by Joan Marie Verba
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?
Finalist in the Midwest Book Awards and the Epic Awards
Midwest Book Review
MBR Bookwatch – December 2012
Sword of Queens
Joan Marie Verba
For over five centuries, Tashtalon the overlord has ruled the
patriarchal kingdom of Somerlie with an evil iron fist. No one has
ever seen Tashtalon but everyone knows of his presence especially
at night when sleeping is dangerous. Each evening, Tashtalon puts
his subjects to sleep two hours after sunset; and awakens them each
morning two after sunrise with some vanishing overnight. No one
has any hope of overthrowing this invincible malevolent God.
Twentyish Gill is like everyone else living in fear of the evil ruler;
wondering if she will disappear next and knowing how helpless it
is as nothing can defeat Tashtalon. Gill wonders why the overlord’s
most enforced law is that no woman will yield a sword with the
penalty of breaking his code instant death though she assumes it
has to do with females being subservient to males. As she begins
her required quest year “To Find Herself”, Gill thinks of her elderly
grandma’s tales of life before Tashtalon. On her journey Gill learns
that the magical Sword of Queens can destroy Tashtalon.
Sword of Queens is an excellent coming of age quest fantasy
starring a likable heroine. The vibrant Verba world of magic seems
real while the vile villain is made even stronger and eviler by the
fearful whispers of his subjects. Sub-genre readers will enjoy Gill’s
adventures in an engaging good and evil thriller.
Author Joan Marie Verba
An experienced writer, Joan is the author of the nonfiction books Voyager: Exploring the Outer Planets, Boldly Writing and Weight Loss Success!, as well as the novels Countdown to Action!, Action Alert!, Deadly Danger!, Situation: Critical!, Extreme Hazard!, and Danger Zone! plus numerous short stories and articles. She is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers. She has served on the board of directors of both the Minnesota Science Fiction Society and the Mythopoeic Society.