This is the last of the Echo books and it is a mind-bending experience reading it. It takes Atriya to the final showdown, but along the way he must face up to who he is and what life is all about.
The final volume in the Echo series chronicles Crusader Atriya’s time in Mandala City. As Atriya crafts his mind into a psionic arsenal, he realises that no weapon—no matter how fantastic—will be enough to defeat the Regent. The only way he stands a chance is by vanquishing the ignorance within himself.
Atriya has finally found his way to the city of Mandala. Here he meets with Lazarus and Dake who take over from Verus in educating Atriya. Dake is brutal in his teaching. If you think there is no action in this book, you are mistaken. Yes, it explores many aspects of life and religion, but without action it is not. There are some difficult concepts laid out for Atriya (and the reader) to deal with.
Atriya’s development continues, and he is a well-drawn character. The others are also believable. If Dake is a bit violent, then he does what he does for the good of everyone. There is also someone who has got the wrong end of the stick, so to speak.
The writing is good and keeps the reader gripped. Mr Wayne still has problems with lay and lie, though, but that was not enough to send me screaming up the wall because the rest of the book was so rivetting.
I would recommend this book, but you must read the others first or you won’t understand it.
I give it 5*
Have you read this book? If so, what did you think?Let me know in the comments box.
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This novella is a prequel to my Wolves of Vimar series. It tells how Carthinal, the protagonist in that series, rose from being an orphaned street kid to a mage.
Here’s some blurb.
Carthinal is alone in the world. His parents and grandparents have died. Without money and a place to live, he faces an uncertain future.
After joining a street gang, Carthinal begins a life of crime. Soon after, he sees a performing magician, and decides he wants to learn the art of magic.
But can he break away from his past and find the path to his true destiny?
And a short excerpt to tempt you.
Carthinal, accompanied by his nanny, Blendin, dragged his feet as he entered the house.
They were on their way home from his grandfather’s funeral. The old man had passed away from a heart attack the previous week, yet he had seemed full of life up until then. Carthinal could not understand what had happened. His grandfather was the only relative he had in Bluehaven, his parents and his grandmother having died. Now he was all alone in the world.
His father had been an elf, and although sixteen and nominally of age, Carthinal’s progress was slower than true humans. He appeared—in both physical and mental development—to be a young boy of eleven. He wandered around the house, his steps echoing in empty rooms. His grandfather’s study looked, to the young boy, to be darker than usual, in spite of the sun streaming in through the windows. Silence filled rooms where he had enjoyed conversations with his grandparents. All life had gone from the house with the death of his grandfather. Now it was just a building where it had once been a home.
Carthinal went into the garden. He sat on his swing and swung idly backward and forward. What would happen to him now? Would they send him to his father’s people in Rindisillaron? It was a long way away, and he had no recollection of his paternal grandparents, although they had been in Bluehaven when he had been born.
He looked at the house. He heard the laughter of his grandmother and his grandfather’s deep voice. He even thought he heard his mother calling to him, although both his parents had been dead for the past eight years. He jumped off the swing and picked up a stick.
Clenching his jaw so tightly that it hurt, he slashed at the plants as he spat words out through his gritted teeth. “Why did they all die and leave me?” But ruining the garden gave him little satisfaction.
Blendin came out and found him still destroying the plants. “Come, Master Carthinal. This won’t help. You need to come in and have something to eat.”
“Shan’t! I’m not hungry.” He slashed at a tulip.
“What have those poor flowers done to you? You know you’ll be sorry once you’ve calmed down.”
“I don’t want to go back into the house.” He stamped his foot. “There’s no one there. It’s dead. Just like Mother and Father, Grandmother and Grandfather.”
Blendin sat down on a bench and pulled the boy towards her, holding him tight.
He kicked out at her and tried to bite, but she held him close. “This is now your house, Carthinal.” She ignored his struggles. “Your grandfather left it to you in his will. You’re a rich young man. If you no longer want to live here, you can sell it and buy somewhere else.”
Looking into the boy’s deep blue, almost indigo eyes, Blendin saw the hurt he felt. She brushed his auburn hair from his face and led him back inside.
The servants worked as usual. Carthinal’s grandfather had arranged that money should be sent to Promin, the butler, who then paid the other servants. Carthinal had his meals in the nursery with Blendin, although Promin had said that, as the master of the house, he should eat in the dining room. Carthinal could not bring himself to eat alone in that large room.
The days passed. Gromblo Grimnor, the lawyer who dealt with his grandfather’s affairs, often appeared at the house. Carthinal found him in his grandfather’s study one day.
“What are you doing?” the boy asked, frowning. “Why are you here? You’ve been coming a lot recently.”
Gromblo Grimnor smiled with his mouth, but it did not reach his eyes. He looked Carthinal up and down. “There are a lot of loose ends to tidy up, child. I need to come here to find things out.”
“What sort of things?”
“Things you wouldn’t understand, boy. Lawyer things.”
Although sixteen, Carthinal had always been treated as a child, and so he turned and left the lawyer to do what he needed to do. The law did not know what to do about a boy whose chronological age said he was an adult, but whose development said he was a child.
Every day he walked around the town. Being in the house had become too painful. Sometimes he stayed out all day. There was no one at the house for him to talk to now. He considered going back to the school where his grandfather had sent him, but they, like everyone else, did not want a sixteen-year-old who looked and behaved as if he were eleven. His grandfather’s money and influence had kept him there, but now, they didn’t want him.
Visits by Gromblo Grimnor increased. Carthinal asked Promin why the lawyer was there so often. The butler shrugged and shook his head. Blendin had no idea either. “I don’t know the workings of the law. Perhaps it’s because your grandfather died so suddenly, or because he was well off. Or it might even be because of you. You are an adult in Grosmer law, but still a child, in reality. That’s a bit confusing for the lawyers.”
One day, when Carthinal had been out for hours, he returned to find the door locked against him. Gromblo Grimnor appeared when he knocked.
“Go away,” the lawyer said. “There’s nothing for you here. We don’t want beggars at the door.”
The boy crossed the road and stood looking at the house he had once called home. Some men came and erected a sign saying it was for sale. How could they sell his house without his permission? His grandfather left it to him in his will.
Carthinal sat on a wall. As he watched, the staff, who had served his grandparents, left one by one. Some carried bags, others nothing. All turned to look back at the house as they trudged away. None saw the small auburn-haired lad sitting on the wall.
When he had seen everyone leave except the lawyer, Carthinal turned away. Where should he go? He had no living relatives. Not here in Bluehaven, anyway. He had relatives in the elven homeland of Rindisillaron, but he had no idea how to get there, nor how to find his paternal grandparents if he did manage it.
He ambled away, constantly turning to look toward the house. He had no idea where he was going, but staying there was pointless. His stomach rumbled. By now, the cook would have given him some honey cakes to assuage his hunger until it was time for the evening meal. His mouth felt dry, too.
He had a little money in his pocket and he wended his way toward the market place where there would be stalls selling food. He did not know what his small amount would buy him.
Sixteen was the legal age of majority in Grosmer, but Carthinal did not feel grown-up. No one knew when he would be able to take on the responsibilities of an adult. Elves were twenty-five before they became officially adults, but a half-elf—well, no one knew. Many people found his slow development odd and thought he was mentally deficient. A sixteen-year-old should not look and behave as if he were only eleven.
Carthinal arrived at the market. Taking a few coins from his pocket, he wandered past the stalls looking for something he could afford.
He stopped by a stall. “How much are your small pies?”
“The very small ones are one royal,” the stallholder replied, citing one of the copper coins.
“Please may I have one?”
The man smiled and passed a pie to the child. “Don’t spoil your evening meal with it, though, or your parents will be annoyed with me.”
Carthinal’s indigo blue eyes filled with tears, and he turned away so the man would not see. He strolled to the park gates, munching on the pie. Where would he sleep tonight? Would it be safe to sleep outdoors? All these questions passed through his mind as he finished the pie and brushed the crumbs off his tunic.
As the grandson of a prominent guild member in the town of Bluehaven, Carthinal had always been well dressed. Today was no exception. He wore a dark green tunic over a lighter green shirt and brown trousers. The cut and the cloth marked him out as the child of a wealthy family. He had never known hardship in his entire life.
