In Nubia a woman can be whatever she chooses. At 14, Kandake knows exactly what she chooses…Prime Warrior of Nubia. But her grandmother has said that she will follow her father on the throne.Refusing to abandon her warrior dreams, she continues to train. When her brother is kidnapped, Kandake learns she must be both queen and warrior to win his release.
I am so excited about my book finally seeing the light of day! In 2010 I entered this manuscript in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and advanced to the semi-finals. Here is a sample of the reviews I got.
Amazon.com Review I fully expected (with a title like "Nubian Princess") that this excerpt was written by a thirteen year old with prose that left a lot to be desired. Not so. This is a writer that knows his (or, her) fiction-writing craft. The prose is smooth and mature and enjoyable ...
From Publishers Weekly This stellar historical novel brings ancient Nubia to life as one girl struggles to understand her destiny. Kandake, 14, is the youngest child of King Amani, ruler of Nubia. Her desire is to protect the land she loves as a warrior, but the decision is not in her hands. When Great Mother announces Kandake as the heir to the throne, she sadly accepts the inevitable, striving to understand Great Mother’s reasoning. Meanwhile bandits have been raiding Nubia’s trading caravans, and Egypt, Nubia’s ally and neighbor, is asking for assistance to protect its borders from the Assyrians. When Kandake’s brother Alara fails to return from a hunting expedition, King Amani makes a difficult decision: Nubia must use her resources to defend her border. Alara’s rescue must take second place. Unwilling to accept this decision, Kandake and her friends sneak away to find Alara. This skillfully crafted novel weaves cultural details into a remarkable, well-structured plot featuring a strong African heroine. The characters are fully developed, and their motivations, inspirations, and the growing maturity of these teens are believable. Readers will eagerly hope for a sequel to resolve the larger political issues facing Nubia and its future Queen.
And here is my most recent review. It’s long, but I think he understands Kandake best.
Stephanie Jefferson brings the ancient kingdom of Nubia vividly to life in this enthralling tale of a young warrior princess poised on the brink of adulthood and great power. The land, people, and culture of Nubia are described with such lush detail, humanity, and love, it’s hard for me to believe I couldn’t hop on a plane and visit it. And surely Kandake really is out there somewhere standing tall and proud, warrior strong. The next time I’m faced with a challenge and need to find an inner reserve of that measured strength and wisdom, I will close my eyes and imagine I’m Kandake. Despite her story being set so far in the past, Princess Kandake reads as a very real teenager, with the timeless growing pains and questions we can all relate to. When is it okay to break the rules? How much control do we really have over our own lives? How do you balance responsibility to others with responsibility to yourself? And Kandake makes mistakes. She has a lot to learn. But I love her for how fiercely she loves her family and her people, and for her constant struggle to do the right thing despite a headstrong nature. I was rooting for Princess Kandake all the way. This is also a story of family and the complex interrelationships between siblings, and parents and children, made even more intense by the fact that this particular family must rule and protect their beloved kingdom, which is caught in the rising tensions between Assyria and Egypt. Kandake is given an awesome burden to keep her people and their fertile country safe from war. She must meet the expectations of the role she is given, while also being true to herself. The solutions she finds are unique and inspiring, and I look forward to her next adventure.
~Tommy Kovac, Writer & Artist
Wonderland – Disney Press
The Royal Historian of Oz – SLG Publishing
Of course, now you want to run right out and buy it so you can read it for yourself. Here’s the best way. Just use this link.