feminist-friendly fantasy fiction

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Women Wariors

Morrigan’s Harvest is told through the eyes of 21 year old
Shea. When we first meet Shea it is her 15th birthday and
her mother Brenna has given her a locket that she has
always worn with strange writing on it and regales her with
stories of all things magical, not all with a happy ending.
They lead a simple life, Shea is good with horses and her
mother is known as the `town witch’, feared by most of the
villagers and Shea has a crush on the Lord’s son Tamerick.
Shortly after her birthday, her mother becomes unwell and
dies but not before sending a secret letter to an anonymous
person via the gypsies and in return getting a strange
message from the gypsy seer.

Fast forward 6 years- Shea is now 21 and employed by the
Lord to train the horses, she still has feelings for Tamerick
- which everyone disagrees with – and Rook, her mothers’
friend has become her guardian. Everything is fine until the
recipient of the letter finally turns up demanding that Shea
be turned over to his care and leaves with him immediately.
She does not want to go and leave everything she has ever
known but fate has other plans and when her village is
invaded and her friends and neighbours (including Tamerick)
took to be used as slaves, she decides that those left are
the captives’ only chance for freedom. So, along with her 2
guardians, 2 mercenaries and her temperamental horse,
Shea sets off on her quest for freedom and justice, leading
them into all sorts of dangerous encounters. Can she
accomplish her quest? Will she ever see Tamerick again?
Will she survive?

Shea is a great character, her village is all she has ever
known and her world collapsed with the death of her mother,
she mourns so long she begins to think she might never get
over it. So, in the beginning we see that she is just a young
girl, who has a crush on a friend, really innocent who
becomes lost after the death of her mother. When her new
guardian turns up we see a different side to her, she’s
stubborn – to say the least but then as the plot goes on we
get a whole range of emotions from her, devastation, anger,
sorrow, determination, regret. . . . We get it all as she is
forced to see the world for what it truly is and face facts that
her mother wasn’t who she thought she was and everyone
seemed to know except her. She has an awful lot to deal
with in this as you see her evolve and it’s just the beginning
of the series so you can imagine what she will become. Now,
Galen – There is one complicated character if ever you met
one, even after reading the book I still don’t get him or
maybe that’s because we are seeing him through Shea’s
eyes. But, I liked him and he has left an impression, I
definitely want to know more about him. He is mysterious. . .
Loving her horse too, I’m not an animal lover but when they
are involved – I like ones with attitude. . . Go Aisling! Even
Tam too but I’ll leave him for you to discover.

I really enjoyed this book and the only reason it isn’t a 5* is
because I was nearly put off by the really slow start, to me
it was overly descriptive and didn’t really grab me until about
the 20% mark but saying that, there is a lot of important
things that needed to be told during that. That is quite easy
to overlook though because it got really good soon after and
kept my attention throughout. It is quite a long read,
somewhere between 950-1000 kindle pages but don’t let
that put you off because the author takes us on an epic
fantasy adventure with the unlikely gang on their travels
through a kingdom on the brink of destruction. It’s like Shea
has to go through certain trials in her life to become a better
person as the road to their goal is fraught with danger. I
liked that they often told her stories of times past either
about her mother, giving her a glimpse of the woman they
knew so that their version didn’t seem like a stranger or
stories of the magical world filled with knowledge that could
help her tackle or outwit the things she would be up against.
It always seemed to be relevant to where the plot was
heading and gave little clues, loved it. The enemies they
came across were truly sinister and that made for a scary
rollercoaster ride of a book. The world is quite elaborate too,
with the different cities, towns, villages, lakes, woods,
mountains which is filled with all manner of creatures –
humans, elves, goblins, kelpies, mermaids, gypsies etc.
with opposing faiths and way of life, so it’s a vast world that
we have been introduced to and I didn’t want it to end!
It reminded me of Lord of the Rings in some ways
- I am a fan – the journey part more than anything but I
think that was a plus for me.

The next book is set up by the end of this so you know where
it’s headed and that the next part of their journey isn’t going
to be easy but I’m really looking forward to it. I want to see
Shea become something amazing, I want to see her get
justice for all those who have been wronged, rescue all of her
people and save the world! I also want to get to the bottom
of Galen, what stories could he tell? What skeletons are in
his closet? And what was in the letter!!! So I’m expecting a
lot more from him. I wonder what they will come up against
next? I can’t wait. 4.5 out of 5!

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