A Shamshir is a type of sabre with a curve that is considered radical for a sword: 5 to 15 degrees from tip to tip. The name is derived from Persian shamshīr, which means “sword” (in general). The radically curved sword family includes the shamshir, scimitar, and others.
Originally Persian swords were straight and double edged. The curved scimitar blades were Central Asian in origin. The earliest evidence of curved swords, or scimitars, is from the 9th century, when it was used among soldiers in the Khurasan region of Central Asia.
The shamshir is a one-handed, curved sword featuring a slim blade that has almost no taper until the very tip. Instead of being worn upright (hilt-high), it is worn horizontally, with the hilt and tip pointing up. It was normally used for slashing unarmored opponents either on foot or mounted. The tip could be used for thrusting.
Izzy de Montbryce, the hero of Dance of Love, suffers from debilitating arthritis in his hands. Imagine a warrior unable to wield a sword.
Enter the heroine, Farah, who has travelled from Jerusalem with a shamshir. She is a dancer who uses the blade in her performance of the Sword Dance. The weapon proves much easier for Izzy to use, but for Farah it is a treasure whose value goes far beyond the material. It is a link to her past. She cannot part with it when she leaves to continue her journey.