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In Book II, Tamras moved from her home into the lands beyond its border. In Book three, the stage widens further: she deals with the struggles of whole peoples. Caught up in intrigues that would once have been far above her, the heroine risks everything unless she can not only learn to swim in treacherous waters, but to master them. The heroine 's inner journey continues t In Book II, Tamras moved from her home into the lands beyond its border. In Book three, the stage widens further: she deals with the struggles of whole peoples. Caught up in intrigues that would once have been far above her, the heroine risks everything unless she can not only learn to swim in treacherous waters, but to master them. The heroine 's inner journey continues to match her outer one. She must confront the meaning not only of personal love, but the love that extends beyond oneself and those we hold dear. Catherine Wilson 's skill at tackling the big issues of love, meaning, and humanity is so deft that it all seemed, to me at least, to flow naturally from her narrative in a way I found technically quite breathtaking. "--from a review by Charles Ferguson on the Goodreads website"Being the third and last volume in a series I enjoyed immensely, I knew that I could expect this last book to deliver a happy and satisfying ending. What I didn t expect was the intricate and daring storyline of this last volume. It is bigger and broader than what has come before, and it is spectacular. this time the story unfolds on to a whole new level. More characters, more intrigue, greater losses, wonderful reunions. There 's no taking the easy road here the story opened up into unimagined dimensions to tell a tale that really is that of a hero." When Women Were Warriors manages to blend mythic storytelling with characters who feel so real you could imagine stepping into the pages and having a conversation with them. A Hero 's Tale skilfully weaves the questions of love, faith and fairness into a dramatic story; not only of a relationship between the main characters, but of a quest so much bigger it takes the breath away. There is everything you could wish for here power struggles, forces for good and evil, dramatic tests of faith, daring rescues, fatal rivalry, but it is managed with such a deft hand that in the end it is all one beautiful story. What else is there to say? This is not just lesbian fiction, but a story about being human. It 's not to be missed.--from a review by Kate Genet on the website, Kissed By VenusIn Book III of the trilogy, Tamras must make her own hero 's journey. She ventures into the unknown and encounters a more formidable enemy than any she has ever faced. Character is destiny, and the destiny of Tamras and all her people will depend upon choices that come less from the skills she has been taught than from the person she has become, from her own heart.


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In Book II, Tamras moved from her home into the lands beyond its border. In Book three, the stage widens further: she deals with the struggles of whole peoples. Caught up in intrigues that would once have been far above her, the heroine risks everything unless she can not only learn to swim in treacherous waters, but to master them. The heroine 's inner journey continues t In Book II, Tamras moved from her home into the lands beyond its border. In Book three, the stage widens further: she deals with the struggles of whole peoples. Caught up in intrigues that would once have been far above her, the heroine risks everything unless she can not only learn to swim in treacherous waters, but to master them. The heroine 's inner journey continues to match her outer one. She must confront the meaning not only of personal love, but the love that extends beyond oneself and those we hold dear. Catherine Wilson 's skill at tackling the big issues of love, meaning, and humanity is so deft that it all seemed, to me at least, to flow naturally from her narrative in a way I found technically quite breathtaking. "--from a review by Charles Ferguson on the Goodreads website"Being the third and last volume in a series I enjoyed immensely, I knew that I could expect this last book to deliver a happy and satisfying ending. What I didn t expect was the intricate and daring storyline of this last volume. It is bigger and broader than what has come before, and it is spectacular. this time the story unfolds on to a whole new level. More characters, more intrigue, greater losses, wonderful reunions. There 's no taking the easy road here the story opened up into unimagined dimensions to tell a tale that really is that of a hero." When Women Were Warriors manages to blend mythic storytelling with characters who feel so real you could imagine stepping into the pages and having a conversation with them. A Hero 's Tale skilfully weaves the questions of love, faith and fairness into a dramatic story; not only of a relationship between the main characters, but of a quest so much bigger it takes the breath away. There is everything you could wish for here power struggles, forces for good and evil, dramatic tests of faith, daring rescues, fatal rivalry, but it is managed with such a deft hand that in the end it is all one beautiful story. What else is there to say? This is not just lesbian fiction, but a story about being human. It 's not to be missed.--from a review by Kate Genet on the website, Kissed By VenusIn Book III of the trilogy, Tamras must make her own hero 's journey. She ventures into the unknown and encounters a more formidable enemy than any she has ever faced. Character is destiny, and the destiny of Tamras and all her people will depend upon choices that come less from the skills she has been taught than from the person she has become, from her own heart.

