Sold as a slave to pay taxes, a Moorish girl, Durra, alone and fearful that she will never find a real home, discovers she must protect Leida, an innocent farm girl also sold as a slave, as well as Emily, a headstrong stubborn girl who believes she knows best. The three are deposited on the isolated Die Wachter Island in a Bavarian lake and bound for the order of Saint Gertrude—the patron saint of cats.
Having no idea of their future or what this mysterious island holds, Durra only knows that she senses evil from the moment they step off the boat. The three girls are told they will never again fear the monsters that men have been in their lives—If they obey the rules of the convent. But who is this Saint and why this remote island? What does it hide? And why is there a skull of a wolf on the altar in the abbey? Why is everyone locked in at night? And why are all these cats around?
Durra learns where they are is called “Keeper’s Island” and they must take care of the dark secrets it holds.
All the nuns, even the Mother Superior, are young and beautiful… and all vegetarian. The eating of meat if prohibited. Having taught herself to read, Durra manages to get access to the extensive library. There she learns the history of the nuns and their island. The sisters’ mission is not what it seems.
On a dangerous, aborted escape, Emily, Leida and Durra learn the truth about the island’s secrets. Their Mother Superior rescues them after they confront Alarik, the head wolf of the pack that roams the island. But even the horrors outside the convent do not dissuade Emily from her desire for freedom. Her prank on the nuns stirs chaos within the convent and changes the three girls’ lives forever.
Durra finds a new path, as do her friends, but will she survive what awaits her on the island? Can she come to grips with her newfound powers to defeat the demons of hell? And what of Alarik? Will he sway Durra to his side?
The book is a quick and engaging read, a blend of action and mystery, it’s filled with stunning imagery and detail that blends a history of religion, ritual and the supernatural into a story of female empowerment and growth. The sinister creeping horror smartly probes the status quo of the treatment of women who challenge the patriarchal system as they fight for what is right.
I can’t wait for the next episode of this critical horror story.
Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, has written a tale of a monstrous fate that has turned a girl into a legend. Weis is an established award-winning writer of books and scripts in a wide variety of genres. She lives in New Orleans and is a member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers Association as well as being an active animal rescuer and rehabber. Check out this and her other books on AlexandreaWeis.com