Blog Tour & Giveaway: Issaura’s Claws by Katharine Wibell

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Issaura’s Claws
Incarn Saga Book 1
by Katharine Wibell
Genre: YA Fantasy
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According to legend, when the world was young, the goddess Issaura appeared
among men. Those who treated her with kindness received the gift of
the gods—the ability to transform into an animal form. This was a
great honor but one that separated this race from other humans.
Before Issaura departed the mortal realm, she promised to return if
her people were ever at the point of destruction.

Now a threat is rising from a land across the mists of the ocean, a
threat that will push this race to the brink of extinction.
Responding to the call to war, seventeen-year-old Lluava heads off to
find her destiny, one that will carve her name in history.”
The Kingdom of Elysia consists of two races: the dominant race of humans
and the native race of Theriomorphs who can shift into animal form.
Although law dictates equal treatment, they neither like nor trust
each other. Now brutal and ruthless Raiders are approaching; there is
only one chance to defeat them. An army must be raised and trained.
An army where each human will be paired with a Theriomorph partner.
An army that must fight as one to defeat their common enemy.
Women are not warriors. However, Lluava is not like other women – human
or Theriomorph. Her animal form is a magnificent beast whose power
and fury she must learn to control. Although Lluava endures intense
physical training and strives to overcome the doubts of the male
recruits, she faces an unexpected adversary in the commanding general
who seeks to break both her spirit and her body.
At the paring ceremony, Lluava is humbled when presented with a unique
and ancient weapon. Yet she becomes distraught and angry when her
human partner is revealed. If they fail to trust each other, the
consequences will be devastating. Death and destruction are on the
horizon and time is running out.
The Incarn Saga is a young adult fantasy series inspired by ancient
myths, filled with fast-paced action and adventure, and enriched by
an understanding of animal behavior that defines the shape-shifting
Theriomorphs.
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‘…People shouted and screamed around her. Lluava heard nothing, saw nothing but the beast of a man before her. The great brute pushed his body close to hers. She smelled the stagnant breath that whistled through smokeweed-stained teeth. Bits of moldy bread were tangled in his amber beard. Spraying tainted saliva on her, the man stepped backward just far enough to slam the handle of his ax into her chest. She tumbled to the ground.

Coughing from the cloud of dust that rose around her, Lluava struggled to stand upright.  She had only a moment’s warning; a glint of polished metal swung at her, and she dove to her left into the tall reeds, hoping the thick grass would shield her. The man used his razor-sharp weapon like a scythe, chopping a swath through the grass. Spotting her, he took aim and threw his ax. Once again Lluava caught the blade with the Claws but was knocked down by the force of his strike.

All she could do was stare at the man looming over her. His face was devoid of emotion as he raised his weapon to deliver the death blow. Suddenly, red liquid oozed from his lips, dripping onto his amber beard. He looked down, an amazed expression on his face, at the bloody tip of a sword protruding through his chest. The ax fell to the ground as the dead Raider slid off the iron blade.

Varren, his clothes peppered with red, stood behind the slain man’s body. Grabbing Lluava’s arm, he pulled her to her feet and rushed her back to the now fast-moving troops. In formation, the group headed toward Durog at speed. The attack had made it clear that there was no time to waste.

Despite its hectic pace, the march back to Durog gave Lluava a chance to reflect. For the first time in a long while, she doubted the choices she had made. War meant death and blood and carnage. Was she capable of inflicting such pain? Would she be able to take a life when she needed to? Could she live with herself if she did? Could she survive if she didn’t? Could she have killed the Raider who had attacked her? As these questions and more hurtled through her mind, the realization of what she was expected to do, of what she must do, appalled and sickened her…’

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Katharine Wibell’s lifelong interest in mythology includes epic poetry like
the Odyssey, Ramayana, Beowulf, and the Nibelungenlied. In addition,
she is interested in all things animal whether training dogs,
apprenticing at a children’s zoo, or caring for injured animals as
a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. After receiving degrees from
Mercer University in both art and psychology with an emphasis in
animal behavior, Wibell moved to New Orleans with her dog, Alli, to
kick start her career as an artist and a writer. Her first literary
works blend her knowledge of the animal world with the world of high
fantasy.
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