Doranna Durgin is an award-winning (Compton Crook--best first SF/F/H of the year) whose quirky spirit has led to an eclectic publishing journey across genres, across publishers, and across publishing lines. Beyond that, she hangs around outside her Southwest mountain home with horse and dogs. She doesn't believe in mastering the beast within, but in channeling its power. For good or bad has yet to be decided...
That is, until a treacherous wizard rips Lady and Carey apart in mid-run, tossing them across realities and turning Lady into Jess—a woman of fiery equine spirit and unyielding intent.
But Jess and Carey weren’t the only ones to tumble between worlds, and they aren’t the only ones looking for a way back. They definitely aren’t the only ones who want that deadly spell manuscript. And ultimately, only Jess—separated from the one person she trusts, flung into a new human form and culture—has the means to bring two worlds together and stop a wizard run amuck.
That is, if anyone can…
"....Dun Lady's Jess is unique. Durgin has created a character who is utterly believable as both horse and horse-in-human-body. The setup is brilliant: the magic that causes the transformation is not in the horse, but external, and the creature that is Dun Lady's Jess must adapt, must find an identity that works in both paradigms. Humans who encounter her, in either body, must also adapt to the reality that created her and that she represents. She cannot be, any longer, just another mare...she cannot be, ever, just another woman...."
--Excerpt from Elizabeth Moon's Forward for Dun Lady's Jess
"A thrill ride with a fantasy twist, neatly done by a knowledgeable author - short, sweet, and paced at a gallop, Dun Lady's Jess can't help but to win you over."
"Horses, heroics, and magic--a great combination! I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dun Lady's Jess, a spirited and daring novel. I couldn't put it down."
--Kristen Britain, author of the Green Rider series
"Dun Lady's Jess is a wonderful read for those who are horse fans and those who are just plain fantasy fans or fans of great writing."
--Josepha Sherman, bestselling author/editor
"Dun Lady's Jess is everything a great fantasy ought to be: Exciting, moving, and utterly original. Doranna Durgin has spun a marvelous tale, set it in a world that feels as real as our own, and populated that world with characters who will stay with you long after you read the final page. An excellent book, which I highly recommend."
--David Coe, author of Winds of the Forelands & the LonTobyn Chronicle
"Jess is a tale of wonderfully diverse and riveting characters embroiled in extraordinary events, told with a deftness and care few authors can achieve. Once you begin, you won't be able to put it down until you know what happens -- and then you'll wish it never stopped. I highly recommend it."
--Diana Pharoah Francis, author of Path of Blood
"Dun Lady's Jess is an adventure story with heart. It's a unique idea, imaginatively explored. The characters are charming, and humanly flawed. The accurate equestrian touches are a pleasure to encounter, and Jess' reactions, particularly while she's still getting her feet under her, are surprisingly yet completely believable. Doranna Durgin offers the reader an unusual viewpoint of impressive versimilitude."
--Vonda McIntyre, Nebula and Hugo Award-winning author of The Moon and the Sun
"Durgin never fails to entertain with solid characters, good action, well-conceived plots, compelling narrative -- and her expert background in horses always provides a real -- and realistic! -- treat for readers. Jess is one of the most complex and likeable characters in fantasy fiction."
--Jennifer Roberson, author of the Karavans and Sword Dancer series
Jess, once a horse called Dun Lady’s Jess, is still struggling to integrate her human and equine selves when the wizard Arlen discovers someone in Camolen is callously turning wild creatures into bewildered and maddened human slaves.
It’s unsettling enough that Camolen’s wizards can’t find the rogue magic user–but the trouble has just started. A dangerous wizard escapes, Arlen’s hold comes under attack, and an entire company of peacekeepers disappears. Jess soon realizes that she and her friends are at the center of events that threaten to leave her trapped helplessly in equine form while her friends fall victim to revenge and the Council of Wizards slowly loses control of Camolen.
As a child, dog-loving Brenna Fallon naively invokes an ancient Celtic deity to save her beloved hound–and inadvertently anchors the new-found power at a spring on her family’s farm.
She doesn’t know she’s also left an opening for a far more malevolent force.
Years later, Brenna discovers the terrible potential of that gateway.With a devastating plague unfolding abruptly around her, she must depend on her wits, a stranger she doesn’t trust, and a mysterious stray dog who becomes more than just a faithful companion as she struggles to drive back the threat of a modern Black Death.
Welded by a desperate sacrifice, woman, man, and dog face the feral darkness together.
“The mystery and fantasy slowly draw together, bonded by supreme characterization, to make for a story which is almost impossible to put down.”
“If you are looking for a book that has paranormal elements and some romance, is expertly written with wonderful characters and has a smooth pace that leads up to a climatic finish, A FERAL DARKNESS is the book for you and it is not to be missed.”
–The Romance Reader’s Connection
“This is a very smart, well-woven book, with an initially cranky but ultimately endearing hero and a thoroughly satisfying ending.”
–Mary Jo Putney, bestselling author of the The Rake