A village kitchen girl has few choices in life until a slip of her knife causes invading barbarian pirates to think she’s a witch. They kidnap her to get the “witch” bounty offered by their home coven. She goes willingly enough with only the clothes on her back and her favorite boning knife. Dubbed “Knife Witch” by the barbarian captain, Volzh, and his crew, she saves the ship—twice—thanks to what they insist is magic and she protests is nothing more than an itchy disposition and her mad skills at carving and filleting. They start to think of her as “their” witch, and she starts feeling responsible for them as if she actually had the power to protect them. Claiming she’s just a kitchen girl, she goes on to wreak havoc with the evil coven, an even evil-er Empire, the kraken determined to marry her, a world-breaking volcano, and the gods themselves.
Susan diRende’s published works range from serious academic to sci-fi space farce. Her art and videos have been shown in exhibitions and film festivals in the United States, Mexico, Belgium, and New Zealand. She has won numerous awards and grants for her writing and art from, among others, the Artist Trust, the Philip K Dick Awards, Seattle Arts Commission, Montgomery Arts Association, and the Dixie Film Festival.