As he passed a fountain, he cupped his hands and picked up some of the water. After slaking his thirst, he entered the park gates. Fortunately, it was summer, and so the night would not be cold. Carthinal sat down on the grass.
What would happen to him now? He had no home. How would he survive?
If you enjoyed this excerpt and would like to know more about how he survived, you can get the ebook FREE from today (March 22nd) until Friday, March 26th.
There have been several changes to Amazon KDP recently. Have you noticed?
SERIES. One interesting change is the introduction of the series page and the series manager. It seems like this new tool isn’t 100% complete yet, but it’s a giant step in the right direction. From the publishing end, it makes it easier to manage series. Now you get a series landing page and you can even write a series description (by default it uses the description from the first book).
On Saturday I sent the manuscript of Jealousy of a Viking to my publisher. This one has been long in the making. I don’t know why, but I seemed to want to go over it and over it.
Eventually I decided I had to bite the bullet and send it, so there it is—residing with the publisher until they can get around to dealing with it.
I know they have a load of books to publish, but it’s this waiting time I find so difficult. I’ll let you know as soon as I know something, of course. When that will be, who knows.
This book tells the story of Helgha, a young Viking girl who has to come to terms with jealousy both in herself and her lover’s wife. This eventually leads to disaster, of course.
When I know a bit more of what is happening I’ll let you know, but until then, here’s a taster.
Helgha wrinkled her nose while digging up the bulbs of the ramsons plants. The pungent smell that arose as she dug tickled her nostrils. She looked at her spoils, decided she had gathered enough and picked up her basket.
The sun was sinking toward the horizon making the shadows of the trees creep like hands reaching to grab her. She shivered. Soon the wolves would be hunting.
A swishing sound, like footsteps in the dead leaves fallen from the trees sounded in her ears. She whirled around, her ash blonde hair whipping her face. No one from her village would be coming from that direction. The road led deeper into the forest and all the villagers would be at home now. Could it be an outlaw? Strangers were not to be trusted.
She looked around. She should not have stopped to gather the extra ramsons, even though, with the winter approaching, it would be needed for the inevitable coughs and colds.
Helgha listened. A blackbird scrabbled in the leaves under a small bush. A squirrel chattered at her from high in the tree above, angry at her presence. She drew her brows together. What had she heard?
Concentrating, she discerned a voice muttering, but could not make out the words. Who was this person speaking to? Did it mean more than one person approached? She looked at the shadows of the trees. They would help to hide her, but her walk back to the village would be in near darkness; dangerous for a girl out alone.
A young man leading a grey horse appeared from around a bend in the road. He murmured to the animal as he walked. Seeing the stranger, Helgha backed toward the bushes at the edge of the track. She hoped to make herself invisible in the shadows, but his eyes turned in her direction, the movement giving her away.
“Hey,” He looked toward where Helgha had pushed her way into the undergrowth. “Can you help me? I’m lost.”
Helgha backed farther into the bushes looking for somewhere to run. Perhaps the narrow animal track behind her would lead to a wider one where she could make her escape and run back to Thoringsby.
The branches snatched at her long skirts. I wish I were a man. Then I’d wear breeches. She pulled her grey woollen overdress from an elder bush.
The man called again. “I won’t hurt you. I only want to find a way out of this endless forest and back on the road to Jorvik.”
Helgha stopped. She could not go any farther. A large bramble bush prickled her back, its thorns penetrating the woollen cloak she wore. The man dropped the horse’s reins and animal stopped, obedient to the signal. The stranger walked toward where he had seen Helgha before she pressed into the undergrowth.
“I understand why you’re afraid. I know strangers can be scary.” He smiled, making his grey eyes light up. “My name’s Erik.” He stopped walking and continued to speak. “I’m assuming there’s a farm or a village ahead and that’s where you’ve come from.”
Helgha stepped out from the bramble bush. She had to wrest her cloak free from the wicked thorns trying to pull her back. The man had seen her, so it was no use pretending she was not there. If he wanted to he could come after her. Anyway, she could go no farther with the dense brambles blocking her way.
“My home is a few minutes away.”
“Will you help me find a way out of the forest?”
