I have a lovely blogging friend named Rachel. I enjoy looking at the gorgeous photos she takes of her surroundings in Jolly Ol' (England) and marvel at her tenacity in everything she does. One perfect example is the writing, completion and publication of what is just the first satisfyingly lengthy book in a series about a place called Charanthe. (The fact that I write regency romance novels is no impediment to my appreciation of a great fantasy tome--it was my first literary love and I read pretty much everything that was out there prior to 1989 which is when my first child was born and I started in on the regency romance genre, whole hog.) (I can't explain why.) (Not because I am reticent but because I don't KNOW.)
The heroine is a lovely girl named Eleanor who lives in a land where children are separated from their parents at a very young age and taken to schools to be trained for jobs that best suit their talents and natural inclinations. But Eleanor is not your every day citizen of Charanthe. The job she is assigned upon graduation is laughably easy and utterly boring so she sets off on her own to find her destiny. However, before she can get there, she is pressed into service aboard a ship.
They sail for many days . . .
. . . .until she is captured and taken to where she suffers much brutality, including numerous knife wounds (though I won't spoil the fun and spill how she came by them). Poor Eleanor started out as an unblemished, beautiful girl and evolved into a strong, tough, but scarred woman, a bit like the one pictured below . . .
(Here's a close up for those who are strong of stomach. And, by the way, let this be a warning to you sun worshippers out there!)
However, in Eleanor's case, the expression that goes along the lines of "If you think THIS is bad, you should see the other guy" is more than fitting. In fact, there was is so much fighting, training to fight, and plain old horseplay with knives, daggers, sharpened metal stars and, my personal favorite, the hand harp, in this book, it makes me more than a little glad the author lives across the pond and the entire U.S. of A. away. Should you go to her blog and take a peek at her picture, you, too, will wonder where this sweet young woman learned how to even begin writing this book.
You can buy this book on Amazon.com. You will also want to enter the fab contest Rachel has going on Goodreads to win a free copy
but hurry, hurry, hurry, because the deadline to enter is January 31st. I should also warn you that, as of this writing, there are already 805 people in line ahead of you.