Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Warrior's Path (When Women Were Warriors, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Warrior's Path (When Women Were Warriors, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book

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

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  4,138 Ratings  ·  380 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
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Warrior's Path, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Warrior's Path

The Warrior's Path by Catherine M. WilsonA Journey of the Heart by Catherine M. WilsonA Hero's Tale by Catherine M. WilsonThe Dark Wife by Sarah DiemerSword of the Guardian by Merry Shannon
Lesbian Fantasy
1st out of 204 books — 154 voters
And Playing the Role of Herself by K.E. LaneWaiting in the Wings by Melissa BraydenThe Gravity Between Us by Kristen ZimmerJericho by Ann McManHow Sweet It Is by Melissa Brayden
Best F/F Romance Books
39th out of 685 books — 551 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Oct 25, 2013 K rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 07, 2013 Annet Alejandro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 21, 2014 C. rated it liked it
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
There's nothing I value more in what I read or watch than when character development is clearly the priority in the story rather than plot development. For starters, this book doesn't even have an overarching storyline; a part of me kept waiting for a major plot to begin at some point and last until the end of the book, but it didn't, and I was so glad.

The focus is completely on the women, of all ages and all their different backgrounds, and the importance of the small storylines lies entirely i
Nov 13, 2012 Erin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
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
Nov 01, 2012 Emma rated it really liked it
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
Jun 02, 2016 Starsandsun rated it really liked it
Can't stop reading.
Jan 13, 2016 Ron rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ebook
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 where 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 u
Sep 07, 2011 Darlene rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Aug 26, 2012 Liz Bradbury rated it it was amazing
This is one of the finest Lesbian Genre books ever.
elisa ady
May 12, 2016 elisa ady rated it it was amazing

based on the reviews i've read for this book, it can be a bit unnerving bc the pacing is not typical or traditional and conflict within the novel is mostly internal (rather than external, ie violence/action/etc), but as the artist collective Still Eating Oranges so wisely put it in their essay on narrative structure:

"The necessity of conflict is preached as a kind of dogma by contemporary writers’ workshops and Internet 'guides' to writing. A plot without conflict is con
Íris Santos
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
Charles Ferguson
Dec 01, 2010 Charles Ferguson rated it it was amazing
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
M. Hollis
"In ancient days, when only women were warriors, lived a woman who had two daughters..."

If you are looking for a good fantasy/adventure book full of women and nice f/f relationships, look no further. This book is definitely The Warrior's Path.

It's like the writer looked into my dreams and wrote a book about almost everything I wanted and couldn't find in fantasy stories. I feel out of words to explain how good it was to read this. Sometimes I was in awe of the characterization of all of these wo
Sep 25, 2014 Stuart rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 07, 2016 lauraღ rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 11, 2013 Rebecca rated it really liked it
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
I am still not entirely certain as to what exactly the plot was. And the image I have of the setting, both geographical and historical, is fuzzy and incomplete.
That said, I can't wait to pick up the sequel. I gave this a go because it was described as "essentially a Bildungsroman for queer women", and I was not disappointed. Though the plot spans across months, the book itself moves at a comfortable pace. The narrator is wonderfully relatable, the entire story revolves about women and their frie
Aubrey Honeycutt
Jun 15, 2013 Aubrey Honeycutt rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 01, 2016 Amy rated it it was amazing
Honestly I feel like I should write a long review of this, but I still can't find the words. It's beautiful and wonderful and lovely, and there's so many women loving women and being amazing and gosh, just read it. Okay, thanks, have some quotes:

"I felt like a bird, caged all its life, set free by an open window and cowering upon the windowsill."

"When I slept, my warrior walked in my dreams, and in my dreams, the thong that bound us was not from wrist to wrist, but from heart to heat."

“Every thi
Elaine Burnes
Oct 29, 2012 Elaine Burnes rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lesbian, romance
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
Oct 10, 2013 Ashley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: other, fantasy
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.
Lex Kent
I would consider putting this in the top 10 of my favorite f/f books I've read. Don't hesitate to read this one!
Dec 09, 2014 Bandit rated it really liked it
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
Thom Swennes
Mar 05, 2016 Thom Swennes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: free-e-book
The Warrior’s Path
Tamras, daughter of Tamnet is destined to do what all women in her land at that time do. Women are warriors and defend their land and peoples as tenaciously as men in other places and times do. Young girls are sent away to train and learn how to live the life of a warrior, much like a page did in the middle ages. Here they learn how to fight with various weapons and employ an assortment of war tactics.

Upon Tamras’s arrival at the house of Merin, she was assigned to assist Maar
Aug 05, 2015 Nina rated it it was amazing
This ain't great literature, but it sure is a fun read, and I heartily recommend it.

Never a fan of Xena, I can't comment on whether this 3 part novel works as fan fiction or not. The historical context of the novel is a bit fuzzy. At some points it appears to be set in bronze age England, at others in some unreal alternate universe. Usually a stickler for world-building lapses, I totally forgave any small anachronisms or lapses in this one.

I also forgave the messy structure of the novel. Various
Reading other reviews for this book, I find myself feeling like I should have rated it higher - but at the end of the day, while I enjoyed it and found it immersive, it never really grabbed me emotionally.

The good and compelling: Wilson's sense of setting and the way she draws social relationships is lovely. She doesn't shy away from anything - either the development of positive relationships or the existence of exploitation. To her credit, she portrays both positive and negative lesbian relatio
Nov 09, 2014 Gillian rated it it was amazing
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
Cheryl M-M
Jan 03, 2013 Cheryl M-M rated it really liked it
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Lesbian Book Club: Janis Ian to narrate When Women Were Warriors 2 20 Jul 27, 2013 08:48AM  
Mostly Lesfic: When Women Were Warriors 12 57 Apr 04, 2012 05:53PM  
  • The Exile And the Sorcerer (Lyremouth Chronicles, #1)
  • Branded Ann
  • The Pyramid Waltz
  • Ambereye (Garoul, #2)
  • Nightshade (Arravan, #1)
  • The Witch Sea
  • Second Nature
  • Lady Knight
  • Dying to Live (Elite Operatives, #4)
  • The Salbine Sisters
  • The Clinic (Tristaine, #1)

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)

Share This Book

“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.” 8 likes
“When someone insults me, it makes me angry.” “If that’s true, then your feelings will always be at the mercy of others.” 4 likes
More quotes…