A Wild and Unremarkable Thing
Publisher: The Parliament House
Release Date: January 23, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Fifteen years have passed since a Fire Scale scorched Cayda’s village. Fifteen years of beatings, of bare kitchen cupboards and sloppy swordplay. Fifteen years of biting her lip for her father’s cane while her younger sisters did the same for the grimy patrons of the village brothels. Fifteen years of staring steadfastly after beauty in an increasingly ugly world.
Now, with hair shorn and breast bound, Cayda marches into the Summer Alps as Cody, a hopeful Champion seeking a dragon-slayer’s reward, with the full weight of her family’s survival on her shoulders.
But the road between poverty and prosperity is rife with beasts, betrayals, and baser temptations. Sensible Cayda soon discovers that she is not the only Champion with her eye on the prize, or the only one wearing a disguise.
With monsters, gods, and royalty hot on her heels, Cayda must ask herself if victory is worth sacrificing her identity for – or her life.
A Wild and Unremarkable Thing pits girl against dragon in a stunning blend of Greek mythology and medieval lore. Readers will not quickly forget the diverse cast or the thrilling, sexy ride!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jen Castleberry lives and writes in Virginia Beach.
Her background is in Animal Welfare.
All of her pets are named after superheroes.
The Struggle of Identity and Self Acceptance in YA Fantasy – AWAUT
In AWAUT, Cayda is living in a patriarchal society, which is fairly typical in historical fantasy. After her family is thrust into poverty, her father decides to raise her as a boy and train her to slay a dragon, so she can one day bring home riches as a dragon-slayer. (Girls aren’t allowed to register as champions, and their rewards will be revoked if their gender is discovered post-slaying.) So from a very young age, Cayda is trained not only to be champion, but also to be a boy. Her gender is essentially assigned by her father, and her identity struggle goes into overdrive when the feminine aspects of her identity begin to emerge, particularly after she leaves home and gains some distance from the family she’s trying to save. To deal, she essentially separates herself into two separate people, calling her feminine self by her true name, Cayda, and her masculine self Cody.
For some people, gender identity is very clear. For others, gender is a more fluid concept. I would say Cayda falls into the latter category, but she struggles to appreciate the fact that she can converge the masculine and feminine aspects of her identity into one, congruent sense of self. On the outside, she’s capable, callous, self-assured, but beneath the surface, she’s struggling. For Cayda, an enormous part of her journey to self-acceptance involves expanding her cultural experience (leaving her small town), and meeting other characters who accept and admire her.
Tour Schedule Here.
Prize: 1 signed paperback copy of A WILD AND UNREMARKABLE THING by Jen Castleberry
Starts: January 23
Ends: February 2
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