30 review for A Hero's Tale

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    There are some stories that I never want to end and when they eventually do, as everything must, they haunt me for days afterward. By "haunt" I mean that I can't completely shake myself out of the world created by the author through her characters. Catherine Wilson's When Women Were Warriors is just such a story. In the case of this story, I don't want to shake off the magic woven by Ms. Wilson. I don't know if I can call this a "review" exactly -- it is more a public appreciation for a fantasti There are some stories that I never want to end and when they eventually do, as everything must, they haunt me for days afterward. By "haunt" I mean that I can't completely shake myself out of the world created by the author through her characters. Catherine Wilson's When Women Were Warriors is just such a story. In the case of this story, I don't want to shake off the magic woven by Ms. Wilson. I don't know if I can call this a "review" exactly -- it is more a public appreciation for a fantastic story, characters with whom I could empathize and love, and a world into which I wish I could teleport myself. The author even managed to sneak in the element of romance -- something I don't tend to enjoy as a rule, but in the context of the adventure story enveloping it, it was not the least bit distracting and was perfectly blended. Despite her "Epic without fantasy. Sword without sorcery" warning, I plunged in -- you see, I like those elements of fantasy and sorcery. Despite the warning, I did not notice a lack of magic in the story -- the magic of a skilful storyteller which needed no other kind. These are books I will re-read often.

  2. 5 out of 5

    CLo

    A great trilogy First off, you have to read all the books from the beginning. Right now the first one is free on Amazon but be warned you will want to buy the other two...almost immediately. Book one is slow to start but about midway through it picks up and become engrossed in the telling story of Tamra. Book two and three are pretty much the same but the journey becomes more and more each time This trilogy is not about war or power...It really is about growth and love. Yes there is war and death A great trilogy First off, you have to read all the books from the beginning. Right now the first one is free on Amazon but be warned you will want to buy the other two...almost immediately. Book one is slow to start but about midway through it picks up and become engrossed in the telling story of Tamra. Book two and three are pretty much the same but the journey becomes more and more each time This trilogy is not about war or power...It really is about growth and love. Yes there is war and death but through the eyes of a 16 year old who over the course of two years becomes a leader we find that truth and love is really what will set you free and that there is always a winner and loser in the end...despite good intentions. I really enjoyed all the books. I liked how sexuality didn't bog down the story. There was no unnecessary scenes of war such as rape or massive killings. Magic played no role in the sense of sorcery but still there was little magic. I would have liked to see more of the bow and sword action but like I said this is really not a trilogy about that. Anyway...I really liked it so maybe you will too.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Honestly I think this was my favorite of all three. It was so well written, and such a rollercoaster, I cried so many times but it was so well done and so beautiful in the end. Tamras is the most wonderful character I have read in a long, long time. She is everything; brave and intelligent and strong and incredible. But I think what I love most about her is what her actual greatest strength is: her heart, and her ability to love. It's what makes her who she is, and it's so refreshing to read a b Honestly I think this was my favorite of all three. It was so well written, and such a rollercoaster, I cried so many times but it was so well done and so beautiful in the end. Tamras is the most wonderful character I have read in a long, long time. She is everything; brave and intelligent and strong and incredible. But I think what I love most about her is what her actual greatest strength is: her heart, and her ability to love. It's what makes her who she is, and it's so refreshing to read a book/series with a hero whose true strength comes from love, not violence. I should probably write more in depth about this but I am at a loss for words. Please please read this series! And have some lovely quotes: "The love I felt for her made me feel strong, while her love for me made me feel safe." "I trusted her not to be careless with my heart or with my feelings. I trusted her to understand and to accept what might be broken or imperfect. In some dusty corner there may be things I tossed away, forgotten, things that might once have shamed me. I trusted her with those things too. I trusted her to accept me as she found me and to love me as I was, as I loved her." "That I would risk my life to regain what we had shared, that much I already understood. Now I began to understand the sacrifice. I had seen the world the way it should be, and I would accept nothing less." "Like a forest tree that has grown up entwined with another may keep its shape long after its companion has been taken down, my spirit had bent to the shape of her and now could neither straighten itself nor accommodate to the shape of someone else." "We search for love. Love is our shelter. Love is our purpose. Love is why we are here." "Sometimes even now I entertain the hope that Love lives in the world independently of us, but when I am most courageous, I believe that love was born within the human heart, and that the survival of love in the world, as well as its ultimate triumph, is entirely out responsibility."

