From multi-talented, award-winning author Jean Gill, author of The Troubadours Quartet, comes Queen of the Warrior Bees. Book 1 in the Natural Forces Series, is a Number 1 New Release on Amazon in Hardly surprising when you see not only a heart-stopping cover, but the quality of the writing itself. One of those books I couldn’t wait to read, below is my review and book description:
Epic eco-fantasy from the award-winning author of The Troubadours Quartet
One misfit girl and 50,000 bees. Together they must change the world. As the Mages of the Citadel fight amongst themselves and prepare for war against the Forest, Mielitta, a despised servant, has her own battle to face. Bastien and Jannlou, the boys who terrorised her as a child, have grown into their status as Mages and she cannot escape them forever.
In desperation, she flees to the forbidden Forest and its dangerous attractions. Her scent angers thousands of bees and, although she survives their attack, she has changed. A strange bee symbol glows on her thigh and her senses are altered. She learns that her connection with bees enables her to summon their aid and gives her the power to shift shape.
This new-found bond works both ways and the bees need Mielitta’s help as the rift widens between Forest and Citadel. Can one girl and a colony of bees reunite Man and Nature, or is the split irreversible?
Block Nature out and she’ll force a way in.
Print Length: 308 pages
Publisher: The 13th Sign (June 7, 2019)
Publication Date: June 7, 2019
There are so many things to love about this book. Bees, a warrior girl and the fight for survival. The premise is unique and sure to summon a wide audience of fantasy and conservationists alike. Written by an author I have followed for her historical Fiction Troubadour series, I thought I’d give this new genre a whirl. I particularly enjoyed the sensitive and thoughtful dedication to another great author with a love of forests.
Written in the author’s distinctive voice, I was drawn right in from the start. It’s not hard to see why this book has so many good reviews and has stayed at #3 in its category since publishing. With a few hives of her own, Gill is definitely qualified to write it.
Right from the beginning, Mielitta is out of the ordinary, looked upon like ‘a specimen in a school study’. A foundling, her upbringing is not as clear-cut as the other children in the Citadel—a place of privilege and excess—and she is destined to be rejected and despised. I was already hooked to her plight and wanted to know how she could duck and dive from the clutches of Jannlou and Bastien, (apprentice mages raised to those positions because of their fathers) and how, if ever, she could fight back. Tormented and victimized, she is forced outside the Citadel to the forbidden Forest — a place no one speaks of.
When stung by a swarm of bees, a startling and rather exciting metamorphosis begins. Equipped with a hive mind, her weaknesses soon become her strengths. She’s no longer alone, no longer an outcast, but she must learn new skills if she is to overcome the muscle of the mages. Terrific world-building, underpinned with political intrigue, there is so much at stake for this feisty heroine who seeks the help of those who need help themselves.
There are so many clever observations, (too many to name) but one did stick out: ‘The bees puzzled over the concept of overcrowding and gave up on it as bizarrely human.’ Fresh and ingenious descriptions of the forest and the creatures themselves are ones you won’t forget. A veritable feast of colour and phosphorescence, like tiny little glow sticks in the night.
Gill’s characters are always robust with great mental discipline and dreams of accomplishing the impossible. The first instalment leaves a few tantalizing questions for readers to be desperate for the next book. I know I am.
Thank you to the author, Jean Gill and the publisher, The 13th Sign, for an advanced copy of this fabulous book.
About the Author
Jean Gill is a Welsh writer and photographer living in the south of France with two scruffy dogs, a beehive named ‘Endeavour’, a Nikon D750 and a man. For many years, she taught English and was the first woman to be a secondary headteacher in Wales. She is mother or stepmother to five children so life was hectic.
Publications are varied, including prize-winning poetry and novels, military history, translated books on dog training, and a cookery book on goat cheese. With Scottish parents, an English birthplace and French residence, she can usually support the winning team on most sporting occasions.
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Other books by Jean Gill: