By Mary Anne Yarde
God against Gods. King against King. Brother against Brother.
Mordred Pendragon had once said that the sons of Lancelot would eventually destroy each other, it seemed he was right all along.
Garren du Lac knew what the burning pyres meant in his brother’s kingdom — invasion. But who would dare to challenge King Alden of Cerniw for his throne? Only one man was daring enough, arrogant enough, to attempt such a feat — Budic du Lac, their eldest half-brother.
While Merton du Lac struggles to come to terms with the magnitude of Budic’s crime, there is another threat, one that is as ancient as it is powerful. But with the death toll rising and his men deserting who will take up the banner and fight in his name?
The air inside of the church smelled of myrrh, as well as the frightened sweat of the nuns and the monks who were knelt with their heads bowed in desperate prayer. Outside this sacred building, the Evil One played, but here there was only God.
Sister Helena lit the altar candles, her fingers shaking. She stood back for a moment and watched the tiny flames as they fought against the darkness that threatened to consume them all.
A child whimpered but was quickly shushed. It would not do for the child to be discovered, for Sister Helena knew that the Evil One had no respect for the sanctuary of this church or any church for that matter. He only needed an excuse to rip the door off its hinges and violate this sacred place with his foul presence.
Outside, a man screamed, and a horse whinnied in terror. The smell of smoke drifted through the tiny gap at the bottom of the doors and mingled with the scent of the myrrh. Someone hammered on the door, but the nuns and the monks paid it no heed and continued to pray. Only Sister Helena turned to look.
They had barricaded the doors as best as they could. But the barricade would only last for so long. And if those outside really wanted to get in, then there was not an awful lot they could do to stop them. They had no weapons — not that they would have known how to use them if they did. They would be slaughtered. Sister Helena knew this for she had seen such things before. She had lived through such things before. But this time it was different. Very different. Tonight there was an evil moon, which looked down from an indifferent sky. Many would die. Perhaps they all would.
The child whimpered again as she hid under Sister Mary-Sarah’s habit. If the child were discovered, then she too would be killed, for that was what happened to the children of a king who had been usurped. But Rozen had only just turned four, and she did not understand what was happening. How does one go about telling a child that her father had been poisoned and her mother, who had so daringly tried to reach her children, had been taken prisoner? The soldiers must not find this little one. It was bad enough that her younger baby brother had been taken captive. Sister Helena knew only too well what his fate would be. She just prayed that Jowan, Alden du Lac’s eldest son and heir, would make it to safety. But even if he did, he would still be hunted. No son of Alden’s would ever be allowed to live. For the boy would be a great threat when he grew up and sought revenge. And he would seek it.
About Mary Anne
Mary Anne Yarde is the multi award-winning author of the International Bestselling Series — The Du Lac Chronicles. Set a generation after the fall of King Arthur, The Du Lac Chronicles takes you on a journey through Dark Age Britain and Brittany, where you will meet new friends and terrifying foes. Based on legends and historical fact, The Du Lac Chronicles is a series not to be missed.
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.