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cristina

    Wonderful book! I read this trilogy in one sitting because each book starts where the last finishes, so this review is for the three books. The first thing that I want to say is how wonderful the author writes. She creates a world where warriors live, a world where relationships are the most important things, all kinds of relationships: friendships, mother-daughter relationships, mentoring ... and of course "love". This book is about Tamra's journal which starts with her as a little girl and fin Wonderful book! I read this trilogy in one sitting because each book starts where the last finishes, so this review is for the three books. The first thing that I want to say is how wonderful the author writes. She creates a world where warriors live, a world where relationships are the most important things, all kinds of relationships: friendships, mother-daughter relationships, mentoring ... and of course "love". This book is about Tamra's journal which starts with her as a little girl and finishes with her as an amazing warrior. The book is magical and captivating.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    I'm actually worried I might never find another book series that has everything I love, and more, as beautifully written and developed as this one did. Everything I said in my review of the first book is true for the rest of the trilogy as well. The focus on all the women with their complex stories and the relationships between all of them is what I appreciated the most. The worldbuilding was also fantastic and amazed me with every little detail, from funeral traditions to the different ways in w I'm actually worried I might never find another book series that has everything I love, and more, as beautifully written and developed as this one did. Everything I said in my review of the first book is true for the rest of the trilogy as well. The focus on all the women with their complex stories and the relationships between all of them is what I appreciated the most. The worldbuilding was also fantastic and amazed me with every little detail, from funeral traditions to the different ways in which the forest people see things. To be fully honest, in comparison to the first two books, with this one I took a bit longer to get really invested in the story to the point of not wanting to stop reading, but when I got there the plot was so good that it made up for whatever complaint I could possibly have about the beginning. I think this trilogy set the standards too high for all the other similar books I read from now on.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    The only thing I could find wrong with A Hero's Tale, book #3 in the When Women Were Warriors series was that it ended. This series is by far the best series I have ever read and know that it will be a classic. Catherine M. Wilson is an amazing storyteller and the story that she gives us in this series is exceptional. Each book carried with it multiple messages for the reader to take into her own life and A Hero's Tale does no less. In this book, Tamras takes that final step into womanhood and w The only thing I could find wrong with A Hero's Tale, book #3 in the When Women Were Warriors series was that it ended. This series is by far the best series I have ever read and know that it will be a classic. Catherine M. Wilson is an amazing storyteller and the story that she gives us in this series is exceptional. Each book carried with it multiple messages for the reader to take into her own life and A Hero's Tale does no less. In this book, Tamras takes that final step into womanhood and with that step the reader is led on a powerful adventure. In the first two books, I admired Catherine M. Wilson's use of words to capture the read and sink her into the world she created for Tamras. In this third and final book, Catherine M. Wilson not only uses her mastery of words but shows the reader how a tale is truly suppose to be told as she brings the reader full circle in Tamras' journey. This is the best series of the year, this decade and possibly for our generation.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Celine

