About the Book
Warrior of the World
Author: Jeffe Kennedy
Released: January 8, 2019
Series: Chronicles of Dasnaria #3
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Purchase links: https://www.jeffekennedy.com/warrior-of-the-world/
“Ochieng,” I said, as soon as we were alone again. “I don’t want to dance.”
“Why not?” He sounded genuinely curious. “Can you explain to me?”
I couldn’t. The thought of even trying made me feel weary. More than the physical exhaustion of just getting to ground level. The red soil had become thick mud, carved into channels of fast-flowing streams. Barefoot, I stepped off the platform into it, sinking up to my ankles, feeling as if it would suck me down entirely. And I still had to go back up again.
Efe had spotted me though. She’d been waiting for me to appear, and came galloping through the rain, waving her trunk in the air in elephantine celebration. She slowed as she reached me, wrapping her trunk gently around my head in her version of an embrace. Efe and I had started a friendship before the battle where I killed my late husband, but since then we seemed to have developed a special bond.
Ochieng had told me that Efe had insisted on coming with them when the D’tiembo fighters mounted up to rescue me, though she wasn’t trained for battle. Rescued only a year before, and a difficult case, Efe resisted training. Even Ochieng, the master trainer, hadn’t been able to cling to her back for more than a few moments. When they’d rallied and equipped the fighting elephants, they’d tried to make her stay back, but short of restraining her—which they’d never do, particularly to Efe—they couldn’t persuade her. She came with the others and she’d found me, then curled around my back while I thought I lay dying, dreaming of elephants thundering around me.
I knew in my head that Ochieng, the D’tiembos, and the battle elephants had saved me, but in my heart, it had been Efe.
She started dragging at me, pulling me toward the elephant shelter and out of the rain. Efe didn’t much like the constant downpour, hunching in it miserably as if it attacked her. I went along, largely because when an elephant decides she’d like you to go somewhere, you went, but also because I liked it in the elephant shelter, out of the rain and pressed in with the big beasts. Ochieng naturally came along, greeted with enthusiasm by Violet and the others.
Efe snaked her trunk over me, whuffling and sniffing until she found the fruit I’d stuck in my pockets. I rescued a melon for Violet, who plucked it from my hand with all the grave dignity befitting the matriarch, then let Efe root out the rest. With a happy sigh, I felt myself relax. Ochieng glanced at me, raising his brows, inviting me to speak.
“I feel good here,” I told him. “That’s part of why I want to come visit the elephants, even though it’s difficult for me.”
He nodded. “And the dancing?”
The thought of even trying to dance—or picking up a blade—had my stomach clenching. So I lifted a shoulder and let it fall in a Dasnarian shrug of dismissal.
“You know.” Ochieng had picked up a brush, circling it over Violet’s broad forehead, and she closed her eyes in ecstasy. “I used to think that if you could only speak, I’d understand you better.”
“And now?” I made myself ask.
He glanced at me over his shoulder. “Now I wonder if I’ll ever understand you at all.”
Just beyond the reach of the Twelve Kingdoms, avarice, violence, strategy, and revenge clash around a survivor who could upset the balance of power all across the map . . .
Once Ivariel thought elephants were fairy tales to amuse children. But her ice-encased childhood in Dasnaria’s imperial seraglio was lacking in freedom and justice.. With a new name and an assumed identity as a warrior priestess of Danu, the woman once called Princess Jenna is now a fraud and a fugitive. But as she learns the ways of the beasts and hones new uses for her dancer’s strength, she moves one day further from the memory of her brutal husband. Safe in hot, healing Nyambura, Ivariel holds a good man at arm’s length and trains for the day she’ll be hunted again.
She knows it’s coming. She’s not truly safe, not when her mind clouds with killing rage at unpredictable moments. Not when patient Ochieng’s dreams of a family frighten her to her bones. But it still comes as a shock to Ivariel when long-peaceful Nyambura comes under attack. Until her new people look to their warrior priestess and her elephants to lead them.