A Woman Worth Ten Coppers by Morgan Howell is the first book of the Shadowed Path trilogy. I’ve owned this book for quite a while, and finally picked it up. I’m glad I did; it definitely helped fill the fantasy craving I don’t indulge often enough lately!
Yim is a really special young seer – she has been told now for many years that she is ‘Chosen’ (with a Capital C) and will fulfill a vital destiny to help save the world. Man, no pressure though, right? She doesn’t know a lot of details, but she has the faith that the goddess Karm will guide her. Through an unlucky chain of events, she ends up being forcibly taken and sold into slavery where she is soon purchased by a Sarf named Honus (A clear definition for the Sarfs is hard to pin down – but basically he is a holy man with crazy awesome ninja warrior skills).
Yim is obviously very resentful of her new role as a slave, but she keeps herself mostly in check, waiting to see if Karm will guide her or if she has been abandoned by her goddess. Luckily (or, as she sees it: unluckily) for her, Honus is neither a jerk or an idiot – he can soon tell that there is more to Yim than meets the eye. By the end of the book, their relationship has melded more into a partnership of sorts than a servant/master dynamic. It also seems like Karm had a plan all along – maybe Honus is an integral part of Yim’s destiny after all?
So, I really enjoyed both Yim and Honus (despite the fact that their names are Yim and Honus). I loved the way Yim constantly tries to hide who she really is and Honus constantly tries to figure out what she is doing. The majority of the book is spent with them traveling, and some of their interactions are fairly hysterical as they get to know each other and get used to constantly being together. Romance really isn’t much of a factor in this book, although it is introduced toward the end – I think it’ll be a bigger plot element in the next books of the trilogy. I also think things are set up for the next book well – I’m pretty sure it’ll be as good as – or better than – this introduction to the story!
If you are a fantasy fan, I do recommend picking these books up. I read A Woman Worth Ten Coppers through in one afternoon, not wanting to put it down (it is fairly short for fantasy, clocking in at around 330 pages). It won’t make my favorites list and I won’t be telling people to read it as their introduction into fantasy – but for people who are already fans, it is a strong addition to the genre!