I read this book literally years ago, and must have really liked it because I held on to it and actually got the sequel, Warriorwards. I remember liking it because it was about an overweight female theif who was forced into extradordinary circumstances and rose to the occasion. I remember enjoying watching her grow and mature in her self-confidence and abilities both intellectual and physical.
This is the blurb from the back of the book: When Jiana of the City of Bay Bay talks . . . nobody listens. As far as Prince Alanai is concerned, she has three strikes against her: she's foreign, she employs outlandish fighting techniques from the Flower Empire, and worst of all, she's a woman!
When Jiana tries to join Alanai's quest for the World's Dream, he dismisses her out of hand. In the wilderness of the bararous southern lands, beset by magic and monsters, wars and gods, what good can one raven-haired woman warrior possibly do?
Alanai is about to find out . . . as Jiana sets out on a quest behind the quest - and discovers the truth about heroes.
In a world where magic, demons, and gods are real, how can you tell if you're insane? Jiana may be the land's only hope, but she'll be challenged time and again. Not only is restless magic scouring the world, the people are going mad with fear of the apocalypse, and Jiana's love affair seems like a worse idea all the time. Not a straightforward fantasy quest.