When Women Were Warriors: Books I, II & III

Written by Catherine M. Wilson
Review by Steve Donoghue

Wilson’s utterly remarkable trilogy set in Bronze Age Britain opens with spirited young Tamras being sent to the household of Lady Merin to learn comportment, the ways of court – and the arts of physical combat. In Wilson’s imagining, Tamras’ society is a prehistoric matriarchy in which women wield a great deal of power and trained for war right alongside the men, and the trilogy follows Tamras as she first encounters this wider society – including a foreign warrior named Maara, with whom Tamras strikes up a passionate friendship. Moving smoothly through the course of her three novels, Wilson lets us follow Tamras from impulsive childhood to confident young womanhood, and she so expertly fleshes out the world and the people around her main characters that the effect is immersive.

The strong, supple prose on display in all three novels, the intelligence of the plotting, and the skillfully-varied pacing make this a standout trilogy – highly recommended.

Book I – The Warrior’s Path (ISBN 9780981563619),

Book II – A Journey of the Heart (ISBN 9780981563626),

Book III – A Hero’s Tale (ISBN 9780981563633)