Wickedly readable and thrilling …
Feminism, bravery, and integrity collide to make a rip-roaring high fantasy that draws heavy inspiration from the original Three Musketeers in Studdard’s latest. Hailing from a family of top-notch male matador champions, Verónica Espinosa knows she has a lot to prove as an eighteen-year-old young woman in the ring. But an emotional weakness during a bullfight forces Verónica to flee her home and town. Struggling to look for a life purpose, Verónica joins the king’s Musketeers as the first woman member, thanks to her dueling and swordplay skills. When a dangerous conspiracy throws the king’s life in danger, Verónica knows she must do everything in her power if she wants to protect the king. The plot is expertly paced and full of surprises, its intricate fantasy world skillfully drawn. Fully fleshed-out, flawed, and endearing heroine whose actions are genuinely unpredictable and relentless action and plot twists will keep readers’ hearts racing. Studdard is a keen observer of the human psyche and a master of fast-paced action, skillfully unraveling Verónica’s inner strength as the latter finds herself facing challenge, one after another. Undercurrents of integrity, honor, truth, and courage roll beneath the affecting narrative. This high fantasy story deftly plays with genre expectations while examining the power dynamics between the genders as well as the conflict between ego and emotions. The convincing SF and high-fantasy elements ground the dispersed plot elements (the almost non-stop Musketeer missions in a row). The novel makes for a page-turning read for readers both young and old.
Veronica: A Musketeer’s Story
By Jody Studdard
Pub date September 17, 2021
Price $9.99 (USD) Paperback, $15.99 Hardcover, $0.00 Kindle edition