Realm of Dhea Loral

“The Widow Brigade” seems to be the star jewel in my repertoire of books. All twelve reviews on Amazon gave it 5/5 stars. Goodreads has thirteen reviews averaged at 4.6 stars. The Audiobook is rated at 4.2. This stand-alone book seems to pull in the most praise from readers due to its unique plot and setting. For one thing, how many fantasy novels focus on dwarven women, or feature them as protagonists in a war against humans?

First, a description.

Duli is beardless, but not because it is common for dwarf women. Dwarf women in Dhea Loral have beards! But hers was removed due to the circumstances of tradition. She is non-native to the clan, moving to Tok-Maurron to be with her husband, Geordan Greencutter. The removal of her beard was one of many sacrifices she made for love, but will play a part in the greater scheme of the story. Her hair is a light brown color, but such sandy hues are also considered unlucky by dwarves. Like all dwarves, Duli has a stout, solid build. She does have a trim waistline, which would still more than encircle most human women’s hips. Unlike many dwarves, Duli spends a lot of time on the surface trapping and skinning game for the leather. She has a rosier complexion than others, due to the sun and lack of a beard.

At the time I thought up the book’s storyline, I was disappointed in the way fantasy portrayed women. Too often they were more eye-candy or a hero’s reward, instead of being the strong, crafty hero in their own right. Even female armor in video game MMORPGs seemed to get skimpier which each higher level. I wanted to make sure Duli didn’t disappoint female readers. She does make selfish mistakes, but it’s in the nature of a good character to grow and change. Over the course of the book, Duli not only sparks revolution but transforms into a leader that people will follow. Readers have shed tears with this character.

Many of my readers know that a lot of my characters started as characters I played in tabletop dice games or computer online adventures. Duli was born in World of Warcraft, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that this book is a WoW book. It is based in my world, and has a strong emotional tale to tell. That being said, you will see certain “Easter Eggs” from her origin. This includes the hairstyle on the cover of the book. Folks just might be interested to hear that “Online Duli” has led raids into the top tiers of the game.

Haven’t read “The Widow Brigade” yet? Follow the advice and reviews of other readers and give it a shot. As unique and original as this story is for the fantasy genre, you should treat yourself to something new.