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The Warrior's Path (When Women Were Warriors #1)

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  2,685 ratings  ·  276 reviews
When she was a child, the author of When Women Were Warriors happily identified with all the male heroes she read about in stories that began, "Once upon a time, a young man went out to seek his fortune." But she would have been delighted to discover even one story like that with a female protagonist. Since she never did find the story she was looking for all those years a ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Shield Maiden Press
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Best Lesbian Fiction
28th out of 1,091 books — 1,319 voters
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Lesbian Fantasy
1st out of 118 books — 80 voters

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I read this book mostly in challenge of negative reviews I saw on Amazon. Clearly, those people are not from cultures with oral traditions, because Wilson's prose is beautiful and captures those traditions wonderfully. If you have problems with women exploring their sexuality together, you are not mature enough for this trilogy. That's not the point of the story. The point is that women can be all sorts of warriors: some with swords, some with children, and some with both. Weapons are both tangi ...more
Annet Alejandro
I was expecting epic battles and stories of fierce female warrior legends, but this has none of that. I guess I have just grown used to that formula from other conventional sci fi books. This story is refreshingly calmer with only semi-dramatic events. It is a nice break from the lone prophecized hero destined to save the world from ultimate evil. This is more of how life once might have been in a matriarchial society and the timeless lessons we have forgotten in today's mans world. I am captiva ...more
C. Owen
I have mixed feelings about this book (which was free at Amazon when I got it). I’m very fond of the subject matter and wanted to like it. Unfortunately, it just fell flat for me. I’m giving it 3 stars, although I didn’t really like it, because it’s not bad and I think it was a good thing to attempt.

Before I embark on my review proper, I want to comment on the negative reviews I’ve read, here and at Amazon. They deserve comment because most are not legitimate. A regrettably high number are base
Nov 01, 2012 Emma rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
I reading reviews I have seen a lot made of the fact that this is a book about lesbians, but this is not about sex at all. It is about finding comfort, friendship and strength with other human beings in a time of great hardship. The set up of this book is different and strong and is not salacious or tawdry

Set in a time before Christ when tribes are at odds, women take centre stage. When warriors are needed to protect settlements and men are scarce, women take on protective roles; apprentice with
I'm not entirely sure how this book landed up in my shopping cart and ultimately on my stack of to-be-read books, but I am so incredibly glad that it did. Catherine M. Wilson is a true storyteller and I believe this story, and the series, will be considered a classic. The story is told through the eyes of Tamras, a young woman entering the house of the Lady of the land in order to follow in her mother's footsteps and become a warrior. She is first presented with the task of being a companion to ...more
Sep 07, 2011 Darlene rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Yvensong, Cheryl of CC NV, Kimberly
Recommended to Darlene by: I can't remember
In ancient days, when womyn* were warriors...

Why would womyn be warriors? Who but the life bringers would care? Who but womyn would be cautious about taking the life of a family member of another home.

Yes, there are men in the book. They have redeeming ways. But this story is about womyn. In particularly a young teen and her strange warrior.

Many subplot lines kept this book moving. There are questions to ponder, such as the difference between a secure upbringing and an orphaned life.

The most int
Liz Bradbury
This is one of the finest Lesbian Genre books ever.
Charles Ferguson
This book is about a Bronze-Age heroine's search for her place in her world and for an understanding of everything she is and can be. Central to her story is her love for someone else, who happens to be a woman. You must make of that what you will.

Today I've read the first of this trilogy & have just bought the second. Catherine Wilson, thank you. It reminds me of Le Guin, of Cecelia Holland, and something of Rosemary Sutcliff.

It made me feel as I did when I was a child reading authors like
Wilson, Catherine M. When Women Were Warriors. Shield Maiden Press, 2008. 0981563619. $14.95. The first in a three volume series, this is the story of sixteen-year-old Tamras, who has come to serve the Lady at Merin house, as have all the daughters of her families for more generations than can be remembered. Tamras hopes to become a warrior like her aunts, but first must be accepted by a warrior as her apprentice. Meanwhile, the Lady has assigned her to be the companion of a warrior who is a str ...more
Isto não costuma ser o tipo de livro que leio, mas senti a necessidade de ler algo mais leve depois de ter lido alguns livros considerados densos e mentalmente um pouco exaustivos.

