Lakwi would love to read the books in the Royal library, but girls aren’t allowed inside. Her passion for books attracts the attention of her dashing older brother, Prince Rokkan, and her suave cousin, Lord Haka. Will her drive for knowledge lead her into more trouble than she can handle?
Jeanette O'Hagan spun tales in the world of Nardva from the age of eight. She enjoys writing fantasy, sci-fi, poetry, and editing.
Her Nardvan stories span continents, millennia and cultures. Some involve shapeshifters and magic. Others include space stations, plasma rifles and cyborgs.
She has published over thirty stories and poems including the five books in her YA epic fanasty - Under the Mountain novella series -as well as Ruhanna's Flight and Other Stories, and her debut novel, Akrad's Children - a Young Adult secondary world fantasy fiction with adventure, courtly intrigue and romantic elements.
Her stories and poems have also been published in over twenty anthologies - including Gods of Clay, Challenge Accepted and Tales of Magic and Destiny in 2019
Jeanette has practised medicine, studied communication, history, theology and a Master of Arts (Writing). She loves reading, painting, travel, catching up for coffee with friends, pondering the meaning of life and communicating God’s great love. She lives in Brisbane with her husband and children.
I'm definitely not in the target age group for this book but that didn't stop me from enjoying it. Lakwi is an endearing character, and although the story was fairly predictable, that didn't make it bad by any stretch of the imagination. I was scared for Lakwi when I knew she was heading into danger and held my breath while I waited to see what would happen. I look forward to reading more from this world.
A fun story with an important theme. Lakwi is a believable hero, a child on the verge of adolescence struggling to find her place in an adult world. Her greatest hunger in life is for the knowledge that is denied her because she is a girl. This book makes me appreciate books all the more - a gift so easy to take for granted.
In a very short space to time, this book presents a world that feels "lived in", and larger than the glimpse we see. The book drops a few hints toward the backstory of the larger Nardva world, without feeling shoe-horned in any way.
When Princess Lakwi chases her runaway puppy through the palace, she ends up outside her brother's classroom. She's fascinated by the story she hears, but is unable to participate because girls aren't allowed a formal education. Another of her brothers, the dashing Prince Rokkan, starts smuggling books to her so that she can read what the boys are learning. A whole new world is opened up to her, but all could be lost when she is tricked into a situation that could endanger her very life. Will the things she's learned be any practical use to her when events seem to be spiralling out of her control?
I really enjoyed this short story. Although the heroine is around 12 or 13, I found the themes just as relevant for me. In the West, it's easy to take education for granted and forget that it is not available to everyone. In some cultures, girls like Lakwi are still denied what we regard as a basic right. Although the story has a serious theme, Jeanette O'Hagan's treatment of it is never heavy-handed. She skilfully develops the characters and creates a plot filled with heart and tension. O'Hagan writes beautifully and it was easy to imagine the world in which the story was set. I could almost smell the ancient books and hear the horses panting next to me.
This story was originally published in the anthology 'Like a Girl', which highlights the need for education among girls. Jeanette O'Hagan is a masterful storyteller and I can't wait to see what she publishes next. 'Lakwi's Lament' and her earlier ebook 'Heart of the Mountain' are both excellent reads and well worth the downloads.
Thank you to the author for providing a free copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.
I wrote ‘Lakwi’s Lament’ for the Like a Girl anthology, inspired by Mirren Hogan, to raise money for girl’s education across the world. Like a Girl is available on Amazon and includes stories and poems about girls and women overcoming difficulties, the sacrifices made and potential reached. Even in the 21st century girl’s equal access to education remains a significant issue and keeping girls at school during the teen years have much better outcomes for their health and the prevention of issues such as child marriage and abuse.
Set in Tamra, ‘Lakwi’s Lament’ occurs some years before the events of Akrad’s Children and its sequel, Rasel’s Song, but about ten years after ‘The Herbalist’s Daughter’. While in most Western countries, few would question that girls should have equal access to education to their brothers, this has not been the case throughout history—and indeed in many countries even today. A woman’s role may be seen as confined to wife and mother.
Lakwi's Lament is a fun story, an adventure with (I think) an exciting finish.
I had fun with the cover design which includes two of Lakwi’s great loves—her puppy Butterbur and her love for books and stories.
Lakwi is the adventurous younger sister in a royal family....much more interested in reading and the stories of her people than the household duties and pastimes expected of a princess. Jeanette O'Hagan's world of Nardva is elegantly introduced in this tale of an adventurous princess who unwittingly treads a dangerous path. References to the history of the royal family link to other stories in the Akrad series while developing characters who stand in their own right. I look forward to reading more of her stories and recommend Lakwi's Lament as a good place to begin in this rich and complex fantasy world.
Lakwi wants to learn, she wants to access the palace library and discover history, geography and literature. But Lakwi is a princess and it is not for her to be spending time reading and learning about such things. Her time is better spent weaving and learning how to socialise with the other ladies of the court. When Lakwi’s brother begins to smuggle books to her a new world opens up. Will her newfound knowledge be enough to prevent disaster or will Lakwi’s future resemble the tragic tales of the past that she is coming to love? Jeannette O’Hagan has written a delightful short story set in the fantasy world of Nardva. Full of rich history and courtly intrigue readers get another glimpse of the wonderful world that O’Hagan is creating.
I always enjoy Jeanette O'Hagan's stories and this one is no exception. She writes engaging fantasy stories. This one is a short story about a Princess who is not allowed to learn with the boys but is fed books by an understanding older brother. Her increasing knowledge of the world helps change her destiny. This is well-woven together and very likeable with the added bonus of promoting reading. It is suitable for older readers too and is a very quick read but with a rich storytelling world.
Thank you Jeanette for providing a copy of your story in exchange for my honest review.