By the Sword, by Mercedes Lackey

This is Day 2 in Old Favorites Week, mind and my job is still taking over my life. (No, ask I do not work for the IRS.) Our second entry sort of follows upon the first, unhealthy in that it’s also about a stubborn, impossibly-colored female swordswoman, but this book is not necessarily for YAs. Mercedes Lackey has written approximately two zillion books set on her world called Velgarth, generally in a country called Valdemar. This one falls in between the Arrows and Winds series.

Kerowyn is sixteen or seventeen when her sister-in-law is kidnapped from a wedding banquet. Everyone else in the place is frozen by the violence of the attack, or possibly dead — Kerowyn’s brother is somewhat useless, anyway — so guess who goes to rescue her. Kero stops by her grandmother (a sorceress)’s house, and her grandmother gifts her with a magic sword that helps women in need. This sword will take over Kero’s body and let her fight like she’d been trained when, as a matter of fact, she was just stubborn. As it goes, Kero rescues the sister-in-law, and someone writes a song about it, called “Kerowyn’s Ride.” (The song actually exists, by the way.) Kero gradually realizes that she isn’t happy going back to being her brother’s chatelaine, and decides to go live with her grandmother and her grandmother’s sworn sibling, who happens to be an expert swordswoman. Thus begins the second part of the book, wherein Kero gets trained. After that she joins a mercenary company and eventually gets caught up in a war. Continue reading By the Sword, by Mercedes Lackey