by Bonnie Vanak

March 2007
ISBN: 0-843-95756-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Leisure Books
Mass Market Paperback

As children of the Khamsin, Fatima, her twin brother Asad and Tarik played together. Asad was secure in the knowledge that he was destined to guard their next ruler, Tarik, just as his own father guards the current sheikh, Tarik’s father. Fatima, with her gift of Sight, sees herself in a similar role but knows it is only a dream. Women cannot be warriors, no matter how hard she trains or how much she wishes it were true. The Khamsin traditions will not allow it. Her visions of becoming a Guardian cause nothing but anguish.

As teenagers, they are sent to England. The boys go off to Oxford for an education and Fatima to her grandfather’s estate for a young lady’s finishing. When situations arise in the Sahara, the young men return, leaving Fatima behind.

Now she is finally home, and her vision is clearer than ever before. She must find a way to prove that she is worthy of becoming Tarik’s Guardian. How can she convince him that her destiny is to be more than a wife and mother, more than a bedmate?

Author Bonnie Vanak has taken her desert-inspired novels to a new era in The Sword and the Sheath. Change is coming to the Khamsin, and not everyone is pleased. There are those who oppose the new ideas, those who believe that death is preferable to dishonoring the traditions. Fatima and Tarik stand in the forefront of that change and must be stopped.

The Sword and the Sheath is a passionate novel filled with action. There is humor and plenty of romance. I enjoyed the way that the author tied together some aspects seen in previous novels and brought them to a finale in this book She did it in such a way that a new reader to her novels will not feel like they are missing key information, but it will encourage them to discover her backlist.

Reviewed in March 2007 by Paula.

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