Helgha looked at the man. He had light brown hair, a beard and a long moustache, as did most of the Danish men. His clothes looked of good quality and an expensive brooch pinned his cloak at the shoulder. She estimated him to be about eighteen years old—a few years older than herself.
As she looked at him, a hundred butterflies took flight in her stomach. She pressed her fist against it to try to stop their fluttering wings.
He’s not a beggar, nor even a poor man. Certainly not an outlaw, dressed in those clothes. And he has a friendly face. A handsome face. He’s lost as well.
She made a decision to help this man. As she began walking along the road, she beckoned Erik to follow. He picked up the reins and pulled his horse forward. It shook its head as if in denial before beginning to follow.
Helgha stopped and walked back to where the reluctant horse limped forward. She patted the animal talking gently to it. “You’re a beauty, aren’t you. Does your leg hurt?”
She turned to Erik. “What happened to your horse?”
“She tripped over something as we followed some game. I hope she’s not done too much damage to her leg. She’s a good horse.”
Helgha smiled. “Father’ll have a look at her when we get home. He’s good with horses. Have you walked far?”
“It seems like hundreds of miles.” He shrugged. “But it’s probably only a few.”
“How did you come to be lost?”
“My friends and I went hunting. As we cantered along, Stjarna tripped. The others rode on and I started to return to Jorvik. We’d ridden into a part of the forest we didn’t know—chasing a stag.’ He laughed. “He gave us a good run. I hope the others caught him. On the way back I must have taken a wrong turn somewhere.”
“You must have. We’re almost a day’s journey from Jorvik.”
“No wonder I felt I’d walked for weeks. I’ve gone in completely the wrong direction.”
They continued to walk along the forest road that wound between tall trees, mainly oaks, with bramble and bracken growing beneath their canopies. The leaves had begun to turn a yellow-gold and many had dropped to form a carpet beneath their feet. They swished like the sound of waves invading the beaches as their feet and hooves passed through them.
Helgha sniffed the air. A familiar scent reached her nose. This time of year fungi grew in abundance and people used them to flavour their stews.
“Wait a moment.” She rushed toward a fallen tree trunk where she picked some edible fungi from its bark. “These are good to eat. Mother will be pleased to have them.” She continued walking, looking back to see if he followed.
After a little while, the ground began to rise and the forest thinned. Shortly, the trees stopped altogether. Ahead a cleared area at the top of a little hill came into view. Fields surrounded the village with partially harvested crops growing in them. A small coppice of hazel grew on one side of the hill. The villagers used the wood for making everything from baskets to houses, and the nuts were a valuable crop for the winter.
As they climbed to the top of the hill a palisade with an open gate appeared. This was Helgha’s home. A large longhouse stood in the centre of the village surrounded by smaller ones in the same style. All the houses had thatched roofs that came almost to the ground. A frame of wood made up the walls, with a lattice of sticks woven between them. The houses had been made weatherproof by having a sticky clay substance daubed on thickly.
“Tie your horse here, Erik, then come into the house.” Helgha pointed to a post next to the palisade.
The Dane did as she bade him and followed her into the large longhouse. The pair entered through a door set in the middle of one of the longer sides of the building. Compared to outside, the house was dark, but their eyes soon became accustomed. A fire pit glowed in the centre of the single room, the smoke curling toward holes cut in the thatched roof. These holes allowed light to enter as well as letting the smoke from the fire to escape.
One end of the longhouse was closed off. Animals shifted around in that space, and occasionally there came the lowing of a cow. The scent of the animals permeated the large room, mingling with the smell of the smoke from the fire. At the other end of the longhouse, a wooden wall closed off another room.
A double row of wooden pillars ran the length of the house. Wide benches filled the gaps between them. A sheepskin and a blanket lay on each bench.
Three boys, all younger than Helgha, sat on one of the benches playing some sort of game while farther down two women gossiped as they span wool into yarn.
A pot hung over the fire and a woman with ash blonde hair, very like Helgha’s, stirred it. The woman straightened and rubbed her back smiling at Helgha. “You’re back. I was becoming anxious as it’s getting dark. Who’s this you’ve brought?”
“This is Erik. I met him as I started for home. He was lost.”
