Shapechanger's Song: Chronicles of the Cheysuli by Jennifer Roberson
They were the Cheysuli, a race of magical warriors gifted with the ability to assume animal shape at will. For centuries they had been allies to the King of Homana, treasured champions of the realm. Until a king’s daughter ran away with a Cheysuli liege man and caused a war of annihilation against the Cheysuli race.Twenty-five years later the Cheysuli were hunted exiles in their own land, feared for their sorcery, their shapechanging.
This is the story of Alix, the daughter of that ill-fated union between Homanan princess and Cheysuli warrior, and her struggle to master the call of magic in her blood, and accept her place in an ancient prophecy she cannot deny.
The Song of Homana
For five long years the land of Homana had been strangling in the grasp of a usurper king—its people ravaged by strife, poverty and despair; its magical race, the Cheysuli, forced to flee or face extermination at the hands of their evil counterparts, the sorcerous Ilhini.
The time had come for Prince Carillon, Homana’s rightful ruler, to return from exile with his Cheysuli liege man, free his land from the evil domination of the tyrant Bellam and his villainous magicians, restore the Cheysuli to their rightful position of grace, and claim his birthright. To do this, he would not only have to raise an army, but overcome the fear and prejudice of an ignorant population and answer the call of a prophecy he never chose to serve!"
Mass market, a nice copy