GENRE

Historical, epic action adventure fiction

SETTING

North West Africa

PLOT

With a fierce Amazon warrior as mother, Hinane only learned to fight in battle, hunt for food and write poetry. As a young untested girl – with only one dream (to find love like her parents’) – is thrown into a serious dilemma when having to flee from Roman slave capturers, leaving everything behind, her home, her childhood, her dreams.

Her friend/servant Takamat, her small tribe and warriors are reluctant to follow, scared of the deserts, fearful of the journey and would rather stay and fight the slave traders. But she’s not convinced they can win the fight if they stay and finally persuades them to go, but then leads them into an arid land with hardships and adversity not all could endure. She’s scared, alone and desperate to lead them to safety, and certainly not prepared for what lays ahead. But she finds strength in all around her…

They finally reach the Hoggar, a safe haven, a place to build a new home. At first they call her fugitive princess when she arrives and later on refer to her as a light-worker and healer.

She brought with her the ways of the warrior women (known as the Amazons), and enriches the Berbers (Amazigh) with war practises, poetry and language, healing with herbs and spice, and enforces in them pride, strength and integrity. She’s able to foresee the future and change it to suit her own beliefs.

But the current confederation leader Atisi, despises Hinane’s practises, and becomes jealous of the popularity she gains with his people. He offends her in public, threatening her mere existence, then takes away the one thing that sustains her more than anything else throughout all of her adversities.

Even more alarming: the lack of commodities within her household and tribe is daunting and worsens by the minute, she has to find a way to care for them all. But how? She only knows about battles and cavalry, nothing of commerce, nothing of farming, nothing of politics, nothing of creating wealth …

She finally finds a way to build riches, finally finds the courage to fight what she beliefs in and forms her own individuality as a leader. She deposes of Atisi, and becomes queen of the Tuareg in such a clever way, her followers in awe of her courage, mystical ways and powerful beauty. But her victory comes with a price, owed to the one who helps her, the person who loves her above all else – Amezwar.

Over the next 20 years she establishes the kingdom to a powerful and wealthy nation, founding the five important desert trading routes to Roman cities in Northern Africa and the Mediterranean.

But the influx of the Donastis Christians within her community, Catholic recruiters opposing the Donastis, and her tribe’s pagan beliefs and gods, threaten to divide the Tuareg. Her people are convinced the interference of the new gods among them is the cause for the sudden vandal attacks on their caravans, making them weak, and losing the protection from their own gods.

The Tuareg blames her for the divide and consequent severe losses of their wealth, accusing her of alienating them from their gods by allowing the Christians in their midst. But it was the betrayal of a trusted and loyal friend who infuriated her more than her tribe’s grievances.

She faces the challenges of uniting the Tuareg once again, re-establishing her authority, reconfirming her stance in politics and as queen. But she is also challenged to regain the belief within herself and to secure a future for her daughter.

The vandal king Gaiseric is a ruthless brute, raiding and plundering, taking North Africa by force, burning churches, killing women and children, all for power and treasures. He moves closer and closer to her domain, threatening their existence.

To re-establish the favour of her people, to prove herself as a worthy queen, she has to stop the raids, stop the plundering, stop the fatal threats her people face, reclaim their gods to their throne, and leave the comforts of her identity as a powerful matriarch to become a brave warrior once more.

She traverses to Carthage to oppose the vandal king. But will she triumph against Gaiseric, the devious, brilliant militant – clever, shrewd and cunning with thousands of barbarian followers?

And throughout all of this over the many years of her reign, inside her deepest being where no one else could see, she remains emotionally torn between her duty and respect towards her husband Amezwar, and the passionate undying love for her lover Chikae…