"In Kernaghan’s hands, as in Joanna Russ and Elizabeth Lynn, women appear alongside men as women complete in themselves, protagonists and heroines in control of their own destinies.” -- Kinesis
“Kernaghan writes the way people ought to write; her prose has a smooth, poetic flow that draws you irresistibly into her world of horse-tribes and clan-chiefs…The chalk hills and forests, the primitive cultures and tribal wars all complement and lend believability to the tribulations of Naeri as she treads the path to her destiny." -- Michael Coney, in The Reader
Excerpt : Naeri
She had had a name once, and a place in the world – preordained, unquestioned. Naeri, they had called her, the brown lily. A flower name, because she had been a pretty child, smooth-skinned and delicately made. In time, when she grew into full womanhood and wisdom she should have had another, secret name: a name of power.
Remembering those years, she saw circles within circles, like ramparts of banked earth, with herself – warm, loved, secure – inhabiting the center. Tribe, clan, hearth-family – the strong high walls of kinship had sheltered and surrounded her. With time, the faces had grown remote and shadowy, like figures out of Legend. But at night, sometimes, she woke with a hand clutching her heart.
She pushed back the ragged ends of her hair as she knelt beside her supper fire. No flower name would suit me now, she thought with irony. She saw herself in her mind’s eye – chapped lips, windburned face, lean, hard-muscled body. A creature spare and strong and hardy as the gorse. In one terrible hour the horsemen had stripped her of everything – tribe, name, mother, hearthplace – leaving her only her sharp wits and a certain quiescent, unschooled power. And yet they had left her better armed than they knew.
Copyright Eileen Kernaghan 1989 – 2007