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By The Sword
By the Sword Cover
Author Mercedes Lackey
Illustrator Jody Lee
Chapters 24
Publication date 1991
Published by DAW Books
ISBN 9-780886-774639
Publication Order
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A novel of Valdemar

Kerowyn has run the family keep since the death of her mother, and she has run it well. Now that her brother is finally getting married, the end is in sight, and Kero hopes to return to her favored hobbies as the newlyweds take charge of the keep. But that hope is shattered as a band of raiders invades during the wedding, killing or maiming all the men of the house. Only Kerowyn is left with the strength and will to avenge her fallen family and rescue her kidnapped sister-in-law. She sets out as fast as she can to ask her eccentric and solitary grandmother, the famous sorceress Kethry, for help: a sorcerer led the attack against her home, so only magic will help her in her quest.

Kethry gives her help, though not in any form she could have expected. She is given the sword Need, a magical sword with mild sentience that will only fight for a woman: "Woman's Need calls me, as Woman's Need made me. Her Need will I answer, as my maker bade me."[1] Armed with Need, and with some of her grandmother's companions trailing her in secret, Kero hunts down the mage and kills him. This deed makes it impossible for her to live at home, though: she is famous, and none of her family will accept her the way they did before. She returns to study with Kethry. This training will serve her well as she begins her career as a mercanary, untill she meets an opponent not even Need can help her with: a choice between her love for a Herald of Valdemar, and her duty to her Company

  1. By the Sword Page 53 Paperback Copy

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