Once in a while you stumble across a real gem. Kergulen is one such gem. A powerful and poignant story of a young slave girl, Rima from Banlund, who escapes the captivity of a merciless master that whips her constantly because he can, and because she's a half breed with strange eyes. The only place she knows to go, where she won't be tracked down, is the forbidden forest of Kergulen. No one ever escapes to tell of Kergulen. Little does she know, she's thrust herself into another world of pain, shaming, and struggle to survive. Yet, behind every cloud is a silver lining. Attacked by a vicious pack of Alepay (feral pigs), near death, she's rescued by a young border warrior, a Tonx by the name of Jail. Against his training and the law of Kergulen, he chooses to listen to his heart and takes her to his town of Nene to be healed by his sister, the only surgeon and primary healer of the town.
Foreigners are not allowed in Kergulen and are usually put to death immediately. The elders allow Jail and his family, because of their status and relationship to the King, to take care of her until such time as she can be taken to the capital city for interrogation and ultimately a decision on what to do with her. Her secret, she's an Alocan. Her eyes change color with her surroundings but she also has magical gifts, yet to be discovered and nurtured. This places her and her now adopted family in jeopardy creating a civil war in the town of Nene. Lured outside one evening by magic, she is captured, beaten, raped and left for dead by a group of haters. Only her will to survive keeps her alive until Jail and his family discover she's gone, find her, and save her life once again.
Through all of this, Rima not only struggles with her own self worth issues of being different and an outcast but now struggles with the pain of watching those who befriended her suffer loss as well. On the plus side, she learns to defend herself and is awed by the wonders nature offers; the natural beauty of the forest, birds chirping, snow, all of the things she's never known before, including love.
This story is powerful in many ways. It evoked and projected my own emotional outcry against racism, ignorance, and brutality, issues, unfortunately, that we still face within our own world day to day. It also touched my heart as to the compassion and love one family offered a scared young woman facing the fear of being killed by haters of those that are different. Going against and entire town and kingdom to defend Rima's rights as a human, the family places their own lives in jeopardy to defend hers.
R.A. White has written a tale definitely worth reading. I highly recommend this book to those who want to ride an emotional roller-coaster from start to finish. Kudos R.A. White. I look forward to following your series.
About Mark Boyd:
I began reading fantasy at an early age. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, being one of my first and favorites. Fantasy was my escape when my own world wasn't going so well. I never thought I would be blessed to add to the world of fantasy but my dragon friends had other ideas.
I only hope you enjoy reading my books, as much as I enjoy writing them. I am forever grateful to the dragon intelligence that has infused my consciousness, awakening memories and giving me the ability to bring their stories to life.
Please check out Mr. Boyd's blog and books to see if you think they're your kind of reading. Click HERE to learn more about him and his fantasy novels.