Adelbehrt was taken as a slave at six years old by the Romans. His new owner took him to Britannia, far away from his homeland. Here he grew up as a house slave, but never lost his resentment towards the Romans for his capture. He nurtured an idea that he could escape and return to his home village and find his mother once again.
But this was not to be, and although he did escape, he had to change his name and pose as a Britain. He is now known as Ailbert and has recently arrived in a village near to Eberacum, as the Romans called the city we now know as York. He has made a friend and has confessed that he would like to help get the Romans out of Britannia.
This extract tells of the first meeting of some hot-headed young men intent on rebellion.
As the sun began to set, Ailbert made his way to where Rhodri told him the young men were meeting. As he approached, one young man of about eighteen looked at Rhodri and asked grufflysaid, “What’s he doing here? He’s a stranger. We don’t know if we can trust him.”
“Come on, Rees,” Rhodri replied. “He can be trusted. I know he hates the Romans as much as the rest of us.”
Rees turned to Ailbert. “Rhodri says you hate the Romans. Tell us why.”
Ailbert looked at the other young man and began to chanted his litany of hate.
“They crucified my father; they took my family away from me; they took my home from me; they took my friends from me; they took my country from me; they sent Odila to a brothel; they treated me like a pet animal; they sent Avelina to a brothel; they took our names from us; they made a slave of Maeve; they tortured and killed an old woman for helping us; they made us flee from our new village; Tt: they took Awena’s chosen man from her.”
Upon hearing this, all nine of the young men gathered round the well stared at Ailbert. This litany could not have been made up on the spur of the moment, so they knew some of it at least must be true.
Gareth, who appeared to be their leader, then said, “It seems you have a great deal to hate the Romans for. You can join us if you wish. We’re planning an attack of some kind. It would be great if we could stir a full rebellion, but I don’t think the older men would join us. We need to decide what kind of things we can do to disrupt the Romans as much as possible, and even kill a few. If we cause enough trouble, then maybe they’ll decide it’s not worth staying here and go away.”
“Boudicca nearly succeeded in the south,” put in Ailbert. “Unfortunately, the Romans came back from Mona before everything had settled down.”
“And perhaps Venutius would have had some success if Cartimandua hadn’t been so difficult. If she’d fought the Romans with him and Caractacus, perhaps we wouldn’t be under Roman rule now,” someone said solemnly solemnly.
Gareth looked around. “Now, how are we going to fight the Romans? Perhaps we could send a message around the other settlements, asking people to join us. Then, when we’ve gathered enough men, we could fight a battle that we could win.”
“We’d need thousands, Gareth,” Rees stated from the back of the group. “How are we going to get so many?”
“When people hear about our proposed rebellion, then they’ll come, I’m sure.”
“No, not enough, Gareth. We can’t fight the Romans. Have you seen their organisation? That’s the reason we’ve never won against them. This meeting is a waste of time. The Romans are here to stay and we’ll have to get used to it.”
“Don’t be so defeatist, Rees,” said another voice piped up. “There must be some way we can fight them.”
As Ailbert had been listening to this, he’d had been thinking all the time. He then spoke with an idea that had been going round his head. “You’re all good hunters and are successful in killing your prey. Why is that?”
Silence fell as the young men looked at him and wondered what this had to do with attacking the Romans.
“We all know how to be stealthy and to hide. We only shoot when the animals are confident and not easily spooked.”
Rees said, “This is all nonsense. Hunting has nothing to do with raising a rebellion against the Romans. I’m out of here.”
“Wait, Rees!.” Ailbert’s voice was firm and confident. “Hear what I have to say before you go.”
Rees turned settled down again with a humph and a mutter no one else could make out.
“You’re all successful hunters because you know your prey. You know where they’ll be and when. Then you hide so you can’t be seen, and shoot from cover. The animals don’t know what’s happened. This can be used against the Romans.” Ailbert looked to the back of the group and his eyes found those of Rees. “I agree, Rees. We can’t fight them out in the open and so I propose we hunt them instead.”
Ailbert was surprised when a round of cheering erupted.
Then Gareth spoke. “Ailbert has some excellent ideas. I suggest we make him our leader in this. I couldn’t have come up with a plan like that.”
They greeted this suggestion with another round of cheers; and in this way, Ailbert found himself the battle leader of a group of young hotheads who wanted to fight Roman soldiers.
Until Thursday, March 4th you can get Vengeance of a Slave from Amazon for only 0.99 ($ or £). Don’t miss out on the chance to find out if Ailbert and his friends are successful against the Romans.
Here’s a review the book got on Amazon.
R. J. Krzak, Award-Winning Author
5.0 out of 5 stars A Riveting Story Set in Roman Times
Vengeance of a Slave by V.M. Sang is a riveting story set during the period when Rome controlled Britannia. Follow the trials and tribulations of Adelbhert after he and his sister are taken by the Romans from their mother. They eventually end up as slaves in what is modern-day London. Adelbhert performs a nightly ritual to remind himself of the suffering he and his sister have endured, beginning with the crucifixion of their father. He vows to escape and punish those who have wronged him.
V.M. has created a moving story which will keep you turning the pages to find out how Adelbhert and his sister handle their new life. Experience their sorrow, anguish, and finally hope as they adapt to their changing situation. This is the first novel I’ve red of V.M.’s and it certainly won’t be the last!
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