S. E. Turner
Kingdom of Durundal - Age of Heroes.
Why should you invest in my books? And what makes my books stand out from the rest?
In one sentence:
This is an unforgettable world, sometimes harsh and unforgiving but shines with magic and romance.
In more depth:
To begin with, I write about strong females, something I feel is lacking in a lot of fantasy and historical fiction. In fact, statistics show that only 1 in 4 children's books have a female protagonist, and it continues into adult fiction. That is a shame. I'm a strong advocate of a woman's strength, perseverance, and intuition, and I celebrate that in my books. There is an abundance of male protagonists throughout the Age of Heroes series, but you will notice the female presence in a strong and positive way. We start the journey with A Hare in the Wilderness, where Ajeya is the ultimate hero, and it's her life and legacy that is explored over the course of 12 books.
The Prophecy is a prequel and can be read at the beginning or the end of the series. It gives clarity and explains the origins of the 'chosen one.' And thus, like our own existence, the series reads like a cycle. Each book brings in a new protagonist with his or her own tale but they are all pivotal to the plot and the survival of Ajeya. As the books evolve you will discover more about the characters: the good and the bad, the protagonists and the antagonists - particularly who they really are or, perhaps more interestingly, who they become ... I can guarantee a plethora of shock twists for everyone.
There are many themes throughout the Kingdom of Durundal series. Ultimately it is a fantasy/adventure/drama, but there is a significant romance intertwined and a sense of justice. It is well-researched—so the reader's senses are stirred by rich details and historical events, and then woven together with threads of political intrigue, celebration and sorcery.
So start with Book 1 today! Join Ajeya and her companions as she fights for survival to fulfil the prophecy while discovering friendship, love and a greater purpose connected to an ancient past.
I hope you enjoy reading the books, and if you do, please leave a positive review.
'The series is more than the single genre of fantasy for one particular audience. Rather, it blends into a numinous 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 Author.
What inspired you to write The Kingdom of Durundal?
I read the Chronicles of Narnia when I was eight years old, the Lord of the Rings when I was eighteen years old, and the Game of Thrones when I was - a little older. But it was a visit to Scotland that inspired the setting. 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 book 8, is Ajeya's granddaughter, Azura.
Books, 9,10, and 11, offer further stories that are paramount to the history of Durundal.
Book 12 is a prequel, which can be read at the beginning or the end.
It's that deep rooted connection that makes this story so unique and memorable - where the ties of destiny bring the characters together, and makes 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 breathes life 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 - named after my great-grandfather, 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.