Haven (Chronicles of Warshard – 1) by Katherine Bogle
Princess Haven was never meant to be Queen.
Her immortality has saved her time and time again, but when the last of her royal family dies at her feet, she is next in line to rule a nation on the brink of war. With no formal training on how to be Queen, Haven must rise to the occasion with the help of her best friends, and personal guard, or risk losing everyone she has ever loved.
With war to the West, and no escape to the East, the evil tyrant Kadia sets her sights on the six kingdoms. Haven’s neighbors are quick to fall under the swords of Kadia’s shadow soldiers, leaving a sea of bodies and a clear path to Haven’s only home.
As Kadia’s obsession with Haven mounts, little time remains, and Haven must make a choice; join together with her fellow Royals, and test her immortality in a final stand against the evil Queen, or flee across the sea to a foreign republic in hopes of salvation. Both choices have a cost. Both plans could go awry. Haven must decide quickly, or she might be the only one left.
Katherine Bogle’s debut young adult novel, Haven, came second in the World’s Best Story contest 2015. She currently resides in Saint John, New Brunswick with her partner in crime, and plethora of cats.
Why including strong women in fiction is important
Not long ago, having a strong female protagonist in fiction was not as common as you may think. Though women have been prominent in the literary world for a long time, many were docile, seen as weak or insecure. But with a new generation, comes new wants and needs.
Cast aside your Mary Sues and Bella Swans – this generation wants Katniss, Safiya, Tris, Hermione and Mare. Though each faces their own demons, they do so with strength and a can-do attitude. They may not start out strong, but they get there, and that is what’s important. Being broken, or down on your luck is okay. Everyone struggles. But getting back up is what matters.
Strong women in fiction shows the next generation how women can be perceived or what women wanted at the time. Having badass ladies, who can do pretty much anything shows our daughters they can be strong too. They can lead. They can win. They don’t need to hold back. It shows our sons that they should respect women, love them and always be kind.
Literature teaches all of us from a young age – whether we remember it all or not. Growing up with Katniss from the Hunger Games, or Tris from Divergent, shows young girls that standing up for yourself isn’t a bad thing. It shows them they don’t need to be small, delicate and timid. It shows them they can lead a rebellion, topple a tyrannical ruler, or you know, be respected and appreciated. We should all strive to teach children they can be anything, and having strong women in fiction will do just that.
After the death of her family, Haven has no choice but to be coronated as queen. It doesn’t help that she has the ability to regenerate which keeps her from being killed. Her people want to make sure that they will have a queen for quite a while, especially when Queen Kadia of Dagen has decided to go to war with everyone. Kadia has created an army of shadows to destroy everything in her path to ruling everything. And with the other rulers either having to fight, flee or die it is up to Haven to step up as queen and decide how to rule her kingdom best, even if it is against everything that is recommended to her.
I really like Haven. She was never meant to be queen, never been taught or trained, and very unsure of herself. At first she relies heavily on those around her and is very unsure of how to proceed. But the more she goes through the tougher she becomes and rises to the role of queen.
This is a great story and one that has the feel of an epic fantasy. There are some rough spots but that is expected from a first in a series. I would have liked to learn more about the other kingdoms but I have a feeling they will be explored more in future books. I will definitely be adding this series to my list.
I received Haven for free from iRead Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.