Jeffe Kennedy
Fantasy. Power. Passion

Warrior of the World

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Prologue

I was an Imperial Princess of Dasnaria and I grew up in paradise.

Tropically warm, lushly beautiful, replete with luxury, my childhood world was without flaw. My least whim was met with immediate indulgence, served instantly and with smiles of delight. My siblings and I spent our days in play, nothing ever asked or expected of us.

Until the day everything was demanded—and taken—from me.

Only then did I finally see our paradise for what it was, how deliberately designed to mold and shape us. A breeding ground for luxurious accessories. To create a work of art, you grow her in an environment of elegance and beauty. To make her soft and lusciously accommodating, you surround her with delicacies and everything delightful. And you don’t educate her in anything but being pleasing.

Education leads to critical thinking, not a desirable trait in a princess of Dasnaria, thus I was protected from anything that might taint the virginity of my mind as well as my body.

Because I’d understood so little of the world outside, when my time came to be plucked from the garden, when the snip of the shears severed me from all I’d known, the injury came as a shock so devastating that I had no ability to even understand what it meant, much less summon the will to resist and overcome. Which, I’ve also come to realize over time, was also a part of the deliberate design.

I wish I could take credit for extracting myself from the brutal horror of the marriage they forced me into, but I can’t. If not for my baby brother Harlan, I would’ve continued through the harsh winter of my wedding journey, my physical and emotional injuries muted by the numbing teas and smoke they supplied me with, and inevitably to worse torture and eventual death.

But Harlan broke me out and we escaped. Miraculously, I even made it onto a sailing ship, bound for a greater world I knew nothing about, while Harlan remained behind, a captive 

of our ruthless family.

Even then, I likely couldn’t have survived on my own. Full of fear and ignorance, I barely left my cabin, having no idea what I might do with myself. Until Kaja, Warrior Priestess of Danu, coaxed and then forced me to face my future. She taught me to defend myself. She gave me a disguise and vows of chastity and silence to protect me from discovery.

She gave me my self back again.

And Ochieng… He gave me stories, a home, and my heart’s desire.

Without these people, I couldn’t have survived. But I can’t be the helpless kept princess all my life. At some point I need to find the warrior in myself.

If only I knew how.