________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 20 . . . . May 30, 2008

cover Sword Masters.

Selina Rosen.       
Calgary, AB: Dragon Moon/Hades Publications, 2008.
313 pp., pbk., $19.95.
ISBN 978-1-896944-65-4.

Grades 12 and up / Ages 17 and up.

Review by Ronald Hore.

** /4


“Tarius grabbed him by the throat and lifted him off the ground. When Tragon looked down he was looking into the face of the Katabull. “And before they kill me, if they can–which I doubt–I will kill you and take her away to the Kartik with me. That’s a promise,” Tarius hissed. “I love her, and no one–least of all you–is going to stop me from having her.”

“I hate you!” Tragon said with real venom, trying to squirm free of Tarius’s grasp. “I feel like you have stolen everything which should have been mine, and you don’t even belong here! Not at the academy, not even in our country! I wish I had told as soon as I found out. Then none of this would have happened–not to me and not to Jena.”

“Nothing has happened to you except that you weren’t ejected from the academy. As for Jena... she is not your property or your worry.” Tarius put him down, fixing his collar with an expression on her face she knew put fear into the hearts of men. “Try to betray me, Tragon, and I will make damn sure you pay.”


A fantasy novel set in a mediaeval world, this tale revolves around the protagonist, Tarius, the daughter of a famous warrior. She has been trained by her father in the use of the sword and travels to the kingdom of Jethrik to join the academy there to become a sword master and fight against an ancient enemy, the Amalites. The Amalites, bent on converting the whole world to their religious beliefs, killed both her parents. The Jethrik have rules that women can’t wield steel, and so Tarius, from the distant land of Kartik, disguises herself as a man. She proves to be the best of those training at the academy, but there is a problem. One of the other students has discovered her secret. To make matters worse, Tarius has fallen in love with Jena, the willful daughter of Master Darian. Jena returns the feelings but does not know that Tarius is a woman. Tarius proves herself, leading the armies in battle against the Amalites and saves the life of Persius the king of Jethrik twice but then falls prey to his fury when he learns of her deceptions and must flee.

     The story is part romance, part revenge, and considerable individual turmoil and anger as personal preferences clash with the need to wage unrestricted warfare against religious fanatics. To add to the confusion, Tarius has another secret – she can change form into the Katabull, a deadly beast feared by the Amalites. While this ability is considered a gift by her own people, it is considered a curse by the Jethrik.


Ronald Hore, involved with writer’s groups and workshops for several years, retired from the business world in Winnipeg, MB.

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