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The Warrior's Path

(When Women Were Warriors #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  6,759 ratings  ·  623 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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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
326 books — 305 voters
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  6,759 ratings  ·  623 reviews

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Oct 15, 2013 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 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
Lex Kent
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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! ...more
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
I've never heard of Catherine M. Wilson nor When Women Were Warriors so here's the book chain to me reading this book.

Lex Kent - Kate Christie - Tere - Kate Christie - Jenna - Kate Christie - Catherine M. Wilson - Lex Kent - F - Carrie - Amazon - Farah - You perhaps?

Thank you so much, Somia for sharing the ultimate good news that this book is currently free on Amazon.

I. Love. This. So. Very. Much.

A 16 year old lead, Tamras daughter of Tamnet. Do not let her size and age fool you - she is one
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Warriors Path” is Book One of the “When Women Were Warriors” trilogy. Wow, just wow. 5* - there, I’ve said it. I’ve always put my rating at the end of a review for some reason, but I don’t want you guessing. 5*. No question.

This book flows like a poem. Listening to the characters as they think, and as they interact, is simply magical. Maara, Tamras, Sparrow, The Lady, Gnith, Vintel, Namet….and so many others. I name these few only to have you consider that the book is about people. People w
Aug 30, 2012 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
This book tried to be clever, but failed leaving it with a odd vibe; like it's attempting to be poetry, but it's not clever enough and only comes off as a obtuse simpleton, explaining a lot with obscure "this and that." The story itself is decent, although vague; it has no phases, no climax, no tension to speak of. It starts on a monotone pace and keeps going at it through the entire book. It is VERY obviously made with a series in mind, not caring much for the first book only to make sure it's ...more
This book was the September's Sapphic Book Club read hosted by sapphicbookclub.

My first impression was that the writing is definitely very good, but unusual. The book does a few things when it comes to writing that I wouldn't usually like that much, like first person perspective. And the way the story is told doesn't feel like I'm actually 'in' the story, but more like I'm sitting at a camp fire and someone tells me the story of their life. Which is not bad in particular, just very different fro
Aug 21, 2014 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
Oct 26, 2012 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
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
There's something captivating in this book - the language, the tales the girl tells, the traditions of a tribe. It all feels... important, it has substance. The imagery my brain came up with was something I've not felt for a long time while reading a book. And even though it's lacking in other areas like describing the world which is not explained all that much and leaves the readers to fill in the blanks themselves I found it all engaging nonetheless. 4 stars for a solid coming of age story. ...more
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: motivational
One of the most beautiful books I have ever read - once picked up it was hard to put down. Real chicken soup for the soul. The author really draws you into the story and it's not hard to imagine yourself being a resident in Merins house. A slow start, but if you persist, you will be richly rewarded. ...more
Sep 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, fantasy
(Updated after second reading)
“There’s no putting spilled blood back.”

More like 3.5 stars. 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.

“Tell me later,” she said. “Sit down. Let’s just be quiet for a while.” “I need to tell you — ” “Hush,” she said. “You won’t find the truth in so much
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-ebooks
This book is free on Amazon and it's well-written for an indie novel, even well-edited if overlong. I like indie books and I adjust my expectations accordingly, this way I can truly enjoy the stories that manage to surprise me. It’s just partly the case here because I decided not to continue with the series, but I appreciated the editorial effort and the author’s style.

It is a simple and linear coming-of-age tale with a few interesting moments and a nice setting. It’s slow-moving and that’s ok b
Sep 05, 2011 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
Aug 31, 2014 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
Susan Hamilton
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First, I need to address the fact that this story is classified as LGBT literature. Don’t let that turn you away because that really is a tiny part of this novel and not the focus of the story. It is a logical progression of this primarily female society, however.

This is really a Bildungsroman following the maturation of Tanis, the narrator. The character development is top notch here. Tanis and Maara are fully developed characters that the reader cares about by the end of the book. This is the
Nov 09, 2017 rated it liked it
maybe it was just the fact that i read this at an incredibly staggered pace but i couldn't really get into this. there's essentially no plot, which usually i don't care about but LITERALLY like 2 things happen in the whole entire book (and even those are unrelated). it does have pretty writing and gay leads, though! ...more
Liz Bradbury
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the finest Lesbian Genre books ever.
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was the September read for Sapphic Book Club. I really, really enjoyed it. The characters were likable, and the world building was very interesting to me. It's sort of a fantasy-adjacent setting, but it's built so naturally that at no point is there just a boring info dump about the setting and culture. Aside from the characters' daily lives painting a good picture of the setting, it's supplemented by a few in-universe fairy tales that Tamras tells -- all beginning with the book title "when ...more
Nov 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I can’t write a review that is worthy of this book. It is so beautiful. This is definitely in my top 5 that I’ve ever read 😭
Charles Ferguson
Dec 01, 2010 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 thos
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
Jul 29, 2013 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
Caroline Lui
Nov 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
I went into this book expecting to love it. I usually feel like the books I read are too plot-driven, and that they focus too much on"end of the world" scenarios and not enough on the everyday struggles and development of the characters involved. I was excited at the prospect of reading a slow, methodical, and intricate work about the mundanely interesting lives of ordinary people in a fascinating world, and I was doubly excited at the idea of a matriarchal society that openly accepts same-sex r ...more
May 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 am so very much looking forward to Book II.
Sep 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book was read for Sapphic Book Club, hosted by sapphicliterature.

I started this book thinking that it’d be about warriors and there’d be gay stuff. Sure, it really had those things, but it was so different from what I expected. And it was really great?

The writing style was beautiful. I could imagine myself listening to this story to be told out loud, and it was wonderful. There were things that could’ve been left out if it wasn’t so fitting for the style of writing. Even though this was a
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
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
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