Do you know what your problem is?
Sulphur knows hers. This 13th-century woman has trained as a fighter all her life in hopes of joining the army. Then, within days, both of her older sisters announce plans and suddenly Sulphur is expected to find a man to marry instead.
Is it her good fortune her homeland is gripped by fear of a pending invasion and the army now goes door to door encouraging recruits? Sulphur thinks it is. But once she’s forced to kill in a small skirmish, she’s ready to rethink her career decision.
Too bad it’s too late. The invasion is coming, and Ilari needs every good soldier it has.
Once Sulphur learns Ilari’s army has made the strategic decision to not defend certain parts of the realm, including the one where her family lives, she has to re-evaluate her loyalty. Is it with the military she’s always admired? Or is it with her sisters, who are hatching a plan to defend their homeland with magic?
The problem with being a woman who fights for what’s right is that now, she has to figure out what is.
Tropes: Band of Brothers/Sisters, Evolving Powers, Farmer to Hero, Lost Civilization, Reluctant Hero
Word Count: 70,000
Setting: imaginary hidden realm
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
In early spring, after the last of the snow melted and the mud dried, I told my parents I wished to visit friends I’d made while studying. Then I rode to Pilk to learn more about joining the Svadlu. I knew they had a booth at the largest market there, often staffed by Svadlu officers who’d answer questions. I had a lot of them.
They accepted women, but what were the standards? Were they the same as for the men? Being a Svadlu provided status and a fair amount of pay, so they never wanted for recruits. How many people who tried to join were accepted?
The next day I found the booth. Officers wore cloaks of saffron yellow, but this man boasted a scarlet cape covered in regalia, identifying him as a Mozdol. My nervousness surprised me as I approached him.READ MORE
“Hello, lass,” he greeted me with warmth. “Let me guess. You’ve got a younger brother who wants to join us but he’s too nervous to come talk to me himself. Am I right?” He seemed pleased. With what? That he induced nervousness in potential recruits?
“Uh, no. Sir. I was hoping to get some information on me joining.”
He looked at me more closely. Of course I wore a dress, not my fighting clothes, so I didn’t much look the part, but he squinted at me anyway.
“You’re tall. Well-muscled for a woman and you look to be in good shape. Have you ever held a sword?”
“I’ve been sparring since I was a child.”
That impressed him.
“And I’ll do whatever you need to me to. Answer questions about weapons, engage in fights, perform tests of strength, whatever you need.” I spoke too fast in my eagerness.
“Slow down,” he chuckled. “All that’s good, but actually, none of it matters compared to what I’m going to tell you next.”
He hesitated as if he wasn’t sure how to explain this vital fact to someone as ignorant as me.
“You’re a farmgirl, right?” He looked at my clothes again.
“Well, the Svadlu are more of a city operation. We do things differently than on the farm.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean being a member of the Svadlu is a pretty good deal. Lots of young people want in.”
“I know. That’s why I’ve worked so hard.”
“And that’s good, but most successful recruits get in because they have a sponsor. You know, someone already in the Svadlu who vouches for them. Um, especially if you’re, well, you know, a woman. Then it helps a great deal if one of us says you’re up to it.”
“But I can prove I’m up to it!”
“I suspect you can.” The look he gave me held respect, but he stayed firm. “A sponsor makes the difference. Why don’t you ask around? Surely your family knows someone who can help you.”
He looked up. Several people stood behind me now, all hoping to talk to him. “If you’ll excuse me …”
I rode back to Vinx dejected. I already knew my family had no contacts in the Svadlu and I had no idea of who I could turn to find some. Why did I have to know someone in order to get in? What stupid kind of way was that to run an army?COLLAPSE
Nancy Allen (The Avid Reader) wrote:
The world building is remarkable... And the character. I absolutely loved her... a fully fleshed out character with faults and doubts and issues... [making] her real and enjoyable to read about. I'm definitely looking forward to reading the stories about the rest of the sisters.
(This book is the third story in a series of seven sisters, but it can definitely be read on its own.)
-- Long and Short Reviews
She's the One Who Gets in Fights is filled with action and fighting from the very beginning ... I love the world that was created for the seven sisters [and] am enjoying seeing the world through each of the sister's eyes. When I was reading She's the One Who Gets in Fights I felt as if I was one of the soldiers standing beside Sulphur as she was sparring or fighting... I would highly recommend each and every book in the War Stories of the Seven Troublesome series. -- Nancy Allen (The Avid Reader)
The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters consists of seven short companion novels. Each tells the personal story and perspective of one of seven radically different sisters in the 1200s as they prepare for an invasion of their realm. While these historical fantasy/alternate history books can be enjoyed as stand-alone novels, together they tell the full story of how Ilari survived.
Which sister do you think saved the realm? That will depend on whose story you read.