Welcome to the world of the Western Coast!
This is the home of Princess Katelin of Anestra, the seventeen-year-old heiress to the Crown of the Old Kingdom, whom we meet for the first time in Destiny’s Rebel when she’s on the threshold of her destiny.
She likes to call herself Kat on the days when she’s trying to forget that she’s a Princess. It’s not that being a Princess is a problem – far from it. She gets to ride her white stallion, Novita. She gets to practise archery with the Royal Archers. She even manages to escape out of the city from time to time, although in the past that has meant getting frozen up on the Eastern Ranges or lost in the vast Manniswood.
Kat’s main source of dread is that she’s about to become Queen. That is, very “about to”. In other words, in only eleven days’ time. Her imminent eighteenth birthday, when she becomes an adult, is also her Coronation Day.
Becoming Queen will bring with it some major conflicts. First of all, Kat will face no end of ceremonial responsibilities and expectations for ruling the Kingdom, and she’s not yet ready for those. She loves the city of Anestra and its people, but has hardly been allowed out of the Castle to meet them. Instead she’s had to put up with the nobles and ministers of the Court, and all of their obsessions and whining about precedence, etiquette and ritual. Kat loves her freedom too much to be bothered with any of that.
But even worse, it will bring Kat into direct conflict with her Uncle Ethabos and Aunt Sirika. These two guardians of hers have run the Kingdom, as Regent and Consort, for the last fifteen years. That was when Kat became heiress to the Crown at the age of two, when the rest of her immediate family was killed. Her Aunt and Uncle consider Kat to be useless, and have tried to bully her into submission, to follow their will in everything while she was growing up, and they’ve made it clear they’ll intensify the bullying once she’s Queen.
As a child, Kat has had no authority to oppose them. But soon, in eleven days’ time, the struggle for control of the Kingdom, the war of wills against her Aunt and Uncle, will begin in earnest. Because if there is one thing that Kat can’t stand, it’s a bully.
After growing up with mistreatment by her Aunt and Uncle, Kat is more determined than ever to stand up to them. She will resist, she will fight, she will find every way she can to oppose their will, and to assert her own choices and decisions for the Kingdom. She wants to set her own priorities, and not end up trapped as anyone’s puppet or figurehead Queen. Kat may be different from every other Queen that Anestra has ever had, but she can only be herself.
The last fifteen years has been a period of stagnation and decay for the Kingdom of Anestra. Aunt Sirika and Uncle Ethabos are more interested in appearance than substance, and in tradition than change. They fear that Kat will try to change everything, and that will automatically mean for the worse. It’s as though “a breath of fresh air” is the worst thing that could possibly happen.
One particular worry for Kat is that her Aunt and Uncle have failed to maintain Anestra’s army and navy in sufficient strength to counter the threat from the rival city of Lasseny. They have done no more than appease the aged Duke of Lasseny, and Kat’s stubbornness only infuriated him when she refused to accept all his demands.
So even before her eighteenth birthday dawns, Kat’s choices will spark a chain of events that threatens to change her destiny, and the whole future of the Western Coast…
Destiny’s Rebel is now available to pre-order (price £7.99, released 15th September 2015):
– From my publisher’s online shop: here at Bookdragon Books,
– Or from here at Blackwell’s Bookshop,
– Or from here at Waterstones online.