    For me this was the most emotional book of all three of them. Wilson can make you feel exactly what the protagonist is feeling - seriously. When Tamras felt betrayed I almost had to put the book down as I felt my own love had betrayed me. She has a clever way of wording things you know to be true, but when you read them she gives more meaning to it (fe: When Tamras understands love and lost for the first time really: " Love and Maara were one and the same. Love had become as mortal as she was.") For me this was the most emotional book of all three of them. Wilson can make you feel exactly what the protagonist is feeling - seriously. When Tamras felt betrayed I almost had to put the book down as I felt my own love had betrayed me. She has a clever way of wording things you know to be true, but when you read them she gives more meaning to it (fe: When Tamras understands love and lost for the first time really: " Love and Maara were one and the same. Love had become as mortal as she was."). When I look back on book I and II it really shows that it is a journey of years that the protagonist goes through as her memories seem to have become my own. It's been a while since I devoured a book trilogy at this pace. I would like to find more words to praise this lovely fantasy story but I'm too worn out and tired to form more words. Anyways anyone who likes fantasy with great female protagonist should read this.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lia A

    What a wonderful trilogy. We've come so far from the beginning, now the story has to come to an end, it's sadden me to no end. It's the best trilogy I've ever read *no bias tho I swear*. It has a very good writing, wonderful storyline, unforgettable characters, and everything in between. The story begins on book 1, when Tamras brought to Merin's house to begin her Warrior's Path. The story started so slowly in book 1, this book more like an introduction for us and the pace only picks up when it wa What a wonderful trilogy. We've come so far from the beginning, now the story has to come to an end, it's sadden me to no end. It's the best trilogy I've ever read *no bias tho I swear*. It has a very good writing, wonderful storyline, unforgettable characters, and everything in between. The story begins on book 1, when Tamras brought to Merin's house to begin her Warrior's Path. The story started so slowly in book 1, this book more like an introduction for us and the pace only picks up when it was 76% of the book. In book 2, we see how far Tamras has become, she was no longer the lonely companion. She became constantly challenges everything around her. And then she begins her path away from civilization. In book 3, well this trilogy feels like a Chronicles for me. Everything in this book continue to suprise me, I didn't expect many things happen on them. It was a real page turner. Tamras has earned everything and more. You will really need tissue for this book. The writer continue to confuse me with the romance inside the trilogy, I keep guessing who'll be the endgame for Tamras. I was getting warm with the idea of Sparrow and Tamras, but well. This trilogy's become so dear to my heart. I love this series, I'm sure somewhere in the future I'll re-read it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kayla

    sobs This series is so good and full of everything I love: complex women and their relationships with each other; political intrigue; linguistics; oral tradition; a protagonist who, despite everything, still fights for peace; and much, much more. Also, the lesbians save the day like, all the time, so. That's cool.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bandit

    Thus concludes the trilogy, some of the most unlikely reading for me, yet thoroughly enjoyable. Now that the romantic situation is sorted out, this book in particular permanently establishes the main character as a heroine via some seriously convoluted (so much so it has to be explained twice) warring and battling. As far as trilogies go, this one follows a perfect arc to an perfectly suitable ending. There is something very endearing and engaging about Wilson's Neolithic warriors and if fantasy Thus concludes the trilogy, some of the most unlikely reading for me, yet thoroughly enjoyable. Now that the romantic situation is sorted out, this book in particular permanently establishes the main character as a heroine via some seriously convoluted (so much so it has to be explained twice) warring and battling. As far as trilogies go, this one follows a perfect arc to an perfectly suitable ending. There is something very endearing and engaging about Wilson's Neolithic warriors and if fantasy is suppose to transport the reader to an entirely different world, these books certainly do the job. It makes for a slightly cheesy, hopelessly romantic and surprisingly immersive read. Recommended.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lady Avalon

    Wonderful Trilogy and I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. IMH opinion, the author did a great job portraying the pre-Christian Europe where women had an important role in the society.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Fatima

