Another lovely review for ‘Daughter of Hope’

This new review of Daughter of Hope: The Siaris Quartet Book One comes from Mary at Living a Sunshine Life. Here is some of what she has to say about Daughter of Hope:

“Joanna does an amazing job at detailing the world in Daughter of Hope. She provides vivid descriptions to bring the characters and scenery to life. The characters possess depth in their personalities and backstory, and the storyline is not shallow, following the perspective of several characters throughout the tale.

The story follows a Guardian family and focuses on the character Xereth who left his family to serve the evil gods of Siaris. Xereth has five offspring, which are half Guardian and half Elden. The focus of the story is on his youngest, Revetia, and follows her journey growing up being groomed to serve the gods of Siaris under her fathers watch. Revetia has other things in mind and with the inspiration and motivation instilled in her by her Elden mother and her Elden slave nurse, she challenges the life she has been destined to.

I…found myself immersed in the story intrigued by what would happen next and how Revetia would resolve each challenge presented to her.

This is an excellent read if you love fantasy and enjoy letting yourself explore new worlds, new cultures and new species that all have a basis in humanity with obvious differences.”

Thank you, Mary!

 

Here’s a little taste of Daughter of Hope:

The baby blinked, trying to clear her eyes. The dim space around her lay in a chilled hush.  A strip of light filtered across the torn covers surrounding her, over an expanse of pale skin flecked with red. A long growl sounded from outside the room’s curved walls.

Wind, the baby named it.

She’d heard it – and other things – from inside her mother’s belly. Now it sounded much louder, and unfriendly.  She wanted to reach for the expanse of flesh beside her, but couldn’t yet control her limbs. Her mother didn’t move. The silence of the room, the gale’s rush at the chamber, grew frightening. She shivered, a naked bundle of feverish heat and ice. She began to cry. The wind fought her voice, but she needed someone to come. Anyone.

Time dragged. The light around her stuttered and grew dull. Her hearing picked up a new sound, cautious steps husking along the hall outside the turret-room, until they came to a halt. A seamed face peered through a rectangle of darkness. Fingers clutched at the edge of a wooden frame, then jerked back as if they’d been stung. The fingers fluttered down over a worn tunic, shaking. The sound of rough breathing met the baby as a woman stepped into the room and edged closer to her.

The woman’s face shrivelled into deeper lines, her gaze roving across the bed. The picture in her mind reflected into the baby’s vision in all its blood-soaked destruction.  An elden woman lying on the shredded velvet cover, the ragged vestiges of beauty still visible through the contortion of her features. Smoke coiling in wisps from her hips and thighs, hanging thick on the air. The baby saw herself curled in a pool of light. Already, despite being so tiny, the sheen of power that had killed her mother during birth glowed out across the bed.

The baby noted her own skin was different to her mother’s. Blue. She felt the word fit itself to her…that this was her natural shade. But even so, couldn’t the bent figure creeping closer see her shock, the crisis gripping her body with shudders?

The intruder’s breath hissed. Her stare now settled on the glittering wings that rustled against the baby’s back, the downy feathers catching in the rumpled bedcover. The silence grew longer, the gale’s voice harsh. The baby huddled desperately, and fought to focus her mind on this person who still hadn’t come to her side. 

She formed a question in her head, and forced it to cross the gap. Who are you?

“My name is Amya.” The woman’s voice sounded strangled, as if her throat had jammed shut.

Are you my – the baby searched for the word – nurse?

Amya didn’t reply. Her damp gaze had shifted back to the body on the bed.

“Always the same,” she whispered.

Always, with these half-blood infants entering life in the fortress. What pity do its masters have? Amya’s thoughts catapulted the baby into another scene – the baby’s father, lieutenant of the fortress, arriving to collect another little one from her keeping.   

He had wrenched the child – Tieren, the name whispered through the baby’s head – from Amya’s arms, allowing no moment of farewell. The cold fire of his eyes raised gooseflesh across Amya’s wasted skin as she called out to her charge through the door, not daring to follow. She would have been punished if it weren’t for the skill she had shown in keeping his son alive. Amya pushed the image away. The baby sensed old, aching loss, and tried to reach for her through a swirl of dark shadows.

Amya ignored her. Her eyes slid back to the dead woman. “Why would he bother to save you?” she muttered, her voice fierce. His slaves were, after all, expendable. Replaceable.

Amya stirred from the rancour of her reflections, and started. She seemed, at last, to realize the baby was following her train of thought. Warmth softened her sunken features.  “It’s not your fault, little one. What is your name?”

The baby relaxed, letting self-awareness flood into her in a stream of blue light. A name formed and wrapped itself into her bones.

The name rang on the air, as if a bell had been softly struck. Amya stared at her from sad grey eyes, and shook her head.

“Revetia,” she murmured. “Daughter of Hope.”

Revetia held her stare, and saw the reflection of her own eyes’ brilliant indigo.

Stooping low, shabby smock pulling at her limbs, Amya picked Revetia up. “Poor child.” Her fingers were gentle. “What hope have you?”

Revetia reached up her arms, clung to her nurse’s sleeves, and wished the shivers in her body would stop. The burning sensation had subsided, leaving her cold.

Amya pressed her closer and kissed her forehead. She bundled up the top layer of her dress and pulled it around Revetia’s back and wings. “There, little one. I’ll look after you now. You won’t be alone.”

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Daughter of Hope is available here.

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