Title: The Du Lac Chronicles (Book #1 in The Du Lac Chronicles)
Author: Mary Anne Yarde
Genre: Young Adult, Medieval Romance, Historical Fantasy
Winner — N.N.Light Award for Best Romance 2016.
Bronze Medal Winner — Circle Of Books Ring of Honor Award 2016
Finalist — The Golden Box Book Publishing Golden Book Award 2017
A generation after Arthur Pendragon ruled, Briton lies fragmented into warring kingdoms and principalities.
Eighteen-year-old Alden du Lac ruled the tiny kingdom of Cerniw. Now he half-hangs from a wooden pole, his back lashed into a mass of bloody welts exposed to the cold of a cruel winter night. He’s to be executed come daybreak—should he survive that long.
When Alden notices the shadowy figure approaching, he assumes death has come to end his pain. Instead, the daughter of his enemy, Cerdic of Wessex, frees and hides him, her motives unclear.
Annis has loved Alden since his ill-fated marriage to her Saxon cousin—a marriage that ended in blood and guilt—and she would give anything to protect him. Annis’s rescue of Alden traps them between a brutal Saxon king and Alden’s remaining allies. Meanwhile, unknown forces are carefully manipulating the ruins of Arthur’s legacy.
The Du Lac Chronicles has a recommend reading age of 16+
It was a poor meal, Alden thought as he broke off the meat and handed some to Annis. They would need something more filling than a small bird if they were to survive. He wondered if they dared try and find a village to stock up on supplies, not that they had any coins to buy anything with. It was a bad idea, really, for nobody liked beggars, and they would probably be hounded out of the village by pitchforks. Still, he had to think of something. He frowned as he chewed. Kent was an option. It was close and he was on good terms with the king. They would be safe in Kent and it wasn’t that far away. Yes, Kent. He had wanted to reach Cerniw, but Kent was a better option, especially if Cerdic’s men were raping the place, as Bors had suggested.
“We are heading for Kent,” Alden announced, his mind made up. It was a logical plan.
Annis lowered the meat she was about to put in her mouth and looked at him.
Alden popped some more meat into his mouth and chewed slowly.
“Kent?” Annis asked. To her, Kent was as far away as the moon. She had never stepped foot out of the lands that surrounded her father’s castle.
“I need to know what is going on. King Oeric has always been an ally and he has a good fleet of boats.”
“But you could be caught. My father will have placed men at the border. Surely he will guess you will head that way,” Annis argued.
“I was caught last time because I surrendered. I can promise you, I will not be caught again. And as for your father, he knows as well as I that there are several places I could go. I do not doubt that Kent has crossed his mind. But this time, I am looking for him, so the way I see it, I have the advantage.” He frowned. “Eat,” he ordered, popping some more of the meat into his mouth. “I will not have it said that I starved you.”
She brought the meat halfway to her mouth again and stopped. “How long will it take to get to Kent?”
“A day, maybe less, depending on the weather.”
“And if the weather isn’t kind?”
Alden laughed. “Forever the pessimist,” he mocked gently. “If the weather isn’t kind then I am guessing it will take longer.”
Annis blushed. “I know that,” she mumbled. “I’m sorry for being…” Her words faded into nothing as she sat and stared at the flames.
“For being what?” Alden queried.
“Oh nothing, forget I said anything. It was a stupid question and…”
“And?” he encouraged, noting her change of tone and the way she would not look at him.
“And I know I am not very good company and I slow you down, and if it wasn’t for me you would probably be in Kent by now.” He tried to interrupt, but she would not let him for she had too much to say. “I cannot cook to save my life. I have no idea how to look after myself. If anything happened to you, I would die within days. My father is a monster. My body feels like it has been trampled on by a herd of raging horses. I am dirty. I smell. And I hate my knees,” she huffed.
“Your knees?” Alden asked, bemused, for he had not expected such a torrent of words from her and being a mere man, he did not really understand her point.
“Never mind my knees. You are right. I am a pessimist. I learned very early on not to look forward to things, because then, I would not be disappointed if they did not happen. And I have had a great many disappointments. I hate my hair. I hate curls. I hate the fact that I am a Saxon. Sometimes I hate myself. And now I am rambling, and no doubt making a fool of myself. I am completely useless, am I not?”
“You lost me with the knee thing. Can you repeat the rest again?”
Mary Anne Yarde is an award-winning author of the International Bestselling series — The Du Lac Chronicles.
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.
