“If your death ever comes before mine, I hope the gods take my life soon after.” Duli and her husband had stated those words to each other several times. Then the day came when his dwarf kin brought his body back from the field of an ambush. As a non-clan dwarf, rendered beardless by old customs, her widowed status places her in the lowest caste of Tok-Maurron. Fearful of her future under a chauvinistic crafters’ guild, and unwilling to complete her suicide attempt, Duli’s emotions turn to rage directed at the humans. Dwarf traditions forbid women to wage war, yet the ongoing battles leave more widows enticed by her call to action.
Ridiculed, chastised, and even jailed in her own chambers for her actions, Duli’s struggles for her beliefs are even slowed by her need to earn a living off her non-sanctioned craft. Duli only wishes her own death, but in the process sparks a liberation movement that shakes the subterranean city to its core values. Even if the women win over their clan, they must still prove they have the mettle to face their husbands’ killers, and the magic that humans command.
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The Widow Brigade features strong women, in a fantasy setting, rebelling against the traditions of a male-dominated society. The world in which it is set was designed after much of my own experience, and critical critique, of classic fantasy role-playing games. The story tips my hat to the many and yet too-few women who have shared this gaming passion of mine. The following quote by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich influenced how this story had to be written: “Well-behaved women seldom make history.”
Please check out this post by Obsidian Abnormal, on his website, which describes the development of this cover art.
“I am a pretty picky reader, although a very avid one. Often i read a book and something feels stretched, or out of place, or out of character, but i found none of that here. This was the first of the books i have read from this author, and as i often do upon finding an author’s style i thoroughly enjoy, i intend to pick up and read all the rest. I felt the plot was well developed, well paced, and the motivations of the characters really drew me in, caring about what happened as the plot progressed. I felt the main character was not your typical shiny hero, or dastardly anti-hero. She just felt real. I highly recommend this book, if you enjoy the likes of Lord of the Rings, or World of Warcraft, but are looking for something that is not trying to copy or be a retread of that type of world. This author is one to watch.” -Tom H
“I’ve read several of this author’s previous works, and enjoyed them immensely. This book is very well written and as always with his stories, the battle scenes are intense, with details that pull you in and fully immerse yourself in the story. The characters are well developed and allow you to enjoy loving and hating them. For me, there are only a few books that I find hard to put down. This is one of them.” -Lockhart
“I really enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down. The characters are well written and believable. Reading of the author’s earlier books set in the realm of Dhea Loral would give back story for this book but Duli’s story stands just fine on it own.” -David D
Audiobook produced by Darla Middlebrook. You can find out about this voice actress at her website: Darla’s Voice