Temos a história ligada à lenda da época em que as mulheres eram guerreiras, ainda antes dos homens. A autora, vendo que isso ainda não existia na história da literatura (ou talvez por não ter procurado o suficiente), escreveu este livro sobre as suas própria ideias de uma altura em que os homens faziam sabe-se lá o qu
More like 3.5 stars. Oh, it's a well-conceived and well-realized epic-style fantasy about a time and place were all (well, most of the warriors) were women. This story follows a young woman on her quest to become a warrior. On the way, she finds value, belonging and love. Not a bad start.

An iron age culture were all the warriors were women fits modern sensitivities but not historical trends--the Amazons not withstanding. Not because men are better warriors--though they do tend to have greater up
Elaine Burnes
I read this almost three years ago, but reread most of it when I recently bought II and III. Words pretty much fail me. I loved this book (as in all three). I don't want to just repeat what everyone else says. So I'll leave it that this story does for me what I want in a story--sucks me in and won't let me go. I don't even consider myself a particular fan of historical fiction, but I am a fan of a good story. This is one. Do get all the books before you start. Do not wait a couple of years betwe ...more
I enjoy a great read but I find it hard to find a book that really keeps me wanting to read more. This book did! It has to be one of the best (modern) books in this vein.
Characters are well done - deep and real without being overbearing. The plot keeps moving at a good pace and the scenery described is nothing short of incredible.
This book should be on every woman's reading bucket list -- it calls us back to an ancient heritage when we were strong and proud and never a doormat for males.
I don't generally care for any sort of fantasy, but I found this book strangely compelling. Wilson crafted her matriarchal society of female warriors (set in some alternate past Neolithic era) with great care and affection, resulting in vivid descriptions and sympathetic strong characters. The main caveat here is that this is part one of a trilogy, with the first being free and the rest audaciously and frankly prohibitively priced. So this really is quite a tease. Quick, entertaining, imaginativ ...more
As I finished this book I began to wonder if the classic pattern of character building followed by a more action orientated sequel. It is not to say there was no action, just some surprisingly laid back sections where you thought there might be a skirmish at least. As for the sex in this novel that occurred between the characters I thought came across as the "waves lapping on a seashore" variety. Those who want to be shocked or excited should look elsewhere. Hopefully people who come to read thi ...more
I got this as an e-book for my Kindle Fire with one of those free downloads, and I'm not going to lie, I got it because I liked the title and the cover. I like the time back then and how people lived, and being a woman myself, the title intrigued me. I have to say that I really did love the simplicity of this book. There weren't any huge raging battles, there wasn't a long lists of characters and it wasn't intense all the time. It was just a good story about growing up, finding your place in lif ...more
Aubrey Honeycutt
I fell in love with this book the moment I read the title. The premise of a woman warrior excited me, and the reasoning behind why only women were warriors thrilled me to the core. I highly recommend this book to anyone with even a hint of feminist interests. It is a beautiful love story, adventure and an interesting look at a world that still has much to be discovered.

If you are looking for your typical sword and board fantasy, this ain't it. However, if you are like me and want something a lit
I fell I love with this book. I found myself highlighting more phrases of text in this novel than I have ever before. There are so many, so many (!) lessons of life and of wisdom that Maara shares with Tamras, done in such a beautiful, almost poetic way, that brought such peace and understanding in my own heart. I wasn't extremely keen on the girl on girl love, but the author wrote it in very well and though I didn't enjoy it, the scenes did not take away from the overall story. I am so very muc ...more
Maybe it's because I read this book after I had to stop reading another because the writing was so bad that made me like this so much, but I don't think so...Ok, maybe a little, but only because it emphasized how...Feminine this book is. Don't get me wrong, it's not girly or shallow or any other million negative connotations that come with the XX chromosomes. It's not even all about emotions (although they are a big part). It's hard to pin it down, but it's thoughtful, without braggadocio and ov ...more
Anne S
I enjoyed this book and just found out it is book one of a trilogy.

The story is about Tamras, a young girl who is brought to Merin's house to begin her apprenticeship to a warrior. She is thought to be too small to become a warrior so Merin assigns her to be a companion, little more than a personal assistant, to an unknown warrior who came from outside of their realm.

The books tells the story about Tamras, her relationship with Maara (her warrior) and with Sparrow (another companion) in the hous
Gillian Groszkiewicz
This book was an enjoyable, easy read.

Simply-put, this is a Mary-Sue fantasy novel set in a matriarchal, often sapphic society. Men are not demonized or absent from this book. However, there are maybe three or four named male characters, and they are not the focus of any major plot points. The story is told from the perspective of an adolescent girl who comes from a line of warriors and aspires to the same status. She enters the home of her mother's friend and what follows is mostly character de
I don't even know how to express how much I loved this book. It had so many things that were important to me. It's low on plot, true enough, and I might have been too generous with my rating, but I can't remember the last time I read a book where I was so completely satisfied with everything and there was pretty much nothing that I disliked.

