Sword Dancer

I was poking through my paperbacks a week or two back, and ran across one I'd had for a long time, but had never gotten around to reading: Sword Dancer, by Jennifer Roberson.

Since it had been sitting on my shelves for years (possibly as many as ten), and since I bought it at a used shop, I'm not sure what it was about it that caught my attention.

It turned out to be an interesting read; the main character was pretty interesting. I wouldn't have guessed, based on the beginning, that he was as successful as he later was revealed to be. But his point of view was pretty entertaining, above it all and sarcastic.

I did have some quibbles with the book, in terms of realism: I have my doubts about their ability to recover from some of the injuries suffered over the course of the book in the time described. In fact, I have my doubts about ever being able to recover from one or two of them (in particular, the exposure to that much sun, especially for Del). Oh, and Tiger's endurance could be minimally called superhuman.

I also wonder what the sand tigers could eat, out there. There didn't seem to be anything, and a meat-eater that big's going to need a lot of food.

I also question a couple of things about their strategy for crossing the Punja (the more severe desert than just a desert). One, why don't you bring something to shade yourself, even if only while stopped? Two, can't you find better animals than horses (horses wouldn't be the worst choice, but ponies or something camel-like would be a lot better)? Three, wouldn't it be better to rest during the day and travel at night? Four, is it even possible for a horse to carry enough water for them?

One thing I did find very surprising: I expected the story to be all about Del, but while her quest drove the plot forward, the ins and outs of getting there were all about Tiger.

Overall, I enjoyed reading the book, but I'm still undecided about getting the rest of the series (I suspect I didn't get the rest originally because I didn't know it was a series).

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