Sword of Queens by Joan Marie Verba
FINALIST, MIDWEST BOOK AWARDS, EPIC AWARDS
The kingdom of Somerlie has been in the grip of the evil overlord Tashtalon for over 500 years. No one has ever seen Tashtalon, but he puts the kingdom to sleep every night, and during the night, people disappear, never to be seen again. Gill has spent her life thinking these things could not possibly by changed, until strange events point her to the only thing that can defeat Tashtalon…a magical weapon called the Sword of Queens. To prevent its use, Tashtalon made a law saying that any woman wielding a sword will be put to death…and he enforces that law savagely. Can Gill summon the courage to find the sword and use it before Tashtalon kills her?