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Read this series in the 80's & can't recall titles or author though likely to be female author.

All I can recall of this sword & sorcery trilogy is that there was a female protagonist by the name of Soren or Sorren. Somehow she'd met up with man who ended up bringing her to his hidden community to train in martial arts/weaponry. The community was communal with people living in their own homes but working & training together.

For some reason, the title for the last book keeps coming to mind as "The Northern Shore" or something like, but googling that has turned up nothing that fits what I remember. The story ends in a final battle at a northern castle in winter & I seem to recall the "foe" had hordes of non-human creatures of some kind.

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2 Answers 2

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Seems like it could be The Northern Girl (Chronicles of Tornor #3) by Elizabeth A. Lynn, which was first published in 1980. Here's a review by Pete on Goodreads:

Sorren, the titular character, is a bond servant that has dreams of Tornor Keep, even though, at the beginning of the story, she did not even know it exists. As a servant to the most powerful woman in the city, Sorren views the political maneuvers from an intimate perspective--she has personal (or intimate) relationships with many of the characters. Sorren is easily Lynn's best portrayed character, and her feeling and motivations are complex and evolve during the story. Ultimately, she plays a key role in resolving the turmoil in the city, she then makes a journey to Tornor hoping to learn about her past. The ending is quite open, but still satisfying. In a sense, the series has come full circle back to Tornor.

Found with the search Sorren she site:goodreads.com

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You may have conflated elements from the three books in Elizabeth A Lynn's Chronicles of Tornor. The first two are Watchtower, which I do not remember much of, and The Dancers of Arun, which covers the development of a martial-arts + dance culture based in a hidden valley but eventually extending to the larger world via bands of performers/martial artists. The third book (by far the best and works fine as a stand-alone) is The Northern Girl. It is set at least a generation after the previous books, and the martial arts clan has been banished from the part of the world where the action takes place. The protagonist is a 16-year old named Sorren, whose connection with the earlier two stories is an inherited deck of Tarot cards that she cannot use and the occasional prophetic dream showing her scenes from the earlier stories. Various older characters that Sorren interacts with have vague connections to the martial arts clan, suggesting that it is still present in other parts of the world but off-stage in this story.

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    Did the book actually contain a character who practiced archery almost in the nude, or did that spring from the fevered mind of the cover artist?
    – Adamant
    Oct 15, 2022 at 6:17
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    Archery practice, yes. The rest of it you can blame on the art or marketing departments.
    – Ethan
    Oct 15, 2022 at 6:26
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    At least this one seems to predate the idea that females should have 60% of their mass in the form of breast and/or upper thigh tissue...
    – thkala
    Oct 16, 2022 at 15:41
  • From wikipedia: It is one of the earliest fantasy series to feature positive gay protagonists whose relationships are an unremarkable part of the cultural background, as well as to present explicit and sympathetic depictions of same-sex love. So it seems the artist's impression of a gay female implied that she should definitely practice archery in the nude. Oct 16, 2022 at 17:21
  • Maybe. But note that the cover art is dated 2 years prior to the publication of the book. While it's possible that the artist had an advance reading copy that early, it's also possible an existing work was repurposed. See related history given in scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/22926/…
    – Ethan
    Oct 16, 2022 at 18:51

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