long-dead woman bids him take up a sword, which he assumes to be his sword, lost in the desert.
Accompanying Tiger is his Northern lover, Del, a skilled sword-singer. Del doesn't share Tiger's dream and doesn't understand it. She is not happy about the magic in his blood; she does not wish to lose her lover to such incomprehensible forces. But she follows him into the desert to search for his lost sword, forged and magically bound to him in the Northern way, as hers once was.
But the two are separated when a sandtiger, Tiger's namesake, attacks. With both poisoned by the sandtiger's venom, will either survive to find the dead woman and Tiger's sword?
Tiger and Del first appeared in Marion Zimmer Bradley's Sword & Sorceress anthologies. Sword-Sworn is the sixth and final novel in the series of novels. It is not necessary to have read the previous volumes in order to keep up with and enjoy the story Jennifer Roberson is telling here; she does make numerous references to the events of the previous books, enough to be enticing, not confusing.
The novel is narrated by Tiger who, with his light, humor-laced tone, makes an engaging storyteller. The story moves along without stalling anywhere to a satisfying ending. With such a quick pace and likeable characters, the book can be read reasonably quickly, making it a good summer book, whether for beach or backyard.