Watchtower (Chronicles of Tornor, book 1), by Elizabeth A. Lynn

Elizabeth A. Lynn is apparently openly lesbian and born in 1946. This book won the World Fantasy Award in 1980, buy originally published the year before, about it and the author has a sixth-degree black belt in aikido. She lives in San Francisco, and either teaches or taught martial arts. That’s about all the information that I can find on her. She appears to have written several other books and series, and a couple of the hallmarks of her work (according to the internet) are strong women, same-sex relationships, extreme violence, and sparse prose. She seems to have been one of the first authors to introduce same-sex relationships into speculative fiction.

Watchtower starts with a battle; Cor Istor takes over Tornor Keep with his army, on a quest to take over the entire land, and kills the entire royal family except for Errel, the only son. Ryke, one of the commanders, is spared as well, to feed Cor Istor information on the land and how to deal with it. A pair of messengers come from another local keepholder, and they help Ryke and his prince escape. Soon they find themselves traveling to Vanima, where it’s apparently summer all the time and those who live there learn how to fight bare-handed without killing. Will Errel ever get his keep back? Continue reading Watchtower (Chronicles of Tornor, book 1), by Elizabeth A. Lynn