    Sometimes a book is perfect because you happen to read it for the first time just at the right time. I expected a pseudo fantasy setting of some sort, but the trilogy's sharp sensitivity took me by surprise. More than anything, this particular book is about grief and healing. Wilson's tasteful charm and deftness don't detract from hitting the darker themes of trauma and loss on the head. Her writing is piercing without being grotesque, poetic without being cloying. At a time when it's trendy for Sometimes a book is perfect because you happen to read it for the first time just at the right time. I expected a pseudo fantasy setting of some sort, but the trilogy's sharp sensitivity took me by surprise. More than anything, this particular book is about grief and healing. Wilson's tasteful charm and deftness don't detract from hitting the darker themes of trauma and loss on the head. Her writing is piercing without being grotesque, poetic without being cloying. At a time when it's trendy for fantasy to be unrelentlessly ugly and crude, Wilson's work is a breath of fresh air.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Really loved this series. Complex, thoughtful, sweet, adventurous, lyrical; full of emotion and history, love and spirit. When Women Were Warriors is a trilogy, but it reads as one book split into three volumes, (down to the chapters, which start at 1 in book one and continue sequentially through book three.) Yes, there are plot arcs in each volume, but the story of Tamras and Maara continues over the course of the entire series. There was little chance that I would not love this series. Here ar Really loved this series. Complex, thoughtful, sweet, adventurous, lyrical; full of emotion and history, love and spirit. When Women Were Warriors is a trilogy, but it reads as one book split into three volumes, (down to the chapters, which start at 1 in book one and continue sequentially through book three.) Yes, there are plot arcs in each volume, but the story of Tamras and Maara continues over the course of the entire series. There was little chance that I would not love this series. Here are some of the things it had that I love to read about: * Neolithic/pre-Celtic historical setting (with, granted, some fantastical/mythological elements included) * A location that feels like the ancient British Isles, although it might be somewhere else - or even a fantasy world * Strong female characters, and lots of them * Intense relationships between women, both romantic and otherwise * Matrilineal culture/society, with women in positions of power and leadership * Seasonal cultural cycles and holidays * Wise women, shamanic journeying, sacred groves, goddesses * Storytelling, and epic tales * Travel and living off the land Given that I love to read about exactly the kind of setting the author created, it's no surprise I liked the series. But I also got enjoyed the story and found it to be well-written. It is a coming-of-age novel depicting young Tamras growing into her own, learning what she loves and values and standing by it with a fierce loyalty. One thing that really stood out to me about these volumes was the the thoughtfulness of Tamras and other characters who were reflective after moments of conflict or learning that helped them take the next step. This isn't often modeled in our modern society, but it resonates with my personal style, so I loved seeing it. ---------------------- A Hero's Tale, the third volume in the trilogy, focuses on Tamras' own hero's journey. Tamras leaves the lands she know with Maara, encountering completely difference cultures - some friendly, and some not. War and personal relationships are connected in unexpected ways. I did feel the author was stretching it a bit towards the end - but I went right along for the ride anyway. I was full of sadness when I was done because I really wanted to keep reading more about Tamras, her world, and her adventures.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Undoubtedly my favorite Trilogy I have ever read. The most perfect set of books. A hidden gem that I recommend to anyone. Set in the British isle in the Bronze Age, narrator Tamras goes on an amazing and beautiful journey, that literally will make you never wish it'd end. I love how this book is written, structured and how the characters subdue your heart. Literally you will not put this book down. Undoubtedly my favorite Trilogy I have ever read. The most perfect set of books. A hidden gem that I recommend to anyone. Set in the British isle in the Bronze Age, narrator Tamras goes on an amazing and beautiful journey, that literally will make you never wish it'd end. I love how this book is written, structured and how the characters subdue your heart. Literally you will not put this book down.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    I enjoyed this final part of the trilogy but I also found it wanting a little. I know it's an epic hero story but things just fell into place a little too well at the end. I loved the part in the forest but it did seem like too many characters in the rest of the story went quietly into the night too easily (maybe there are sequels planned). And Tamras' wisdom felt a little forced towards the end too. Maara has lived a tough enough life that her wisdom feels real. Tamras seemed to have leadership I enjoyed this final part of the trilogy but I also found it wanting a little. I know it's an epic hero story but things just fell into place a little too well at the end. I loved the part in the forest but it did seem like too many characters in the rest of the story went quietly into the night too easily (maybe there are sequels planned). And Tamras' wisdom felt a little forced towards the end too. Maara has lived a tough enough life that her wisdom feels real. Tamras seemed to have leadership wisdom beyond her age and experience. It didn't always feel authentic, especially at the end. Having said that, I'm glad I read it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alealea

