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Ironhand's Daughter: Book One of the Hawk Queen    by David Gemmell order for
Ironhand's Daughter
by David Gemmell
Order:  USA  Can
Orbit, 2000 (1995)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This is the first in the Hawk Queen series, and one of the few by David Gemmell with a female protagonist. Beautiful Sigarni has a wonderful life in the Highlands; she loves carelessly and selfishly, and spends her days hunting with her hound Lady and her hawk Abby. Sigarni's closest friends are the dwarf Ballister and an Outlander sorceror.

But destiny has plans for Sigarni. She is not who she thinks she is, and must ultimately face the worst of her childhood nightmares to save her people. Their Outlander conquerors, for their own nefarious political purposes, are ready to manufacture any excuse to wage war and slaughter the Highlanders. Unfortunately, Sigarni herself becomes the catalyst for their punitive action.

In the process she undergoes pain and suffering that forges her into a strong warleader, and leaves her ready to accept her heritage. And it's not just a tale of battles. Sigarni must face demons who have been hunting her through time, and she, the great Ironhand, and Ballister need to venture through a magical Gateway to another world.

I read (and always enjoy) anything that David Gemmell writes. In Ironhand's Daughter he delivers, as is his wont, an enthralling tale of fantasy with well-drawn characters and credible worlds. I look forward to more in this particular series.

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