A FOREIGN SHORE: THE COMPANY OF WOMEN
Independently Published (2019)
Reviewed by Adrienne Johnston for Reader Views (07/19)
“A Foreign Shore: The Company of Women” by Forrest Johnson opens with Raeesha, a warrior woman leading a company of other warrior women. The action begins almost immediately with a raid on the camp Raeesha is commanding. In the next chapter the reader meets Singer, a male commander, also in the middle of a war. In the following chapter, the reader meets Erika, an apparent common woman who is about to become royalty. Each chapter is told from the viewpoint of a different character, and each character is in the middle of some action, either a physical battle or subterfuge. It becomes immediately apparent, to anyone who missed the clue on the cover, that this book is also part of a series of books. This is a book that needs to be read in its proper place within the series in order for the reader to understand what is happening.
As far as fantasy novels go, this book touches on everything but dragons. There are strong female leads, both warrior and princess. There is also magic in the form of necromancy and demon summoning. The magic in the land is something the characters accept as part of everyday life, and not a strange occurrence that has not been seen for years. The promise of a strong female lead is what attracted me to the book in the beginning. As a female reader, I appreciate when the female characters are strong in their own right and not only damsels in distress.
The book is well written, moves at a good pace, and has strong characters. Johnson also includes character viewpoints from both sides of the war in a way that helps the reader be sympathetic with all characters involved. If I would have read this book in order, I would definitely have enjoyed the story more. I was confused in the beginning, because I did not have the background information presented in the first two books. A bit of the backstory in the beginning of this book would be beneficial to readers.
I would recommend this book, “A Foreign Shore: The Company of Women” by Forrest Johnson and the series, to anyone who enjoys a fantasy novel complete with strong female characters, a war that keeps the action going, and wizards that bring a bit of magic and mystery to the story.