    The pace of this trilogy reminds me of lord of the rings.... First book is a slow introduction of many things to come Second book, everything becomes angsty Third book, it's time for heroics. And the heroin here is mostly clueless, she keeps blundering and it's only because the results of her mistakes are amazing that we can call it heroic at all. The love finally blossom between the main characters and with it, Tamras shed the last remain of childhood. The end is sweet, maybe overcooked and too The pace of this trilogy reminds me of lord of the rings.... First book is a slow introduction of many things to come Second book, everything becomes angsty Third book, it's time for heroics. And the heroin here is mostly clueless, she keeps blundering and it's only because the results of her mistakes are amazing that we can call it heroic at all. The love finally blossom between the main characters and with it, Tamras shed the last remain of childhood. The end is sweet, maybe overcooked and too happy, but this trilogy is still a nice discovery. I may return to it one day when I want to feel cosy.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sofia

    I don't even know how I can give a review that would do justice to what I think of these books. All the stories fit together nicely, the character development is amazing, nothing a character did felt out of character and yet I was still able to be taken completely by surprise by some of the events that happen. Whilst I think that these would do very well just as one book together, the different parts separate the different stages in Tamaras' growth very well, and show a clear progression from th I don't even know how I can give a review that would do justice to what I think of these books. All the stories fit together nicely, the character development is amazing, nothing a character did felt out of character and yet I was still able to be taken completely by surprise by some of the events that happen. Whilst I think that these would do very well just as one book together, the different parts separate the different stages in Tamaras' growth very well, and show a clear progression from the girl she once was to the hero she has now become.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kaiti

    I wish I could rate it higher than 5 stars because omg everything about that trilogy, and especially this last book, was absolutely wonderful. It's really the first book I've read about lesbian relationships where the fact that they're two women falling in love is just accepted as normal and you never have to deal with the "omg they're gaaay!" it's really nice to be able to escape from the need for "realism" in books about queer relationships for a bit.

  19. 4 out of 5

    elisabeth

    honestly, i love this series so much? i can't even describe it. its like catherine m. wilson saw into my heart and understood what I needed before i even knew i needed it. Please, someone let Wilson write more books. I need more books by her. (longer review over @ galhalla http://galhallapodcast.com/2016/03/03...) honestly, i love this series so much? i can't even describe it. its like catherine m. wilson saw into my heart and understood what I needed before i even knew i needed it. Please, someone let Wilson write more books. I need more books by her. (longer review over @ galhalla http://galhallapodcast.com/2016/03/03...)

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mihura

    After reading all the three books, I have to said that this was a great light and fun reading. If you dislike Game of Thrones sense of dread but like the feeling of the world with a touch of fantasy focus on women, this trilogy is for you.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Roland Clarke

    It has been a few weeks since I made the final stages of the heroic journey of Tamras but so much of this world ‘when women were warriors’ lives on. I am tempted to slip back into her vibrant world again as the characters and settings feel so rich, and the writing still weaves its spell over me. This is the epic climax and the story grows in intensity as the events become more complex. Tamras faces new challenges that are a true test of everything that she has learned. The younger and less-experi It has been a few weeks since I made the final stages of the heroic journey of Tamras but so much of this world ‘when women were warriors’ lives on. I am tempted to slip back into her vibrant world again as the characters and settings feel so rich, and the writing still weaves its spell over me. This is the epic climax and the story grows in intensity as the events become more complex. Tamras faces new challenges that are a true test of everything that she has learned. The younger and less-experienced Tamras of Book 1 might well have failed, and even after progressing so much, she still stumbles. Yet, Tamras struggles on. The character has grown to the point where she can stand alongside some formidable characters, sharing her brand of wisdom and still learning as unexpected events unfold. Some key motifs and threads come together in well-constructed echoes and actions that made me feel this tapestry was being woven together neatly. Wolves and mysteries were my thoughts, but I will say no more about that. Yes, as with any epic saga, there are threads left to tease the reader, but no saga truly ends as life continues beyond ‘The End’. Without those, this reader would not be creating my own imaginings of where Tamras goes next. Do we want a ‘happily ever after’ ending? The central element is again ‘Love’ in all its forms, true and perverted, uplifting and shattering, emotional and physical. We all need to learn who to embrace and when. The key is to follow your heart and the truth will be revealed. All the evocative words and images are there again, all the rich and flawed characters, and some unexpected actions and decisions. All these make A Hero's Tale another recommended read and the perfect end to the trilogy. Finally, I have the signed paperbacks to place in my bookshelf alongside my prized hardback copies of The Lord of the Rings. When Women Were Warriors too will be regular re-reads over the years to come. Story – five stars Setting/World-building – five stars Diversity – five stars Characters – five stars Structure – five stars Readability – five stars Editing – five stars

