Dun Lady's Jess
The Changespell Saga I
1995 winner of the Compton Crook Award
Dun Lady’s Jess: all woman, all heart…all horse.
Courier mount Dun Lady's Jess accepts the hand of only one man: Carey of Anfeald. Together they race across rugged territories with the spell manuscripts no one else dares to carry, handling secrets with the potential to destroy worlds.
That is, until a treacherous wizard rips Lady and Carey apart in mid-run, tossing them across realities and turning Lady into Jess—a woman of fiery equine spirit and unyielding intent.
But Jess and Carey weren’t the only ones to tumble between worlds, and they aren’t the only ones looking for a way back. They definitely aren’t the only ones who want that deadly spell manuscript. And ultimately, only Jess—separated from the one person she trusts, flung into a new human form and culture—has the means to bring two worlds together and stop a wizard run amuck.
That is, if anyone can…
Backlist cover art by Doranna Durgin
Baen cover art by DKS
Red Deer art by Mondolithic
The fun bonus artwork below:
A recent sketch by Dreamer author/artist Lora Innes
(here's a bigger version!)
A sketch I did of Jess
"....Dun Lady's Jess is unique. Durgin has created a character who is utterly believable as both horse and horse-in-human-body. The setup is brilliant: the magic that causes the transformation is not in the horse, but external, and the creature that is Dun Lady's Jess must adapt, must find an identity that works in both paradigms. Humans who encounter her, in either body, must also adapt to the reality that created her and that she represents. She cannot be, any longer, just another mare...she cannot be, ever, just another woman...."
--Excerpt from Elizabeth Moon's Forward
for Dun Lady's Jess
"A thrill ride with a fantasy twist, neatly done by a knowledgeable author - short, sweet, and paced at a gallop, Dun Lady's Jess can't help but to win you over."
"Horses, heroics, and magic--a great combination! I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dun Lady's Jess, a spirited and daring novel. I couldn't put it down."
--Kristen Britain, author of the Green Rider series
"Dun Lady's Jess is a wonderful read for those who are horse fans and those who are just plain fantasy fans or fans of great writing."
--Josepha Sherman, bestselling author/editor
"Dun Lady's Jess is everything a great fantasy ought to be: Exciting, moving, and utterly original. Doranna Durgin has spun a marvelous tale, set it in a world that feels as real as our own, and populated that world with characters who will stay with you long after you read the final page. An excellent book, which I highly recommend."
--David Coe, author of Winds of the Forelands & the LonTobyn Chronicle
"Jess is a tale of wonderfully diverse and riveting characters embroiled in extraordinary events, told with a deftness and care few authors can achieve. Once you begin, you won't be able to put it down until you know what happens -- and then you'll wish it never stopped. I highly recommend it."
--Diana Pharoah Francis, author of Path of Blood
"Dun Lady's Jess is an adventure story with heart. It's a unique idea, imaginatively explored. The characters are charming, and humanly flawed. The accurate equestrian touches are a pleasure to encounter, and Jess' reactions, particularly while she's still getting her feet under her, are surprisingly yet completely believable. Doranna Durgin offers the reader an unusual viewpoint of impressive versimilitude."
--Vonda McIntyre, Nebula and Hugo Award-winning author of The Moon and the Sun
"Durgin never fails to entertain with solid characters, good action, well-conceived plots, compelling narrative -- and her expert background in horses always provides a real -- and realistic! -- treat for readers. Jess is one of the most complex and likeable characters in fantasy fiction."
--Jennifer Roberson, author of the Karavans and Sword Dancer series