Banshee's Honor: Tales of Y'Myran Book One by Shaylynn Rose
Lesbian romance meets awesome fantasy: The Tales of Y’Myran series
I love fantasy and science fiction: I read Marion Zimmer Bradley's books and enjoyed Chris Anne Wolfe's Aggar series. To find another well-written and well-constructed fantasy story with strong female heroines was such a lovely surprise for me.
Azhani Rhu'len, a half-elf and proud warrior, and Kyrian Stardancer, a healer and priestess, are two heroines with rich personalities and dark parts in their lives. Azhani was a former war leader. She earned the love and trust of the people of Y'Dan, but treachery stole everything she loved. Now she is just a common criminal and clings to the hope of regaining her honor.
A chance encounter brings Kyrian into Azhani’s life, when the warrior rescues Kyrian from a kidnapper. Kyrian has the power to heal people, but is haunted by fear because of her own violent encounters. Forced to share a strong and cold winter in Azhani's cabin, the two women start to form a friendship, which allows both to start healing their own personal wounds.
But soon they found themselves pulled into an ancient prophecy, a prophecy that says a great evil will rise to challenge the gods. Kyrian and Azhani rally the forces of the surrounding kingdoms. It was a breathless journey for me to read whether they would win the battles and the political intrigues, whether the good guys would win or lose.
I found it easy to step into this formidable fictional world and to connect with its well-developed heroines. Kyrian and Azhani were strong and honorable, but not perfect. I really appreciate that Shaylynn Rose made one of the main protagonists something other than white. This leads to subtle messages about racism, women's rights, and religious fanaticism; they aren't overbearing, but they caused me to think.
Because of its length, it took me several hours to read Banshee’s Honor. It's no fast-paced story, though there is a lot of action. Shaylynn Rose made her fantasy world so vivid and three dimensional, that it was a page-turner, from the first page until the last. The book has it all: heroines, honor, sword fights, demons, everything you could hope to find in a good fantasy book. I liked that the love between Kyrian and Azhani is just a part of the story, not the focus of it. So, for me, the pace of the book was excellent. It builds the plot slowly until its peak.
Banshee's Honor – Tales of Y'Myran Book One isn't a new fantasy story. It was first published in 2007 by P. D. Publishing. Ylva Publishing gave Shaylynn Rose the opportunity to publish a second revised edition. The second one got a variety of improvements, and the main characters are more polished. So, even when you read the first edition, the second is a crazy ride, for me it was a wonderful opportunity to discover this gorgeous world of my new favorite heroines.
Banshee's Honor – Tales of Y'Myran Book One by Shaylynn Rose gave me two simple messages: time can heal all wounds, if we have the strength to accept our fate, and second – and more importantly – we are not alone through our path of life.