  22. 4 out of 5

    T.J. Dallas

    Wow! I think this trilogy has been my favourite story, ever. It's hard to describe how amazing it is to someone who hasn't read it. It's not something you can describe; it's something you feel. Although, I swear this part absolutely broke me... (view spoiler)["Don't," came a voice from the shadows. It was a voice I knew. A few steps more and Elen stood by a bed draped all around with tapestry. She pulled aside the veil, and there, unfettered and unclothed, was Maara, sitting up against the headb Wow! I think this trilogy has been my favourite story, ever. It's hard to describe how amazing it is to someone who hasn't read it. It's not something you can describe; it's something you feel. Although, I swear this part absolutely broke me... (view spoiler)["Don't," came a voice from the shadows. It was a voice I knew. A few steps more and Elen stood by a bed draped all around with tapestry. She pulled aside the veil, and there, unfettered and unclothed, was Maara, sitting up against the headboard. The light fell on her face. She raised one hand to shield her eyes. Not from the light. From me. And in a gesture of modesty that denied what we had once been to each other, she took up the bedclothes, to cover herself. She could not have made it clearer if she had told me in so many words. She was no longer mine. Elen let the curtain fall. "Maara is free," she said. (hide spoiler)] ... I almost threw my Kindle across the room, and I was 99.9% sure I was finished reading. I shakily said to my wife, "I don't think I can read any more," and she said, "Has someone died?" And all I could answer was, "Worse." But I found the strength in my shattered heart to keep going, and thank the gods I did! I would have grieved for far too long, otherwise. This trilogy is something else entirely, and it will hold a special place in my heart.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Aimee

    A strong conclusion to a truly magical trilogy. My heart has been changed by these characters and I won’t forget them.

  24. 4 out of 5

    liz

    the rare trilogy where i liked the third one best! often fantasy series peter out midway thru and i only finish out of completionism. but i really liked how much Tamras grew, and how her voice matured without changing into a totally different character.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Charles Ferguson

    Please read my earlier two reviews for details of Books I and II of this trilogy. In the final book of the trilogy Wilson completes the hero-journey of Tamras. In book II, Tamras moved from her home into the lands beyond it's border. In book three, the stage widens further: she deals with the struggles of whole peoples. Caught up in intrigues that would once have been far above her, the heroine risks everything unless she can not only to learn to swim in treacherous waters, but to master them. The Please read my earlier two reviews for details of Books I and II of this trilogy. In the final book of the trilogy Wilson completes the hero-journey of Tamras. In book II, Tamras moved from her home into the lands beyond it's border. In book three, the stage widens further: she deals with the struggles of whole peoples. Caught up in intrigues that would once have been far above her, the heroine risks everything unless she can not only to learn to swim in treacherous waters, but to master them. The heroine's inner journey continues to match her outer one. She must confront the meaning not only of personal love, but the love that extends beyond oneself and those we hold dear. Catherine Wilson's skill at tackling the big issues of love, meaning, and humanity is so deft that it all seemed, to me at least, to flow naturally from her narrative in a way I found technically quite breathtaking. But then again, I like Le Guin ;) If you liked the first book of this trilogy, the middle and the conclusion will not disappoint. This is one of the finest pieces of fantasy I have read for many years.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda

    Perfect ending to Tamras' & Maara's journey. If you like historical fiction, romance & folklore, you must read this trilogy! I couldn't put them down even though I really didn't think I would like the first book initially. I have no idea why folks would read vampire love stories when there are books like this to read!! Perfect ending to Tamras' & Maara's journey. If you like historical fiction, romance & folklore, you must read this trilogy! I couldn't put them down even though I really didn't think I would like the first book initially. I have no idea why folks would read vampire love stories when there are books like this to read!!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    There were parts of this series that I really loved such as the little mini stories Tamras used to tell and I'm glad I read all three. However, I got sick of the romance in this book. I started to skip the romance/love scenes and felt myself wanting to read more of the adventure book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Starsandsun18

