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Literature / Tomoe Gozen Saga

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The Tomoe Gozen Saga is a fantasy trilogy set in an alternate-reality Japan referred to as Naipon.

The title character is the legendary 12th century lady samurai Tomoe Gozen.

The trilogy's individual titles are:

  • Tomoe Gozen (later retitled The Disfavored Hero)
  • The Golden Naginata
  • Thousand Shrine Warrior

The Tomoe Gozen Saga contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Sexuality: Salmonson's Gozen is rather openly bisexual and in love with her liege lady.
  • Escaped from Hell: Within the first thirty pages of the first book, Tomoe dies and fights her way back up from Yomi.
  • Feminist Fantasy: Salmonson is a noted feminist author, and this was probably the first western-published work to feature a female samurai.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Tomoe is naked as she fights her way out of Yomi.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Averted - Tomoe initially uses Chinese butterfly swords.
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  • Lady of War: Tomoe.
  • Naginatas Are Feminine: Tomoe for a time wields a magical naginata which was in turn originally wielded by another legendary female warrior, was guarded by a female monster, and which she names Inazuma-hime, or Princess Lightning. Though, to be fair, Tomoe also wields many different weapons over the course of the series.
  • One-Woman Army: Early in the first book, Tomoe defeats a large force attacking her lord's lands almost single-handedly.
  • We Used to Be Friends: In The Golden Naginata, Tomoe is reunited with her former comrade Goro, who has declared revenge, blaming her for his forced retirement.