The Exile and the Sorcerer by Jane Fletcher
In this, the first of the Lyremouth Chronicles, we meet Tevi and Jemeryl. Tevi is an exiled warrior from a remote island where stereotypical gender roles are very much reversed. Women are strong, mentally and physically, and run the show while the men are weaker and responsible for childrearing and domestic duties.
Tevi is quite the disappointment to her mother, who was once the fiercest of warriors, and her grandmother, the queen. She isn’t much of a fighter and, to the disgust of her family, she seems to have more in common with the docile men on the island than with the women she is supposed to lead in the war band. With the possibility of an impending war, Tevi is betrayed and exiled.
Halfway through the book, we meet our sorcerer, Jemeryl. She’s got her own set of troubles, the newest of those is being ordered to accompany Tevi on a quest of great importance. Whether Tevi wants her to or not.
This book lays the groundwork for the next book, which now I can hardly wait to read. I found The Exile and the Sorcerer very well written – I came across a couple typos but that was it – and was easily drawn into the story. I certainly look forward to reading about the next phase in their quest.