The Kingdom of Elysia consists of two races: the dominant race of humans and the native race of Theriomorphs who can shift into animal form. Although law dictates equal treatment, they neither like nor trust each other. Now brutal and ruthless Raiders are approaching; they will lay waste to everything in their path. There is only one chance to defeat them. An army must be raised and trained. An army where each human will be paired with a Theriomorph partner. An army that must fight as one to defeat their common enemy.
Women are not instructed in the arts of war. However, Lluava is not like other women – human or Theriomorph. Her animal form is a magnificent beast whose power and fury she must learn to control. Although Lluava endures intense physical training and strives to overcome the doubts of the male recruits, she faces an unexpected adversary in the commanding general who seeks to break both her spirit and her body.
At the paring ceremony, Lluava is humbled when presented with a unique and ancient weapon. Yet she becomes distraught and angry when her human partner is revealed. If they fail to trust each other, the consequences will be devastating. Death and destruction are on the horizon and time is running out.
The Incarn Saga Tome 1
According to legend, when the world was young, the goddess Issaura appeared among men. Those who treated her with kindness received the gift of the gods—the ability to transform into an animal form. This was a great honor but one that separated this race from other humans. Before Issaura departed the mortal realm, she promised to return if her people were ever at the point of destruction.
Now a threat is rising from a land across the mists of the ocean, a threat that will push this race to the brink of extinction. Responding to the call to war, seventeen-year-old Lluava heads off to find her destiny, one that will carve her name in history.
Awards and Recognition
2018 Epic's eBook Awards Finalist for Paranormal/Fantasy
Reviewed by Ankita Shukla for Readers' Favorite
Issaura's Claws by Katharine E Wibell is an impressive fiction work that focuses on breaking the stereotype of women as a weak gender. Lluava is a headstrong seventeen-year-old girl. She is not a human, though. She is a theriomorph -- a special race that looked like a human but could convert into an animal form. Although the law of Elysia does not divide the humans and theriomorphs, the animosity between these two races is evident on a daily basis. In order to avoid any mistreatment and to fit in with the humans, many theriomorphs -- including Lluava's mother -- have adopted the humans' lifestyle. Lluava, however, does not succumb to these changes. Unfair or not, the lives of Lluava and others were moving at a steady pace before an order from the king turned their worlds upside down. In order to combat an army of raiders and to defend their land, each family of the kingdom -- theriomorph or human -- is required to send one member to the army. These people would be trained to stop the invasion of the raiders. Lluava's family consists of her mother, younger brother, younger sister, and a grandfather -- leaving only Lluava as a suitable choice to be sent to the army. Lluava, whose animal form is a fearsome tigress, hasn't even learned to properly change into her animal form, but now she must train to save the lives in her village.
Issaura's Claws is a story of friendship, courage, loyalty, and gender neutrality. Lluava's struggle, at the time of her training, to accept the pre-decided fate of the girls to be in the healers' category is relatable. Instead of identifying individuals based on their strengths and weaknesses, a general rule was passed to put all girls in the position of healers. Our headstrong protagonist, however, stood her ground and claimed her place among the warriors. Her training days were filled with challenges, more than the others, because she stood her ground and proved her worth to her mentors. Needless to say, she is my favorite character.
The characters of Issaura's Claws are dynamic and full of surprises. Although the leading character is Lluava, other characters managed to leave a mark. Just like its characters, the plot of the book is also far from monotonous. The author has done an incredible job of keeping readers on their toes throughout the story. There are many pearls of wisdom in the book, but my favorite one is that by using the right tools and reason, people of different mindsets can learn to not only work together, but also to care for one another. If you are a fan of fantasy-based books that keep you on the edge of your seat, then Issaura's Claws by Katharine E Wibell is definitely a good choice for you.
A great book, that opens up a story about gods and two populations: Humans and Theriomorphs, a book that builds up characters. And this is the strongest point that I can identify.
Lluava has the ability to shape shift into a white tigress. She is proud of her origins, in a world where being different means not being accepted. A war is about to start and she volunteers as a representative of her family. From here on, we get to experience what means becoming a soldier and taking part in a war. This is a strong story, which shows the glory, but also the horrible side of war – except the gods-related aspects, which I am not planning on touching.
The book is divided in two parts, first one being focused in Lluava’s developments, second one following the war and how the team manages to work together. From writing perspective, the author has done a great job in pointing out all emotions for all characters. Most of all, depicting the war scenes. Even though I felt the action as being dragged as some point, later on I understood why I had this feeling.
I loved how the main character was presented – from start to end. She started apparently as a lonely person, constantly living with the idea of being different, all the while trying to fit in. She does however show us, even from the first pages, a strong character with a good sense of justice. But what actually impressed me was how the reader gets to experience her development: from a girl to a soldier, a leader. She will push herself far beyond her limits, only relying on her own strength. Lluava can become a model heroine.
Without any unnecessary comments, for me this was a lovely read, with a main character that is now among my favorites. It is a series that I will for sure follow.
Review by Danny on Amazon and Goodreads
If this book doesn't win the Best Book of the Year, then the judges didn't read it or they are dumb. What character development, I never seen an author do as well as Katharine. The story was outstanding and it kept you turning the pages and be prepared to lose sleep. There are many twist and turns and several surprises. The main characters are just GREAT and you will fall in love with them. Wish I could live in their time, just to see H/h mature. Said this before, but this book is a Must read. You will love it.