As they talked, the door opened to admit a tall man with light brown hair. He walked over to the fire and warmed his hands. “It’s getting cold in the evenings,” He looked around and noticed Erik. “Who’s this?”
Erik stepped forward and introduced himself.
“So, my daughter found another stray. This one’s a bit bigger than most.” He laughed and put his arm around Helgha to give her a hug. “She has a kind heart and often finds something that needs looking after.” He turned to the girl. “Speaking of your waifs, you’d better go and see to that orphaned fawn you brought home. He’ll need to go back to the forest soon.”
Helgha turned with a glance toward Erik that set all the butterflies off in her stomach again. She dragged her feet through the door, pausing once more to look back at Erik and her father.
Helgha’s father was big and had the look of a warrior. He had a full, bushy beard and twinkling blue eyes that he now turned toward Erik.
“I’ll show you the road to Jorvik tomorrow,” Helgha heard him say as she left to feed the orphaned animal. “It’s going dark now and it’ll be dangerous to leave. Stable your horse with the other animals. Over there.” He pointed to the room holding some cattle and pigs.
Helgha left and entered the stable end of the house. She pulled some hay over to a young deer as Erik led his horse through the door. She stood and patted the mare. “What’s her name?”
Erik gave the horse some water. “Stjarna.”
“A pretty name,. But she’s a pretty horse so should have a name to match.”
Helgha’s father pushed the door open. “Let me have a look at your animal. She looks to have hurt herself.” He knelt down and ran his hand down the leg. The mare shifted as he touched a sore spot. “ I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. It’s a bit bruised that’s all. Rabbit hole, was it?”
“Yes. I didn’t see properly. I was too busy getting up and looking where my friends had gone. I noticed she was limping, so I couldn’t chase after them.”
Although it was not close to the fire, the warmth of the animals kept the stable end of the house warm. When he had made his horse comfortable, Erik returned to the main part of the house, Helgha following.
Once they were back indoors, Helgha’s father said, “If you’re staying here tonight, I should introduce you to the family.” He laughed—a loud and cheery sound. “I’m Biorn. My wife is Ædelflaed. Helgha you know. Boys, come here,” he called to the three sitting in the shadows. “This is Hartvigg. He’s seen eleven summers. Then there’s Laeff. He’s seen nine summers and little Sigmund five. Helgha has fourteen, or is it fifteen? I forget sometimes.”
Ædelflaed shook her head. “Really!” she scolded, with a smile at her husband. “She’ll be fifteen in three weeks time. You know that as well as I do.”
“Well she’s fourteen now,” her husband argued and turned to Erik. “It’s late. You must stay tonight and I’ll show you the road to Jorvik tomorrow. Your friends? Will they be anxious about you?”
Erik laughed. “I expect so, and when they return to Jorvik without me, my father will no doubt punish them before sending them out to find either me or my body.”
When Ædelflaed served the stew and they all sat eating, Helgha watched Erik and followed his gaze as he looked at the round shield and battle-axe hanging on the wall opposite him.
He turned to Biorn. “You were a warrior then? When did you come here?”
“With the Great Army. We conquered this area. The Anglo-Saxons are weak fighters. It wasn’t too hard.”
“And you decided to stay?”
“Not straight away. I went back to Denmark. Then I came again. There was land here for the taking. Good land. Rich and fertile. I met Ædelflaed soon after that and we married.”
“Many came to settle,” Erik said. “My own family did. My father fought with the Great Army, too, and was there when they took Jorvik. He still tells tales of that battle; how the Anglo-Saxons tried to fight back, and we killed their leader.”
Helgha gazed at Erik throughout this conversation. She tried to memorise his features. She knew when he left she would not see him again. She thought he was the finest man she had ever seen. He was handsome and tall with the muscular body of a warrior.
He turned to look at her and she blushed. Erik smiled and that made her face heat up even more. The idea that he might know she liked him embarrassed her. She was only a young girl, but she was of marriageable age. Many girls as old as she was were married already.
Her parents would find her a suitable husband, and she would endeavour to be a good wife, but she wanted to remember Erik. She could dream of him at night and imagine his kisses, but only if she could remember exactly how he looked.
