If all you had left was your heart, would you give it to your enemy?
AD 495, Wessex, Briton.
A generation after Arthur Pendragon ruled, Briton lies fragmented into warring kingdoms and principalities.
The powerful Saxon King, Cerdic of Wessex, has spent the last twenty years hunting down Arthur’s noble knights. He is determined to secure his kingdom against any reprisals for killing their legendary leader. The knights who have survived the genocide are destined to spend the rest of their lives in hiding, never revealing who they really are.
The only knight who refused to be intimidated by this Saxon invader was Lancelot du Lac. Lancelot and Cerdic formed a fragile truce, but Lancelot has been dead these past eight years and it has fallen to his sons to protect Briton from the ambitions of the Saxon King.
Alden du Lac, the once king of Cerniw and son of Lancelot, has nothing. Betrayed by Cerdic, Alden’s kingdom lies in rubble, his fort razed to the ground and his brother Merton missing, presumably dead. Cerdic has had Alden tied to a post and ordered his skin to be lashed from his back. In the morning, if Alden is still alive, he is to be executed.
Annis, daughter of King Cerdic of Wessex, has been secretly in love with Alden for what seems like forever. She will not stand by and see him die. She defies father, king, and country to save the man she loves from her father’s dungeons. Alden and Annis flee Wessex together.
To the horror of Alden’s few remaining allies, he has given his heart to the daughter of his enemy. Alden’s allies see Annis, at best, as a bargaining chip to avoid war with her powerful father. At worst, they see a Saxon whore with her claws in a broken, wounded king.
Alden has one hope: When you war with one du Lac, you war with them all. His brother Budic, King of Brittany, could offer the deposed young king sanctuary—but whether he will offer the same courtesy to Annis is far less certain.
“Cerdic came about an hour ago and rounded up all the men. They are all out searching for you. You are a very popular man at the moment.” She paused and looked at Annis. “You cannot travel with Cerdic’s daughter. Bors will not allow you to.”
“It is not up to him.”
Jess’s eyes narrowed into tight slits and Annis wondered if the old woman could still see out of them. She wished she understood what they said.
“You sound just like your father, may God rest his soul. And look what happened to him.”
Alden looked away from the old woman.
“Do not travel in his footsteps. He is the reason the Saxons came in the first place.”
“You know that is not true,” Alden said.
“He broke faith.” Jess stated a fact.
“Never.” He scowled at her, his pain momentarily forgotten as his beloved late father’s reputation was being sullied. “Arthur broke faith with him. He murdered my mother’s first husband in front of my father. Do not think to teach me my father’s history, for I already know it.”
“Not all.” Jess said with the arrogant confidence one often finds in the very old.
“All.” Alden confirmed. “All of it,” he said again, daring her to contradict him.
In Mary's words:
My Inspiration behind The Du Lac Chronicles.
The stories of Arthur and his knights were a part of my childhood – growing up very near Glastonbury, I guess that is not really surprising. Out of interest I started to research the era Arthur’s story is set, but I became distracted by a Saxon called Cerdic. By AD 519, Cerdic became the first West-Saxon king of Britain. His journey to being crowned is quite extraordinary. Cerdic and his son raged war across the Southern kingdoms of England – conquered most of them, and brought a sort of unity to the south that had not been seen since the Roman era.
Cerdic’s exploits and Arthur’s legendary legacy somehow became entwined. Some say that their armies once met at Badon Hill. I wanted to explore this possibility some more, and this is where my inspiration for The Du Lac Chronicles came from.
The Du Lac Chronicles is set a generation after the fall of King Arthur. I wanted to write about the changing ‘Saxon’ world that Arthur’s knights now found themselves in.
The Du Lac Chronicles follows - through the eyes of Lancelot du Lac’s sons - Cerdic of Wessex’s campaign to become High King. The world the du Lac’s had known was to be changed forever by this one man’s determination to enslave the kingdoms under the Saxon yolk. In my story these men, these knights, are courageous, honourable and they do not die easily.
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About the Author
Born in Bath, England, Mary Anne Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury—the fabled Isle of Avalon—was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.
At nineteen, Yarde married her childhood sweetheart and began a bachelor of arts in history at Cardiff University, only to have her studies interrupted by the arrival of her first child. She would later return to higher education, studying equine science at Warwickshire College. Horses and history remain two of her major passions.
Yarde keeps busy raising four children and helping run a successful family business. She has many skills but has never mastered cooking—so if you ever drop by, she (and her family) would appreciate some tasty treats or a meal out!
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Email: author "at" maryanneyarde "dot" com
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