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WesternSFA
Sword-Dancer
By Jennifer Roberson
DAW, 286pp
Release Date: 1986

Hoolies!!! What a trip! Tiger, a sword dancer (really a mercenary swordsman for hire) meets a beautiful woman, Del , who hires him as guide. He’s stunned to discover she’s also a sword dancer and his equal. Further, she’s on a mission of rescue and vengeance. Tiger and Del start out not liking each other but, after many sword fights, narrow escapes and harrowing adventures come to understand and respect each other and then to fall in love. Each has a secret past and their personal story is only revealed in bits and pieces with room for more development in the later stories.

The story is told by Tiger. It’s a startling choice but a good one. We see Del and the situation through his eyes as he grows in understanding of who Del is and what her mission is about. In one sense, there are no surprises here and one could call it all a cliché, but who cares! Sword-Dancer is a fun read and the first book in a series.

Hoolies, incidentally, is a swear word in Tiger’s dialect and also a general all-purpose exclamation.

When I learned that Jennifer Roberson would be Local Guest of Honor at this year’s Coppercon, I decided to read one of her books and am glad I did. ~~ Marian Powell

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