    Fav! ❤️

  29. 4 out of 5

    Clara Lim

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is going to necessarily long and is more for me than anyone else, feel free to read if you want to HAHA Holy fucking hell. I don't know what to say now that I have finished this series, I'm really upset. It's over. this beautifully imagined and worded world ends here at 'the end'. How imma gonna sleep now? How I stumbled on this series started with a journey of seeking for lesbian fantasy novel which sparked from a reflection of how even though much of what I knew of love I learnt from fantas This is going to necessarily long and is more for me than anyone else, feel free to read if you want to HAHA Holy fucking hell. I don't know what to say now that I have finished this series, I'm really upset. It's over. this beautifully imagined and worded world ends here at 'the end'. How imma gonna sleep now? How I stumbled on this series started with a journey of seeking for lesbian fantasy novel which sparked from a reflection of how even though much of what I knew of love I learnt from fantasy novels and cringy young adult shows, none of which had a homosexual couple (or none that caught my eye). As such, I googled that said phrase. I started with something a little more romance centric and with a writing style I would call much younger, indulgent of emotion, conventional drama and of course, fulfilling as well. That one had all my cool fantasy powers, cute gals and their interaction and all that narrative that love/magic-craze me would eat up like a hungry wolf and without much criticism. Having my cliches filled, I started on this which had a good review and a free first book. That first book. Hmmm, was a few months back? But I remember being so amazed by Catherine's style of writing even through the perspective of a young teenage girl. Her writing conveyed (what I think is called) spirituality that embodied the world, that I guess me now am very in touch with and somewhat venturing into. Being in loved with the world, of course I had to finish the whole bloody series. Tbh to avoid quoting my feelings wrongly about the first 2 series, imma gonna skip that. But this third book. Firstly, it made me cry in ways I didn't expect. Again, her words, create such an intimacy with the world and the characters so much so that their events, their process consumes me. And her choice of words in creating meaning, in providing an alternative meaning in what I have learnt of the world I live in. So fun, so deep, so engaging. don't know what else to say, love the world, thanks for the creation yeet bye

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    This trilogy is about women in all walks of life--as mothers and daughters and Sisters. Lovers and enemies and friends. It is told from the perspective of Tamras, a girl new to womanhood, small in stature, and bold of heart. The prose is whispy and reflective. The words often take on the character of an orated history and throughout the book, Tamras punctuates the action with relevant folktales, all of which begin with "When only women were warriors." Not a lot of action happens from start to fin This trilogy is about women in all walks of life--as mothers and daughters and Sisters. Lovers and enemies and friends. It is told from the perspective of Tamras, a girl new to womanhood, small in stature, and bold of heart. The prose is whispy and reflective. The words often take on the character of an orated history and throughout the book, Tamras punctuates the action with relevant folktales, all of which begin with "When only women were warriors." Not a lot of action happens from start to finish for a book about warriors. There's little mention of swords or bows or blood or battle. The handful of battles in the story are hinged on something beloved so that no lives lost are inconsequential and every triumph swells in the reader's heart. This is not to say that the pacing is sluggish. Fighting is the least part of being a warrior, and Wilson delves into the inner struggle we all face from day-to-day: the struggle of self-loathing, brokenness, prejudice, abandonment. She succeeds in navigating these hardships by highlighting the conflict with colors of victory. She gives her characters wants and desires and the reader is along for the chase. All of this crafted into the classic hero's journey and a humbling architecture of parallels and opposites. There's a lot of talk about what makes a "Strong female character" in stories. "When Women Were Warriors" offers no "strong female characters." Instead, this book gifts readers the most intimate and earnest exploration of womanhood to be found in written words. The "When Women Were Warriors" trilogy has earned a permanent place among my all-time favorite books. I'll reread it often and discover something new to be cherished with each pass. I only grieve that I cannot read it for the first time again.

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