S. E. Turner
The Kingdom of Durundal series is available in kindle, paperback, and free in kindle unlimited.
There are eight books in this series, made up of the following elements:
Fantasy, history, ancient mythology, sword and sorcery, battles, spirituality, romance, betrayal, vengeance, magic, sacrifice, herbal remedies, love, strength, courage.
The Kingdom of Durundal is foremost a series, and involves the same central characters throughout. The books can be read independently of each other, and as a stand alone. However, to get the flow of the story, it is best to start at the beginning with 'A Hare in the Wilderness' and read through the series in order. That way, you understand how the characters develop - and how their lives interweave.
The Kingdom of Durundal series blends into a prestigious crossroads where fantasy meets reality, and the surreal meets the sublime. I wanted to write a series that everyone could read, and I'm happy to provide an exciting, epic story that a wide variety of ages will enjoy.
S E Turner is a life-long enthusiast of epic fantasy that borders on the believable. With an abundance of historical research weaved through the pages, this promises to be an engaging and immersive experience.
What inspired you to write The Kingdom of Durundal?
A visit to Scotland first inspired me. I found the wilderness to be breathtaking, the vast mountain ranges spectacular; and with its eerie atmosphere, you can almost hear the ancient clans talking on the wind. I climbed the great mound of Dunadd Fort in Kilmartin Glen; a royal power to the first Gaelic kings and home to a fortress some 2,000 years ago. From that vantage point I saw the far reaching views of the lochs, of castles, of caves and hidden grottos. I saw a story unfold before me. I saw pain and sorrow, love and comradeship, fear and courage. I saw the magic of a time gone by. I saw the Kingdom of Durundal.
As with all kingdoms where clans and courts live side by side; the realms of sacrifice and avarice are prevalent. That is the backbone of my series. Certainly by Book 2: A Wolf in the Dark, the true depths to which those in power will go to is explored at some length, and continues throughout the series.
Interestingly, from the first moment that Ajeya comes riding in - Book 1, to the part where Sansara returns to Tarragon Island - Book 5, the timescale is only a few days. It's the history of the main characters that goes back some twenty-five years. Books 6,7, and 8 in the Sorceress of the Sapphire series, introduce the third and fourth generations; and the last character you meet in the final book, is Ajeya's granddaughter, Azura.
But it's that deep rooted connection that makes this story so memorable - where the family ties of the courts and the clans weave together to make this series a timeless classic.
How did you decide on the titles for your books?
When you write about ancient civilisations, albeit in a fantasy setting, there has to be a certain amount of research to keep it believable. Most of what you read about the clans is factual, and their totems are indeed very real. Our ancestors depended on them for safety, to please the spirits and to give the bearer added strength. I have tried to keep this bygone age alive in my books. The titles in the first four books are animal totems. Book 5 - A Moth in the Flames, represents change; and leads the following four books into the world of witchcraft and magic.
Your female protagonists are very strong. Why did you write them in?
Over the course of history there have been so many inspirational women, women of courage with a fire about them. I yearn for all women, from all over the world, from all walks of life, to find that inspiration, light that fire and ignite that courage. I want everyone to find their strengths and give their best, regardless of age, colour, status or creed. Think like Cleopatra, fight like Boadicea and live like a Goddess.
Who is your favourite character?
I am asked that a lot, and I would have to say Cornelius. I think he had a bad start in life. He was the ultimate bad guy - he did some pretty awful stuff to Namir in A Leopard in the Mist. He was a liar and a coward. But was it nature or nurture that made him that way? Whatever made him change, he came good in the end (A Stag in the Shadows). At that point I didn't know whether to kill him off or save him. I spent months considering the options. But in the end I decided to save him - because he is my favourite character. And to show that people can change - if they want to.
What would you say to a fledgling author?
Never give up on your dream. Read a lot of books in different genres, and write down all those little pockets of inspiration that pop into your head at the unlikeliest of moments.