Top positive review
Inventive, thoughtful fantasy
Reviewed in the United States on September 7, 2017
More fantasy than sword-and-sorcery, this series is a showcase of the author's multiple abilities: writing prose and poetry and composing music as well! The setting owes much to Yorkshire, England. It's a woman's world, with women finding refuge in settlements that are part religious, part military. But men aren't really enemies-- and not all men are the villains. The heroine is abandoned by her father because her mother died giving birth. She is believed to be the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy, and she's not happy about that. The series is her life: her coming of age, her discovery of her destiny and, in the end, her departure (it can't be called "death," because ... well, I won't give anything away). Yolen creates characters who are three-dimensional and situations, both political and social, that are credible. The plot moves at a somewhat slow pace at times, but all in all, I was impressed by the high standard of writing. Oh, and I also liked most of the main characters!