Customer Reviews for

Sword-Dancer

Average Rating 4.5
( 26 )
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(16)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Del is awesome

I am so happy I read this book. Del is my favorite character, all about women's rights in a violent way. Don't worry if you think Tiger is annoying now, he gets much better as you read the series.

posted by Anonymous on March 24, 2005

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Decent for VERY light reading, if you can overlook the author's shortcomings.

I knew going into this that the Sword-Dancer books were light sword-and-sorcery reading. I was prepared for minimal world-building, cursory character building, and purple prose. But what totally threw me at the start of this book was that Roberson seems to know absolute...
I knew going into this that the Sword-Dancer books were light sword-and-sorcery reading. I was prepared for minimal world-building, cursory character building, and purple prose. But what totally threw me at the start of this book was that Roberson seems to know absolutely nothing about how to survive in the desert. The entire novel is a desert trek, and yet the two main characters set off with a little dried meat in their bags and a couple of waterskins on a moment's notice. Apparently this is a desert where waterholes and oases are only a day or two apart, but Tiger spends a lot of time talking about how sometimes wells are fouled, and sandstorms come up in a moment, and there are all these dangerous animals that can lay you low, and no time at all preparing for any of those dangers. If a seasoned trekker is going off into a desert that dangerous, he rides a camel (by the way, where were the camels? it was definitely supposed to be the Arabian desert) if he's not in a major rush and he brings along at least one extra in case his animal goes lame and to carry extra supplies. He should have a small tent he can pitch around himself to provide some protection from a sandstorm. He should have a heck of a lot more water and food. It would have been one thing if the idiotic Northerner had tried to go into the desert with no preparation, but for the supposed world-wise Southerner to do it completely ruined my faith in the author's ability to handle her own world.

Del's character was also problematic for me at the very opening. She has supposedly spent five years training herself for this mission, but she is unwilling to wait a day (or an hour) to properly prepare herself for a dangerous journey through the desert? Those are incompatible world views. She should be patient after spending so much time breaking down cultural barriers in the north, and she exhibits no patience at all in the novel. With the decisions she made (or wanted to make) she should have died almost immediately having come nowhere near achieving her object for simple lack of foresight.

Because Roberson lost me so early on, I spent a great deal of time looking for other inconsistencies. For instance, the desert seems Arabian, and some of the tribes seem Bedouin or Arabic, but heaven is called Valhail (and sounds quite a bit like Valhalla when it is mentioned) and all the terms related to sword fighting seem drawn from Japanese culture. I don't mind authors picking and choosing things they like from world cultures, but if they aren't cultures that naturally mingle in our world, the terms should be disguised quite a bit more so that an average reader doesn't detect the source material. That sort of thing I might have overlooked if Roberson had my trust, but since she handled her desert so poorly I wasn't willing to extend her any credit on those accounts.

I did make it through the novel; it read quickly, and it was pretty much as I expected. But every time things were moving along decently well and Roberson was rebuilding my suspension of disbelief she would do something else that revealed her lack of control over her novel: the characters would act inconsistently, or some aspect of the world would get lost that was set up earlier, or a passage of time would be handled badly. By the time the climax was reached, I still didn't like either of the main characters and I didn't care what happened to them next. There are much better books for a light afternoon of reading.

posted by PhoenixFalls on August 18, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2005

    Del is awesome

    I am so happy I read this book. Del is my favorite character, all about women's rights in a violent way. Don't worry if you think Tiger is annoying now, he gets much better as you read the series.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2004

    great

    Del is awesome. Tiger is cool to, but some things about him are really annoying.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2014

    The story starts out in a desert land with a man named Tiger sit

    The story starts out in a desert land with a man named Tiger sitting in a bar. A woman walks into the bar in search of him. Long story short, he goes with her and the story begins.
    The book has strong sexism themes, which I found curious since the author is a female, which makes me sexist, I guess. The story is told from the perspective of Tiger, whom only sees an attractive woman and nothing else. Del is a warrior and underestimated by everyone. She’s a very cold and serious woman with a realistic view of the world. She’s on a quest to save her brother whom was kidnapped and she will do anything she has to do to accomplish it.
    The story is very fast paced and a lot happens. I enjoyed the pacing and was never bored. It was an enjoyable ride, but ultimately forgettable. While it was enjoyable the constant themes of sexism started to get annoying. Tiger would repeat the same things over and over despite evidence to the contrary, and while he did gradually change, I felt like I was beaten over the head with it. The fighting scenes were rare and not enjoyable when they did occur. If you plan on reading this for action, I would pass. If you’re looking for a book to pass the time with a bit of romance and a quest, it’s a pretty good choice.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2014

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