“A fascinating and unique tale in an alternate reality where being human is a hindrance. Kit Whitfield has created an astonishing read.”—Sherrilyn Kenyon, author of the Dark-Hunter series
It is a world much like our own, with one deadly difference: ninety-nine percent of the population is lycanthropic. When the full moon rises, humans transform into lunes, bloodthirsty beasts who cannot be reasoned with or tamed. Those few born unable to change are disparagingly known as barebacks, and live as victims of prejudice and oppression. All too often, they are targets of savage mauling and death by lunes who break the law to roam free on full-moon nights.
Twenty something bareback Lola Galley is already a veteran of the Department for the Ongoing Regulation of Lycanthropic Activities. When her friend loses a hand to a marauding lune, then is murdered before the attacker is brought to trial, Lola is desperate to see justice prevail. But the truth is seldom simple–and Lola may not like the shocking answers she uncovers.
Praise for Benighted
“An impressive debut, Benighted is a well-written and well-thought-out examination of prejudice as seen through the lens of the werewolf novel.”—Tananarive Due, author of Joplin’s Ghost
“Kit Whitfield has created a unique and powerful twist on the werewolf mythos, an eloquent parable about the profound effects of prejudice and violence on both perpetrator and victim. Benighted will leave you thinking long after you’ve turned the last page.”—Susan Krinard, author of Touch of the Wolf
During a time of great upheaval, the citizens of Venice make a pact that will change the world. The landsmen of the city broker a treaty with a water-dwelling tribe of deepsmen, cementing the alliance through marriage. The mingling of the two races produces a fresh, peerless strain of royal blood. To protect their shores, other nations make their own partnerships with this new breed–and then, jealous of their power, ban any further unions between the two peoples. Dalliance with a deepswoman becomes punishable by death. Any “bastard” child must be destroyed.
This is an Earth where the legends of the deep are true–where the people of the ocean are as real and as dangerous as the people of the land. This is the world of intrigue and betrayal that Kit Whitfield brings to life in an unforgettable alternate history: the tale of Anne, the youngest princess of a faltering England, struggling to survive in a troubled court, and Henry, a bastard abandoned on the shore to face his bewildering destiny, finding himself a pawn in a game he does not understand.
Yet even a pawn may checkmate a king.