Delmar Lécuyer flees across the South Pacific, one heart-racing knot ahead of the law. At twenty-one, he's an outlaw—for a crime he didn’t commit—instead of following his surgeon career. As the tormenting clutches of France dissolve in the wind, he reaches Honolulu in hope of a new life. When the monarchy refuses the French disembarking for being Catholics, Delmar is devastated. Then, by a stroke of luck, he's called before Her Majesty. Will he win the gamble with fate to ensure his stay?
Her Majesty’s Quill is the first book in a historical fiction and magial realism series that features an array of intercultural and compelling characters—from the surgeon protagonist to women pirates and Hawaiian magicians—that meet in a sizzling, historical context. If you like exotic locales, cringe-worthy explorations of early 19th century medicine, and engaging urban fantasy, then you’ll love Mira Kanehl’s page-turning new series.
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Her Majesty's Quill is a delightful historical novella, book one in a series. It is the story of Delmar Lécuyer, a French surgeon who travels to the South Pacific in the 1800s. He falls in with a group of missionaries, and encounters many adventures ministering to the sick in a Hawaiian culture alien to his European roots. There is also the promise of romance. The author has a gift for bringing the sights, sounds and smells of a past era alive with evocative phrases and vivid descriptions. I look forward to the next installment of Delmar’s story.”
—Jennifer Scoullar, Australian bestselling Author
“Her Majesty's Quill is an enchanting start to a new series of novellas, reading historical, but with an undercurrent that is other-worldly. The reader simply knows without being told that something is afoot.
The story opens on a ship in the South Pacific, and soon lands in Hawaii. Those with a love for the islands will certainly fall headlong into this book. I for one, can't wait to see more of Ms. Kanehl's vivid and immersive description of this area in the 1800's. […]
Our main character, Delmar Lécuyer is a French surgeon. […] He's not the large, dark, and strapping man who makes every woman's heart go pitter-patter when first met. He is a real and relatable character in a tough situation. He pretends at being religious to keep the patronage of the priest, Bachelot. He might even be fooling himself.
When "Her Majesty" signs a decree that dictates the ship's fate on her island, Delmar reveals his stakes:
"Returning to France was not a choice, it would mean my certain death..."
As we get to know Dalmar in these pages, we learn that he has a background unique in a historical world and that he is a modest person. What he learns along the way, and what I thoroughly enjoyed seeing him discover, was that he had the same desires so common to all. I'll give away no more as it would spoil your personal experience with this character.
As the story carries on, we learn what drives the captain--La Plassard, her majesty, and the woman Delmar meets on the Island. We see some of the island's legends unfold, and we are compelled to keep reading by the budding love story.
"[Mayme] took his hand with a warmth that spread from her fingers into his […] heart."
We see an exploration of medicine in 1827, cringe-worthy for sure! We see a clash of religions and native cultures--Protestant, Catholic, and the old ways of the islands. […]
History, myth, love, legend, adventure... This little novella has it all!”
—Susan Stradiotto from Truly Novel Reviews