Title: A Hare in the Wilderness (Kingdom of Durundal #1)
Author: S.E. Turner
When a child is stripped of her identity and banished to the wilderness forever, a life of hardship awaits. Cast out with the mother who bore her, they find sanctuary in the far north of the kingdoms. Here she has a new life, she finds love. She is safe with the clans, no one can harm her this far north – until the day an enemy breaches the horizon.
But now that child is a woman of courage, with exceptional fighting skills and a strength far beyond her years – she has faced death many times before and survived. To her, survival is second nature. That child is Ajeya, the forgotten Empress of Ataxata, heir to the kingdom of the southern territories; and survive she must if she is to defeat this enemy, protect those she loves, and ultimately, take back what is rightfully hers.
This was quite the enjoyable read. I liked the way the author set about creating this world, pushing the story by focusing on events within each of the separate communities. As we go through the story, we see just how life shapes and challenges the characters and it’s an easy reflection of the way that life shapes us all.
In the story, the main character, Ajeya, is the daughter of a King banished by her father for her facial deformity. Before her and her mother are executed, Ajeya’s mother takes her to the wilderness where they learn to survive against impossible odds. As she ages and adapts to her environment, she becomes strong and righteous. The character development was done in such a way that every character felt like real people by the end of the story.
While this is a harrowing tale, it is guaranteed to grab and hold your attention.