She had been watching him, remembering how he held his head and threw it back when he laughed. She noted the way he smiled. He loved his horse, too. She had watched as he patted it and spoke in a low voice so as not to startle it. Yes, she had enough stored to remember this man who had come so unexpectedly into her life and would as quickly leave it.
That night as she lay on the bench in her furs, she wept in silence for what could not be.
I hope you enjoyed this little taster of my latest work and are as anxious looking to read the rest as I am to hear more from the publisher.
What did you think about this first chapter? Does it whet your appetite for more?
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Another extremely enjoyable book in the Echo series by Kent Wayne. This book picks up where book 2 ends and has a surprise towards the end.
While Crusader Kischan Atriya fights to keep his life and sanity, his mentor Chrysalis Verus undertakes a perilous journey across the wilds of Echo. Their separate paths intertwine in the unlikeliest of places and across all borders, both psychic and physical.
Atriya is in a bad way after his fight in Book 2. He has ‘boosted’ three times in 24 hours. The recommended number is 1 or severe brain damage might occur. This book follows Atriya and his friend and mentor, Verus, across realms both physical and mental.
The characters are, as in the o ther books, believable. They have their flaws, especially Atriya. During this book he develops in many ways through his interactions with other characters and begins to see that his life as a Crusader is not what he thought it was.
On the whole, Mr Wayne’s writing is good and clear. He sets scenes that one can easily picture and draws you into the story with ease, so you don’t want to put the book down.
Another 4* stars for this one, largely because of things that slightly irritated me, like the way he uses ‘earth’ when he means ‘ground’. We are not on Earth.
I hope you enjoyed this review. These books are definitely worth a read. They are not simply adventure stories, although they are that, but they have a definite philosophical slant as well.
Feel free to reblog this post. The more eyes on these books the better it will be for Kent Wayne.
If you enjoyed this review, please leave a comment in the comments box.
I made this bun loaf. It’s delicious served in slices with butter.
Here’s the bun loaf recipe: It was one from my Mum’s sister, Auntie Millie.
170g mixed dried fruit
A little milk
½x5ml teaspoon mixed spice
2x20ml tablespoons marmalade
Cream the margarine and sugar together until light and creamy.
Add the egg and beat well.
Fold in the flour and then add the other ingredients.
Put into a well-greased loaf tin and bake at 180C for about 1½ hours.
And now for a rock cake recipe. This was from Auntie Millie’s friend, whom I called Auntie Wyn. (In those distant days, any adult was either Mr or Mrs , or Auntie or Uncle if they were friends of the family. Children calling adults by their first names was not done.)
250g SR flour
125g caster sugar
Dried fruit to taste.
Rub margarine into flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. (Or use a mixer.)
Add sugar and dried fruit and mix well in.
Add the eggs. This is a very stiff mixture.
Break into pieces and bake on a baking tray at 180 o C for about 10 minutes.
They are delicious straight from the oven. Well. I suggest letting them cool a bit first!
You can find more of my family’s recipes for only 0.99 (£ or $) from today until March 6th in Viv’s Family Recipes.
This little book is not only a recipe book, but gives insight into how different things were in food preparation and cooking in the past. Some of the recipes date back to 1909, from my Grandmother. Many of these old recipes contain a lot of fat, and require long cooking.
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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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I am feeling sad. I have read Sue Vincent’s post that she entitled The Last Post.
If you don’t know Sue, you have missed knowing someone who is a wonderful person. Her blogs have opened up much of both historical Britain, and that inner light that shines still from her.
Not for much longer, though. She was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and, brave as she is, carried on posting her wonderful posts, writing her beautiful poems and even writing poetry from her ‘small dog’ Ani.
Now it seems a light is going out in the world.
This may be the final post that I get chance to write for the Silent Eye… that decision has been taken out of my hands. I spent much of last week in hospital, having, as many of you know, been diagnosed with incurable small cell lung cancer last September. It has been an interesting and informative journey on so many levels as familiar things have been stripped away and a gift of love left in its place… rather like the tooth fairy leaving something of real value in place of a discarded incisor.
First to go was the illusion of near-immortality that gets us through life, one way or another. We know there is a certain inevitability about life leading to death, but we tend not to apply it to ourselves until we are forced to pay attention.