Before his banishment for a crime he didn't commit, Draken vae Kheilian had won favor as a Monoean warrior. Now he struggles to stay alive as an exile in the godforsaken land of Moonlings. As a stranger in a strange land, he must master the folkwaysand passions of his new home. Daytime battles and nighttime trysts.
Exileby Betsy Dornbusch
Draken vae Khellian, bastard cousin of the Monoean King, had risen far from his ignominious origins, becoming both a Bowrank Commander and a member of the Crown's Black Guard. But when he is falsely condemned for the grisly murder of his beloved wife, he is banished from the kingdom and cast upon the distant shore of Akrasia, at the arse-end of the world. Compared to civilized Monoea, Akrasia is a forbidding land of Moonlings, magic, and restless spirits. It is also a realm on the brink of a bloody revolution, as a sinister conspiracy plots against Akrasia's embattled young queen-and malevolent banes possess the bodies of the living. Consumed by grief, and branded a murderer, Draken lives only to clear his name and avenge his wife's murder. But the fates may have bigger plans for him. Alone in a strange land, he soon finds himself sharing the bed of an enigmatic necromancer and a half-breed servant girl, while pressed into the service of a foreign queen whose life and land may well depend on the divided loyalties of an exiled warrior . . . Exile is the beginning of an ambitious fantasy saga by an acclaimed new author.
"Exile does an excellent job of fashioning a kingdom on the brink of implosion, as political, military, and personal factors place increasing pressure on the fragile peace" - Josh Vogt, The Examiner
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Meet the Author
Betsy Dornbusch is a writer and editor. Her short fiction has appeared in print and online venues such as Sinister Tales, Big Pulp, Story Portal, and Spinetingler, as well as the anthologies Tasty Little Tales and Deadly by the Dozen. She runs her own author blog, Sex Scenes at Starbucks.
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From the first line ("Cut her throat. His own wife."), readers of Betsy Dornbusch's Exile know they are in for a dramatic and exciting tale. The story opens with protagonist Draken exiled from his homeland, thrown into the sea, vowing to wreak revenge on his wife's killer. Draken soon gets caught up in a revolution as various factions fight for control of the kingdom and eventually he plays a vital and surprising role. As is required with epic fantasy, swash-buckling sword fights and heroic battles abound and are well-written. Draken is a very sympathetic character--literally a bastard--haunted by his family history and especially by the murder of his wife. Dornbusch has created a convincingly three-dimensional protagonist with a variety of flaws and strengths and the reader empathizes with him as he interacts with mysterious creatures including the Moonlings and the Mance. Dornbusch's world-building skills are up to the task; she's created a complex, layered world with unique magic such as the Abeyance, a stepping out of time, and necromancy, including possession by dead spirits to gain skills. Dornbusch touches on some hot-button issues such as bisexuality and race, but the essential theme of this novel is nature versus nurture, fate versus self-determination. Any reader who joins her for the ride will be glad they did.