The official blog of Historical Fantasy Author, Mary Anne Yarde, and home to The Coffee Pot Book Club.
Come and join me on the hunt for everything mythological, as well as historical. Oh, and let's not forget the odd book or two! Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy...
The death of King Arthur was only the beginning… #Arthurian #histfic
I have great news, you can pick
up your kindle copy of The Du Lac Chronicles for only 0.99 (Amazon US only). But hurry, this
offer won’t last long!!
The Du Lac Chronicles
Mary Anne Yarde
A generation after
Arthur Pendragon ruled, Briton lies fragmented into warring kingdoms and
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
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
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.
AD 495 Wessex, Briton.
Alden du Lac drew in a ragged breath. The cold night
air hurt his lungs, and the rough wooden post that he was tied to rubbed the
wounds on his back. He had prayed for the welcomed relief of unconsciousness;
alas, it was not to be. It seemed even God wanted him to suffer for his
He had lost count how many times he had been lashed.
All he knew was that each lash represented every Wessex soldier that had been
killed by his men. Cerniw's losses had been far higher, but no one paid for
their deaths. Life was never fair, though; he did not need a lost battle and
hundreds dead to tell him that much.
The year had been horrendous. Cerniw, with its rugged
moorlands, its vast forests and beautiful coasts, had been struck with one
pestilence after another. The people started to talk about moving, and some
already had. Those who had stayed loyal to the land and, of course, to him, no
doubt now wished they had not, for when Cerdic's Saxons came, they purged the kingdom, making it look like the hell the
bishop preached of in his Sunday sermon. Alden, unlike God, had been powerless
to do anything about it. Oh yes, he had fought, but the numbers he fought
against had overwhelmed his army, for who could fight the devil, without God on
their side, and think to win?
Alden hung his head in shame, his shoulder-length dark
hair falling into his face. He cursed his naivety and worse still, his
arrogance. His younger brother had warned him, but he had not heeded the
warning; instead, he believed the useless treaty that Cerdic of Wessex had
offered him only months before. He should have seen where Cerdic was going with
it then, only he had been blinded by grief, by guilt. The responsibility for
what happened, therefore, was his and his alone. He knew
that, and he took the blame. He deserved to be tied to a post waiting for
Alden closed his pain-filled grey eyes as the image of
his homeland in flames scorched his mind. He could hear the screams, the
begging for mercy, and the cries for help. He could taste the terror in the air
and feel the heat of the flames. Dear God, what had he done?
He had been left with no alternative. Even now, with
the clarity of hindsight, he could see no other choice. He had ridden towards
the enemy, carrying the white flag of truce and hoping ⎯ sweet Lord, how he had hoped ⎯ for
clemency, not for himself, but for his people.
Instead, Cerdic's soldiers had pulled him
unceremoniously from his horse and taken him prisoner along with at least
eighty of his kinsmen. Of their fate he was uncertain, but his was assured. If
he did not die tonight from exposure then an axe awaited him at dawn. It was a
terrifying thought, and he prayed to God for courage. He felt no warm, welcoming
presence and he feared what all men secretly feared, that on the morrow, he would
not die well.
Snow began to fall softly from the night sky, not
enough to settle, just enough to plummet the temperature further. He began to
shiver. He tried thinking of a warm fire and his large bed covered in thick
furs. It did not help. After all, when last he saw his fort it was in flames.
“Are you still alive, du Lac?”
Alden kept his head down, pretending to be unconscious,
and hoped the bastard would leave him alone to die in peace.
Draca, the guard in charge of the prisoners, was not
fooled. He lived for terror and he had no intention of allowing the former
ruler of Cerniw an easy death. He grabbed Alden's chin roughly and forced his
Alden opened his eyes and stared with contempt at the
soldier in front of him. Draca was a huge man, with a shiny bald head, tiny
eyes and a big fist, whose breath stank of stale beer and his body of gone-off
fish mixed horribly with the smell of fresh blood ⎯ not his own, but someone else's.
“Not quite dead yet, are you? Won't be long, though.”
Draca chuckled deep in his throat. “I've never killed a King before. I'm
looking forward to it…”
Yarde is an award winning author of the International Best Selling 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 Briton 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.
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