WATCHTOWER is the first of a trilogy about Tornor Keep, the tower that guards the winter end of a summer land peopled with warriors, lovers and dancers.
This is the first book in the Chronicles of Tornor by Elizabeth A. Lynn. Fantasy where the Warriors of death meet the Warriors of dance.
The story of Ryke, a soldier of Tornor Keep, a harsh castle in a wintry land. When the fortress is taken by raiders, Ryke stays loyal to his prince (now lord, since the old lord was killed in the battle), and contrives a way for them to escape the fort with the help of two neutral messengers, Sorren and Norres, whose gender and identities are secret....
They travel to a secret valley, named after a mythical land of always-summer, where an exiled soldier, Van, is teaching small groups of followers a martial art that is somewhere between judo and capoeira, infused with a new spiritual philosophy of balance. They set out to re-take the keep - but harsh lessons are in store before each of the characters learns that their path in life may not be what had always been expected of them.
It's a short book, but for a first novel, excellent. Still, I feel if Lynn had written this later in her career, she probably would have fleshed out both the characters and the complex details of their world to a greater extent.
Simple, but beautiful. I was very interested in the relationships and philosophy.