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
OH MY. I don't know where to start, but basically, I loved this book and these compelling characters! Now, ignore this weird cover for a second and let me explain!
So, I decided to give this fantasy a try even though I wasn't sure I'd like it... looked too "Arabian nights" for my taste and I wasn't sure if it would be easy to follow, etc. However, the main attraction for me was the relationship between Del and Tiger, it seemed like it would be an interesting story of "opposites attract" or what have you. And as long as there is a romance or a HINT of one starting, I'm all in. Well, I wasn't disappointed!
I won't go into too much detail about the story because I don't want to give things away but basically the heroine here, Del, hires Tiger (a sword dancer, aka "sword fighter") to guide her in the dangerous South to find her missing brother. Because she is from the North, she isn't use to the perils of the Southern desert. This starts an adventure of epic proportions.
Now, one thing that also really hooked me was just the fact that its told in Tiger's point of view! I don't believe I've ever read any books where it was entirely in the males view so it was a refreshing change for me. Not only that but, the man was FUNNY! I really enjoyed getting to know him and having Del be more of the mysterious one. Tiger starts out just humoring Del because he wants to sleep with her, and yes he is a bit of a pig in that respect, (and I wanted to slap him at one part!) but the point is that there was an ARC and he CHANGED by the end of the book. I'm not saying he is perfect, but I have to give him credit because he went through SO much, and if you don't feel for him by the end then that's just cold! And plus, the things he suffered were all because of his commitment to Del. So he wants to sleep with her?.. Sue him! At least he showed growth and I can't wait to see how else they grow TOGETHER. Del also went through her own struggles and I look forward to seeing her open up a bit more to Tiger about them.
My one issue was the end, I thought there could have been more of a goodbye scene but then you realize, its not really a goodbye at all... so I guess I can't complain too much!
I definitely recommend this book to fantasy lovers, or just anyone who loves romance that isn't "wham bam, thank you ma'am" all in one book! I really loved that while you can tell there is very much a growing affection and attraction, its at a pace that makes sense for who these characters are and what they've been through.
Also, for as much as they went through, it wasn't gory or overly gruesome. The whole world was also very easy to jump into and I didn't have a hard time at all following the action or understanding the few different terms, which was a concern of mine. Couldn't ask for a better start to a series than that!
I can't wait to read on and see more magic unfold!
My rating: 5 SOLID BOOK BOYFRIENDS!
*all images found on google