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Title: The Pitchfork Rebellion: The Du Lac Chronicles – Novella
Author: Mary Anne Yarde
Genre: Young Adult, Arthurian Fiction, Historical Fantasy
From the author who brought us The Du Lac Chronicles…
When the devil wanted to destroy the world he would do so with fire. Alden du Lac knew this for a fact, because the devil had come to Cerniw.
Alden may have driven the man who tortured him from his lands, but he can do nothing to drive him from his dreams.
Alden has become bitter, angry and unrecognizable to those who love him. The only person whom could possible bring him back from the brink is his younger brother Merton. But even Merton is at a loss as to what to do.
As Alden seemingly wars with himself, there is a new threat to the kingdom. A threat that nobody foresaw, or could have possibly predicted…
The adventure continues in this beautiful novella.
The Du Lac Chronicles – The Pitchfork Rebellion from Mary Anne Yarde is a new story based on Arthurian Legend and the great historical/fantasy fiction tradition of Bernard Cornwall, C.M.Grey and Kim Headlee.
The Pitchfork Rebellion has a recommend reading age of 16+
“Have you seen how the people react to Annis? How they react to me?” Alden continued, shouting at the top of his voice.
The horse snorted in fear and backed up a few steps. “It’s all right,” Merton said gently. The horse’s ears went forward as Merton spoke. Merton knew not whether he was speaking to the horse or his brother. Both were frightened, he realised.
“I have witnessed it,” Merton answered, his voice steady. “And I have defended her. You need to give them time to get used to the idea and to realise that she is nothing like her father.”
“I don’t want to give them time. I bled for them.” He turned abruptly away and ran his fingers roughly through his dark hair. “I bled for them,” he said again, only this time his words were softer, and the hurt that Alden had tried so hard to conceal rang out in his words. “I would have died for them and how do they repay me? They spit at my wife and they call me a traitor.” Alden shook his head and laughed without any humour. “I am going to abdicate. My mind is made up.”
“And who is supposed to take your place on the throne?” Merton questioned, his voice wobbling a little, for he knew if he said the wrong thing there would be no going back from this. This was his last chance, he realised. If he did not bring his brother back now then he would be lost to him forever. “Me?” he asked when Alden simply looked at him. “Can you even begin to imagine the mess I would make of that?”
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Title: The Du Lac Devil (Book #2 of The Du Lac Chronicles)
Author: Mary Anne Yarde
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Arthurian Fiction
War is coming to Saxon Briton.
As one kingdom after another falls to the savage might of the High King, Cerdic of Wessex, only one family dares to stand up to him — The Du Lacs.
Budic and Alden Du Lac are barely speaking to each other, and Merton is a mercenary, fighting for the highest bidder. If Wessex hears of the brothers’ discord, then all is lost.
Fate brings Merton du Lac back to the ancestral lands of his forefathers, and he finds his country on the brink of civil war. But there is worse to come, for his father’s old enemy has infiltrated the court of Benwick. Now, more than ever, the Du Lacs must come together to save the kingdom and themselves.
Can old rivalries and resentments be overcome in time to stop a war?
Merton slowed his horse down to a steady trot. He could hear the pounding of hooves behind him. She had never been one to give up when she set her mind to something. As a child, he had adored her for that, however, as an adult, it annoyed the hell out of him.
He allowed Yrre’s horse to slow down to a walk, and he waited for her to catch up. It was best to let her have her say and then maybe she would leave him alone once and for all.
“What do you want from me?” he asked as she rode towards him.
“Budic needs your help.”
“You married my brother,” he said in disbelief as he halted his horse and dismounted. “Why would you do something so stupid?”
“Don’t pretend you care who I marry,” Josephine said as she too, got off her horse.
“He will not make you happy. He will make your life a living hell.”
“He will make me a queen. I will be someone worthy. Someone important. Do you have any idea what it feels like to be mocked and to be condemned and to be the person that everyone walks away from? I loved you. I loved you with every fibre of my being. I have never loved anyone the way I loved you.”
Merton sighed in annoyance and looked away. He didn’t want to hear this. He couldn’t. He wished she would just leave him alone. He didn’t want to fight with her about the past, and he didn’t want to tell her that he did understand. He knew exactly what it was like to watch the world turn its back on you.
“Last night Philippe told me that he seeks the throne.”
“Philippe is nothing. He is no one,” Merton stated. “I heard you, and he, were lovers.”
“I heard you were the devil,” she challenged back.
“So it is true, then.” Merton pulled the reins over his horse’s head and began to walk away.
The next installment in The Du Lac Chronicles comes out later this year (2017). I can’t wait!