Learning To Dharn

by Ann Somerville
Rhede Kelten, newly qualified physician, journeys across the oceans to Inades, seeking employment and a life away from an unloving family. An offer of a remote hospital post seems perfect, and he accepts a lift to his new posting from kind strangers. But an idyllic trip turns to horror when they’re attacked, his friends brutally murdered, and his own life is saved by a mysterious, mute stranger. Now his fate is in this stranger’s hands as they travel across a snowy wilderness. With his destination unknown, and his companion unwilling to share the smallest detail or comfort, Kelten wonders if he’ll ever be able to resume a normal life.

Dharn is a hunter, deaf from birth, who’s been raised in a community where deafness is no disability. His life follows an orderly rhythm from season to season, trapping with the help of his loyal dog, but when he rescues a feckless, rather arrogant young man from marauders, his peaceful existence is turned upside down. The responsibility isn’t exactly welcome, but there’s something about Kelten that attracts him. If Dharn can just keep him out of the clutches of the law and the marauders’ friends, these two people from very different backgrounds might have a chance of being together.