The book thrives on relationships between women, and I loved that above all else. Friendships, romantic relationships, mother/daughter relationship, mentor/a
An awesome historical fiction story. I bought the 99 cent DRM-free eBook from, loved it, and then happily bought the next two in the trilogy at full price (also from Smashwords). I enjoyed the characters, the plot line was full and kept me interested throughout.

I also appreciate this author allowing her eBooks to be sold DRM-free, as even though I own an eReader (NOT a Kindle) I refuse to install DRM software on my computer, and I refuse to buy anything tainted by DRM. Had her wo
H. Gibson
I am waiting for feedback from Chronicles of Han Storm Book Club Members. I really enjoyed the story, it gave me a break from myself.

Please support Catherine M. Wilson with her project - only 14 days left and counting!

Catherine wrote "Book I of When Women Were Warriors will soon be an audiobook narrated by Janis Ian! Janis, aside from being a folk icon, has been a singer, songwriter, and storyteller for decades, and I can't wait to hear what she's going to do with my simple words.

We're raising m
Simply Beautiful. When Women Were Warriors is quite simply a beautiful book. The words flow like music, the story is slow and unfolds before your eyes like a delicate flower but the pacing doesn't suffer from the lack of action. Far from it, the story is actually the better for it. So many books rely on action to drive the story and that's not necessarily a bad thing but with this book the elegant words and the characters themselves drive the story. I've rarely read a book by independent or publ ...more
Susan Lower
This book was recommended to me from a friend. It was a free download. I had several issues with this book. First,however, I will say it was beautifully written. The prose as nice. However, had I known this book contained scenes involving a female/female relationship I wouldn't have downloaded it as it goes against my beliefs. Secondly, this book had no plot or three act structure. Now, having read some of the other comments on Amazon, I can understand why, this probably was act 1 of the three a ...more
Cheryl M-M
I don't think I have ever read a book that manages to create a storyline in which males are nearly completely non-existent.
They are there, but only in the background and only mentioned once or twice. All the main characters are strong women. they are portrayed as the warriors, lovers. friends, daughters, mothers, children and leaders.
It wasn't at all what I expected based on the title. I was prepared for some sort of text book like lesson on strong women in history. Instead the first few pages q
Outstanding read about the power within each and everyone of us to make decisions and to stand alone in the face adversity.

This is the story of a young girl-who is the first born daughter to a feamale warrior. The tradition is for the oldest daughter to go live with the Lady to become a warrior and learn swordsmanship and gain a shield. Young Tamaras is small in stature and from the get go shows ability in the healing arts yet she wants to be a warrior. her path is not as clearcut as her co com
Lester Picker
Not my typical choice for a book, I received a "free" invitation and after researching other reviews decided to take a chance. Man, I'm glad I did!

This is a wonderfully imaginative, well structured, richly detailed novel set in ancient times. I thought it might be a hack warrior tale, but with the twist of women doing the fighting. Instead I found it to be relationship-centered, with engrossing descriptions of the complex world that Wilson crafts.

As a historical fiction author myself, my hat is
Didn't really enjoy the book.

The story was, as you can imagine by the title, female centric. And although I can imagine this scenario/life, it was all rather boring. I didn't bond with any characters, didn't like/hate any characters. It was a lot about relationships, but nothing about the relationships was very compelling. Even the story of the women as warriors wasn't very compelling. And although the writing didn't piss me off, it was also very blah.

So, although this is a series, I don't see m
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Mostly Lesfic: Janis Ian to narrate When Women Were Warriors 9 38 Oct 05, 2013 06:08AM  
Lesbian Book Club: Janis Ian to narrate When Women Were Warriors 2 19 Jul 27, 2013 08:48AM  
Mostly Lesfic: When Women Were Warriors 12 53 Apr 04, 2012 05:53PM  
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Other Books in the Series

When Women Were Warriors (3 books)
  • A Journey of the Heart (When Women Were Warriors, #2)
  • A Hero's Tale (When Women Were Warriors,  #3)
A Journey of the Heart (When Women Were Warriors, #2) A Hero's Tale (When Women Were Warriors,  #3)

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“I didn’t know what being young had to do with it. It seemed to me that older people could do foolish things just as easily as young ones. I had certainly seen older people do some very foolish things.” 4 likes
“When someone insults me, it makes me angry.” “If that’s true, then your feelings will always be at the mercy of others.” 2 likes
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