By: Doranna Durgin | Other books by Doranna Durgin
Published By: Doranna Durgin
ISBN # 9781452405940
Word Count: 88060
Available in: Epub, Microsoft Reader, Mobipocket (.mobi), Palm DOC/iSolo, Adobe Acrobat, Rocket
About the book"When a sword and sorcery book begins with humor, it's fairly well guaranteed to be an excellent read.... This book whips along with impressive fight choreography, excellent background descriptions, and fascinating plotlines."
Kelyn of Ketura.
Daughter of a legendary warrior who left the mountains before she was born. Brave. Strong. Tempered by her struggle to survive in the hostile, craggy Keturan mountains. And plagued by moments of enormous and puzzling clumsiness.
"Find your father," the local wisewoman tells her. "To find your true self, find the Wolverine."
Angered by his abandonment, Kelyn doesn't care about her father--but the lure of adventure in the Out Lands calls to her, just as it called to the Wolverine before her, and she accepts the challenge.
New languages, new weapons. Magic. Witch hunts. The treacheries of civilization. She doesn't know just how much of a challenge it'll be.
"With this new book, Doranna Durgin ventures into classic sword & sorcery -- and turns the subgenre upside down..... I like Kelyn, who could kick Red Sonya's steel bikini-clad butt from introduction to epilogue. Fantasy fans in general will love this book, but it has extra appeal for feminists and for warriors of the female persuasion."
An excerpt from the bookRika put the horse in the tiny outbuilding that held her goat and had Kelyn carry its gear into her roundhouse, where the oil lamp would offer better light than growing dusk. After a great deal of tsking at the dry, unmaintained leather, she allowed that it would fix up to be a nice kit, and she would likely get a good price for it if she decided to butcher the horse for winter. Then, while Kelyn sat in numb fatigue, she fried sweet root and flour cakes at the fire, slathered butter on them, and handed Kelyn a share any growing boy would be challenged to put away.
Kelyn did it handily, without pausing. She chased it down with goat milk and sat, glaze-eyed, before Rika's fire. Rika finished her own meal in a more refined fashion, seated on the rock bench that curved against the wall of the house, then pulled her short milking stool up next to Kelyn and sat. "Thainn is a loner; he was always so. He trusted no one, not truly. But he touched Lytha, and she, I think, touched him, for she was a remarkable woman. I knew so when I first saw her, so far from home, carrying little more than your Reman-wood staff, a sturdy knife, and a tinder bag with only the remnants of an old mouse-nest. And coins. A handful of gold, traded—
"For the ruby Thainn gave her." Kelyn didn't bother to hide her flat disinterest, even in the startling news that Rika had known her father. Everyone knew how she felt about Thainn.
"Her journey here alone made for a tale as stirring as any of Thainn's," Rika said gently. "You gave her a proper send-off?"
Kelyn blinked. "Yes," she said. "A huge pyre. Iden and Frykla were there."
"She would have been proud of how you handled yourself this afternoon," Rika said. At Kelyn's sharp look, she chuckled and said, "No, child, the details are your own. I felt the magic and scryed out the men just as they reached you. And now I see you here with one of their horses. I can come to my own conclusions."
Kelyn reached for her cloak and pawed through it, looking for the right pocket. Ah— there! She thrust the newly acquired pouch and its contents at Rika. "What can you tell me of this?"
Rika upended the pouch and shook the bone needle into her hand, heedless of Kelyn's wince. "It can't hurt me, child," she said. "Nor you." Kelyn gave her a skeptical eye, but Rika ignored that, too. "Here is the magic I felt. It's a nasty thing, not something in which I would deal."
"They rode upon us before anyone else knew of Lytha's death," Kelyn said, and then amended that to, "Anyone else besides you, I suppose."
"Yes, I felt her pass," Rika murmured. "After working so long together to fight her malaise, we had some small connection. As I have with you, and every other child I have helped to birth." She held the needle up, turning it to display its cold beauty in the firelight. "Think of it as a kind of vulture, Kelyn. Something that points to folk who are in mourning and vulnerable, or who live alone and in death have left their treasures, whatever they might be, unguarded and free for the taking."
Kelyn snorted. "And what would they have found at our home that would be worth even the bother of riding out there?"
Rika smiled at her. "You alone would be worth twice whatever distance they rode," she said, her wrinkle-enclosed eyes filled with affection. When Kelyn snorted at that, too, Rika merely said, "Your cloak, then. Used as the lining for luxuriously fine cloth, it would fetch much more than you imagine at market."
Kelyn had nothing to say to that. She thought the cloak meant much more to her, who had faced and slain the creature, than it would mean to someone who had the money to buy it— but she was not one of the city-dwellers, who were, from what little she had seen, bent on cluttering their lives with objects. She had what she needed to live, and she wanted nothing else.
"Shall I destroy it for you, then?" Rika said, and nodded at the needle.
Kelyn shook her head, though she could not have said why. What she wanted to say she suddenly found awkward in her mouth, and she wished that, of all things, this would be one of those things that Old Auntie Rika knew before she ought. But then, maybe some things were meant to be said, though the words might have been more carefully chosen than those she blurted out. "I'm leaving."
Rika's eyes might have widened a little, but it was brief and looked not at all like surprise. "Perhaps it is time."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Kelyn scowled at her, forgetting for an instant the respect and awe his woman commanded in her.
"It means that you are alone in the world, and it is time to find your self."
That brought nothing but another frown. "I know who I am."
Rika turned brusque. "Like everyone else, you think you do." She handed the needle back to Kelyn. "Let this be your guide. Follow it to your self, and to your father. When you find your father, you will find you."
So shocked that she could not do so much as reach out for the spelled needle, Kelyn found herself staring opened-mouthed. "My father," she sputtered finally. "I need nothing from him! He's nothing but a—" cocker! "— a witless warrior!"
"I don't recall your mother ever speaking such about him," Rika said, and there was something in her voice that shamed Kelyn. She looked steadfastly at her own feet, at the ends of those too-long crossed legs, her hands curled in her lap. Finally, Rika leaned over and gently dropped the needle into Kelyn's grasp. "Stay the night here, child. And in the morning, go looking for your self. Your path will end at your father."