Destined to Lead is a book series by Canadian author Laura Thornton.
All the characters are Cat Folk. Also, due to the multicoloured nature of the feas, coming in every single colour imaginable, times two, the main characters are Color-Coded for Your Convenience. Although things can get a little confusing with Kajiya and her brother Resurge- they're both blue.
The story revolves around Kajiya, the first female fea to be marked as a magik, the next leader of her Tribe Mirabilia. She Jumped at the Call and fell flat on her face. She managed not only to put her best friend and one of Mirabilia's best hunters, Gaorun in danger, but her overreaction at the high council's punishment, (revoking her right to lead) causes her to be banished from Mirabilia! She then gathers up her team and sets off to regain her honor. Too bad the Big Bad decides Kajiya would be better off dead. They struggle to get supplies when the Assembly takes control of the only nearby source of water, and Kajiya’s magic suddenly gives out. Finally they manage to travel over the mountains and reach the far side of the continent. They manage to construct a boat, and leave with seconds to spare. But they soon find themselves at the mercy of the current, and strain themselves trying to reach the island of Ainee. Just as they spot the warriors, they reach the island, and safety. The next day, they set out to explore the island. It doesn’t take them long to find the original reason why Kajiya chose the island as their destination- it is the resting place of the blakeslee, giant stone golems created by magic during the great wars. Kajiya, however holds the Idiot Ball for a moment when she knocks one on the head to see if it’ll wake up. Bad idea. And then the author decides to be mean and gives us a Cliffhanger ending. Book 2, Healing begins exactly where Damage left off.
Was originally penned during NaNoWriMo 2012, it won. The author has stated that she intended (and succeeded in) finishing each book of the series by November 30th in honour of it. Likewise, she has published each book on May 28th as well.
There are confirmed to be three books in the series, Damage, Healing and Redemption.
Fun fact: the author does her own cover art. Hence, Kajiya thinks Sleeves Are for Wimps due to Rule of Cool. Slightly justified as concepts for the second book reveal that Kajiya would rather come face to face with a taic than wear sleeves. She hates to have to cover her magik's mark.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: The feas.
- Animesque: The cover art.
- As You Know: In book two, when Resurge begins to explain Gakkar's disappearance he uses these exact words. Ainee then chides him for it.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal: The feas, based on the cover art.
- Carnivore Confusion: Subverted. Feas are obligate carnivores- and they know it. One of their rules of magic forbids them to speak to other creatures because they cannot become sympathetic. Onta is a hunting aid, and therefore allowed- but Kajiya has an epiphany in the second book, where she realizes that they'll be eating Gaorun before they touch the onti.
- Cat Folk: The author originally insisted they weren't. She has since given in.
- Cat Girl: Kajiya, Ainee and all the rest of the feas.
- Expressive Ears : All the feas, Onta the onti, and Rosa the taic. Subverted with the kivolta, a species that cannot move their ears.
- Foreshadowing: on multiple counts. In book two, Resurge mentions that a 'game' wouldn't be so fun if someone breaks an arm. Later on, guess who ends up breaking a few ribs? In book one, Kajiya encounters a spiede, in book two- she gets captured by them! (Even more subtle, the first cave had jagged walls as opposed to the second's smooth ones, signifying it was unused by spiedes, the first speide was there as a messenger for the Big Bads!)
- Functional Magic: It falls under the 'Rule' subcategory, but with no words or that sort of thing. The entire second chapter is devoted to telling us the rules, and showing how magic works. Also serves as a contrast when Kajiya loses her magic halfway through.
- Giant Spiders: The spiedes certainly count, despite missing two eyes and four legs.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Resurge. He simply doesn't own any shirts, so he goes shirtless for most of Damage. However, in the second half, he is given a chirpl-skin vest, partially because they happen to have a chirpl and nothing to do with it, and partially to protect him from the cold of the mountains.
- Humanity Ensues: These◊images from the◊ official facebook page. Word of God states they're just for the fun of it.
- Jumped at the Call: Kajiya. She falls flat on her face.
- Pale Females, Dark Males: Partially; while it is possible to have a dark female and a light male, this is true of a fea's stripes, being that a female's stripes are always lighter than her base fur colour, while a male's stripes are always darker. Averted and lampshaded with Sarka and her brother, Orn. It's heavily implied that this applies to their entire family and is a genetic mutation.
- Playing with Fire: This seems to be one of Kajiya's magical self-defense go to- ironically, magic is described as having the sensation of ice, to the point where merely summoning it to a particular limb can numb it. Hmmm... Imagine- being able to freeze your own mouth at the dentist...
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Resurge, he's a Code of Honour type. But he also believes the fight not fought is the best one. But when something threatens, watch out! He'll attack with precision and strength.
- Sacrificial Revival Spell: One of their rules of magic is that in order to bring back the dead, the spellcaster must:
- 1. Die.
- 2. Go to the realm of the dead and ask if they want to be brought back to life.
- 3.1. If the dead fea says 'yes' that fea's spirit will now inhabit the spellcaster's body- the spellcaster is still dead. These people are referred to in-universe as 'Returneds'. Creates literal gender swapping when the spellcaster is the opposite of the fea they're bringing back. They are still treated as the original gender.
- 3.2. If the dead fea says no, then both are dead. End of story.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: Essentially everyone in Mirabilia.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl:
- Tomboy: Kajiya. Not only is she the only girl in Mirabilia to wear pants, she's headstrong, and completely disregards every gender-associated rule without repercussion, due to the fact she's a magik.
- Girly Girl: Ainee. Her dress is long and flowing, just as any woman's should be- and while she's probably Mysterium's first feminist, she still abides by the rules and accepted conventions, hence choosing to become a healer.
- Utility Magic: All over the place. Cooking, sewing, map-making, you name it.