j_cheney: (So many books...)
Crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] beloved_book

The Wind Witch by Susan Dexter, 1994


The main beauty of this book is found in the simplicity of its protagonist. Druyan isn't a titled lady, she's not a famous wizard....she isn't even beautiful. She's a recent widow desperately trying to hang onto her farm by a legal process called 'freeholding'. She has to run the farm for a year and a day, pay all her tithes, and keep secret the fact that her husband has died. The only problem is that most of the farm's men have been called up to serve in the Duke's army, and Raiders are striking households up and down the coast.

Desperate to find help, Druyan enlists the aid of one of the prisoners taken in the raid that killed her husband. Injured and abandoned by his fellows, Kellis agrees help bring in the barley harvest...and then remains to pay out the blood debt owed to Druyan for her husband's death. Aided by the Warhorse of Esdragon, Valadan, the pair must find a way to protect the coastline form the Raiders who plague them, and still keep the farm running.

It's a lovely story, bolstered by the insertion of fascinating details about how such a farm runs...from the care of the sheep, the carding and looming of wool, to the process of turning flax into linen. All in all, a lovely book.

Please note, this book is rather difficult to find used--a hint that those people who have a copy of it are anxious to hang onto it. It's worth the effort to find, though.

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J. Kathleen Cheney

July 2017

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