HIGH KING OF BRITAIN by Tracy Cooper-Posey
Once and Future Hearts. Book 5.0
Ancient Historical Fantasy Romance
All she wants is to fight for Arthur and Britain.
Lady Mair is a daughter of Corneus—the house of perfect warriors—and wants only to serve Arthur, War Duke of Britain, as her brothers Lucan and Bedivere do. Yet King Alun of Brocéliande wants to make her his queen, which would mean leaving Britain and Arthur’s court.
Alun’s younger brother and Mair’s best friend, Rawn, sees things as Mair does—nothing is more important than being the best warriors they can be.
Only Mair is entangled in the politics of the kings and leaders surrounding Arthur, just as his army prepares to fight two major battles in one summer, and people wonder when Arthur will become High King of Britain.
Plus, Rawn is hiding secrets of his own, that run counter to Mair’s desperate wish to be free to fight for Britain.
This novel is part of the historical fantasy romance series, Once and Future Hearts, set in Britain during the time of King Arthur.
1.0 Born of No Man
2.0 Dragon Kin
3.0 Pendragon Rises
3.5 Once and Future Hearts Box One
4.0 War Duke of Britain
5.0 High King of Britain
6.0 Battle of Mount Badon
6.5 Once and Future Hearts Box Two
7.0 Abduction of Guenivere
8.0 Downfall of Cornwall
9.0 Vengeance of Arthur
10.0 Grace of Lancelot
11.0 The Grail and Glory
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High King of Britain is the fifth installment in the Once and Future Hearts ancient history series. Sooo... the story gets to known territory for me! All my favourite characters are finally here: Arthur, Morgana, Lancelot, Vivien, even Morgause... and of course the central plot. This the story of Mair, a young lady who wanted to be a knight for Arthur, the best one she was able to. What I love most about Tracy's stories is that they're historically rigorous and yet very compelling. As a trained historian sometimes I miss in the literature strong female roles able to design their own destiny apart from being mother, daughter or sister to men. These women indeed were and are out there, and it's a delight to find all the things I love in one author, so thank you Tracy for giving voice to all of us ;).
I fell in love with King Arthur all over again. I have always loved tales of King Arthur but this book struck a cord in me. This is not your typical "round table " fairy tale. This is the story of love, deception, magic, war, and the willingness to die for your country. The women train as warriors along with the men. Lady Mair is fantastic, I can actually see her as a real woman. Feisty and brave.
High King of Britain is the fifth book in the Once and Future Hearts Series. Tracy has again written a wonderful story bringing you back to the time of Arthur.
I don't like giving away the plot of a story so I will say that this is a book that is a must read.
It would be beneficial to start at the beginning of the series so that you see where the characters come in and how they continue to interact with one another throughout the series.
Like the other books in the series High King gave me an intimate relationship with two characters and their relationship challenges, in order to create highlights in the overall story of Arthur's wars waged against the Saxons.
I immersed myself in ancient Britain and thoroughly enjoyed the focus romance as well as several other relationships happening in amongst the epic tale woven about Arthur and his army. Wonderful insights into how the traditional style of fighting evolved...whilst also paying homage and building our respect for a visionary fighter who thinks about every aspect of war.
There was a delightful theme of strong women learning about and achieving their best selves.
The central romance had delightful moments of camaraderie and that special type of chemistry that comes for a couple who've known each other well as friends.
Interesting plot twists and intriguing insights into characters motivations make this beautifully written book a delight to escape into!
I highly recommend this whole series whether you are an Arthurian aficionado or just someone like me who appreciates sophisticated plots and well written romance!
I really love how Tracy can make her characters sympathetic and relatable even when I don’t agree with their actions. There are a few places that I just want to smack Mair upside her head and tell her to get real. But that is exactly what Mair is doing and we are on an exciting and entertaining ride while she does.
And Morgan. Really a lot going on there. There are so many incomplete stories out there about her that I cannot wait to follow her on her continued journey.
The sword. I love this explanation for how the sword ends up in the stone. Such a great idea.
Tracy managed to humanize these larger than life icons into a story that resonates with everyone.
Once again this author submerges you into the magical past and surrounds you in drama and magic, she effortlessly brings you into the past, a past that’s full of intrigue that is the way of warrior women and the obstacles they faced and how important honour and family and allegiance is. Wonderful to have such a strong heroine as the main character. Wonderful read and can’t wait for the next book especially with the ending created in this book
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EXCERPT FROM HIGH KING OF BRITAIN
COPYRIGHT © TRACY COOPER-POSEY 2019
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
After washing and exchanging her bloody war gear for clean leather, Mair ducked under the tent flap and went in search of wine, her mind calm, her thoughts peaceful. The battle had been won. It was time to celebrate.
Somewhere nearby, there would be a campfire with like-minded warriors sitting around it, with wineskins and cups. A place would be made for her.
“Lady Mair.” The call came from her left.
Mair halted to look. The man who came toward her was black of hair, with a sharp jaw. He looked familiar. Mair took in his wide shoulders, and the strong wrists. He had washed and changed just as she had, so there were no house markings on his clothes or cloak to tell her who he was.
She glanced at his face once more as he stopped before her. He had thick dark brows over very blue eyes…and then she knew why he seemed familiar to him. “Arawn Uther,” she said. “You have joined Arthur’s army now?”
“My brother sent me, as he could not be spared himself,” Arawn Uther said. “Alun remains in Lesser Britain to hold the eastern borders with Hoel.” He reached inside his over tunic, underneath the cloak. “I have a letter for you, from Alun.”
The mention of a letter should have filled her with delight. Instead, Mair felt a twisting and tightening in her belly. “He did not send it by messenger?”
“Not this letter,” Arawn Uther held the sealed roll toward her.
The very slight emphasis made her hesitate as she reached for the roll. “Why this letter? You know what is in it, don’t you?”
Arawn Uther didn’t shift his stance. His expression did not change. Yet Mair could feel the wave of sadness that swept him. His blue eyes glittered. “My mother…Ilsa…” His throat worked.
Mair sighed. “Oh, Arawn… I’m so sorry.”
He nodded. Then he cleared his throat. “As you can imagine, my mother’s passing changes things.”
He did not finish the thought, but he did not need to. Mair could finish it all by herself. It changes things between you and Alun.
Alun had been pressing for a solid arrangement between them for years, via messengers and couriers, and letters like this one. Now, with his mother’s passing, he would reasonably expect to secure the next generation.
Mair looked at the roll hanging forgotten in Arawn’s hand. She didn’t want to read it. Once she read Alun’s entreaty that she join him in Brocéliande, she would be forced to make a decision.
Mair gripped Arawn’s arm. “It is not the time to tax our minds with such matters,” she said firmly. “We have clawed victory from this day. I was about to find some wine and I insist you come and drink it with me.”
She shook her head. “No. You fought today as I did. You now get to enjoy the warrior’s rights. Drink and…perhaps we can find you a willing, warm woman, to take that care from your eyes.”
Arawn rolled his eyes. “Really, Lady Mair–”
“Mair,” she said firmly.
“Rawn,” he replied, just as firmly. He narrowed his eyes and stuffed the letter back inside his tunic. “Where is this wine you speak of?”