Author: Jamie Marchant
Genre/Age: High Fantasy/Adult
Series: A Korthlundian Kronicle
Publisher: Bewitching Fables Press
Synopsis: The Ghost is going to hell. Not even the goddess can forgive his sins: assassin, oath-breaker, traitor (an affair with the queen earned him that title). No one can ever learn the princess is his daughter. To keep this secret, he flees to the land that turned him from a simple stable groom into an infamous killer.
His mission now? To find evildoers and take them to hell with him. But when an impulsive act of heroism saddles him with a damsel who refuses to be distressed, her resilience forces him to questions why he really ran from his daughter.
He turned to find Lord Caedmon holding the sword on him. Behind Caedmon, Duke Connor, the king’s chancellor, approached, accompanied by two vicious dogs. “You should have let him finish, son,” Duke Connor said. “It isn’t good for a man’s health to be left in that condition.”
“His health is of little concern now that he’s completed his service to his country,” Caedmon grunted.
Ahearn didn’t understand what they were talking about. He wanted to fall to his knees and beg for mercy. But why humiliate himself when he had no hope for leniency? He licked his lips and looked at Fenella, who’d wrapped the blanket around herself. She looked far more angry than frightened. Maybe she didn’t understand the consequences of what they’d just been caught doing. “Don’t hurt her, please,” he whispered.
Duke Connor laughed. “Hurt Her Majesty? I wouldn’t think of it. She is carrying Korthlundia’s future—His Majesty’s long-awaited heir.”
“Like hell I am.” Fenella jumped to her feet. “Solar is a wrinkled old man. He hasn’t been able to do it in months. This baby,”—she touched her stomach, still smooth and flat—“isn’t his.”
Five Badass Women I’d Like Brigitta To Join
Badass Woman #1: I was born in 1967 and grew up in the 70s and 80s, so I wasn't exactly inundated with strong, powerful female role models on Television. But Linda Carter as Wonder Woman comes on to the scene in 1975 and gave me a different view of women. She may hide her identity in that of a secretary, but she's an Amazonian princess. In the Amazon, the women rule, and they never bow to male authority. Wonder Woman undoes her hair and twirls around, and she is a superhero with a magical golden lasso and bracelets which can deflect bullets. She fights with superhuman strength and ability and never needs to be rescued. As the theme song stated, "All the world is waiting for you, and the power you possess.” Wonder Woman taught me that women can be strong.
Badass Woman #2: Phédre nó Delaunay from Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy series. Phedre isn’t your typical badass woman because she isn’t a warrior, but she is proof that physical prowess isn’t the only way a woman can be a badass. Phédre is sold into indentured servitude as a child and is raised to be a prostitute and spy for her master. Prostitution is seen as a noble profession in her society, which doesn't have our society's hang-ups about sex. Still, one would think such a childhood would leave a scar. Instead, Phédre becomes a strong woman who not only revels in sex, but becomes much more when her country becomes threatened. She uses her intelligence to uncover a plot against her kingdom, and with her bodyguard/later lover, Josselin, works to thwart it. In her relationship with Josselin, there is never any doubt that Phédre is the dominant partner. However, her power is the power of her intellect. Josselin is the bad ass fighter, but it is her mind as often or more than his skills that get them out of trouble. Phédre remains very feminine, proving the femininity doesn't need to mean weakness. For Phédre, it is strength.
Badass Woman #3: Rey from Stars Wars: The Force Awakens. Rey is a strong, competent woman who can take care of herself. Yes, she receives some help from Finn, Han, and Chewbacca, but she has already almost managed her own escape before they show up. The movie keeps her focused on her heroic mission and resists the temptation to sidetrack her into a romance, which happens with far too many women in fiction. She is the one who takes on the main villain, not any of the men, and she is the one who goes to find Luke at the end. I’m looking forward to seeing her again in the next movie.
Badass Woman #4: Sookie Stackhouse from Charlaine Harris's series. Harris introduces Sookie in Dead After Dark and does a marvelous job developing her after the 13 book series. Sookie has her fair share of trouble, chief among them is her ability to read minds. She refers to it as a disability because she can't turn in off but has the constant buzz of other people's thoughts in her mind. First, the inability to get some mental quiet would be maddening, and also, as she lets us know, most the time people are thinking about pretty boring stuff. But her disability becomes her strength, and she uses it to defeat her enemies and help her friends. While Sookie never becomes a great fighter and remains a waitress throughout the series. Still, she is a strong woman who thinks for herself and always tries to do the right thing although, like all of us, she sometimes fails in this. Like Phédre, Sookie shows that there is more than one way to be a badass woman.
Badass Woman #5: Karrin Murphy from Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files. I loved Karrin Murphy from the moment I first met her racing Dresden to the door so that he won’t open it for her. I hate men opening the door for me. Not only does she stand up for herself as a woman, but she’s intelligent and completely badass. She can handle any weapon and hold her own in a fight. She’s loyal, and Butcher resists turning her into Dresden’s girl friend. She will only have men on her own terms.
It is these women that I aspire to. Brigitta begins The Ghost in Exile as a victim who is rescued by our hero, The Ghost, but she refuses to remain one. By the end of the novel, she is a badass woman, who I hope can some day join their ranks.
Jamie Marchant is the author of the epic fantasy series, The Kronicles of Korthlundia. Her novels include The Goddess's Choice, The Soul Stone, and The Ghost in Exile. Her short fiction has been published in the anthologies--Urban Fantasy and Of Dragons & Magic: Tales of the Lost Worlds—and in Bards & Sages, The World of Myth, A Writer’s Haven, and Short-story.me. She lives in Auburn, Alabama, with her husband and four cats, which (or so she’s been told) officially makes her a cat lady. She teaches writing and literature at Auburn University. She is the mother of a grown son.
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Buy Links:The Ghost in Exile: https://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Exile-Korthlundian-Kronicle/dp/0997862424/