Once and Future Hearts. Book 6.5

Ancient Historical Fantasy Romance

More books by Tracy Cooper-Posey
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I’m not sure how she does it, but Tracy continues to make each story more exciting than the last! I can’t stop reading these, even when I should be sleeping! – Reader Review

The next three books of the series that will “keep you hooked until the end”, featuring the myths, legends and magic of the beloved King Arthur stories, surrounding heart-rending romances of the men and women who lived and loved in these perilous times.

War Duke of Britain
He is not the enemy she came to fight.

Idris the Slayer is the champion of the northern kings. Undefeated in battle, the dark, lone warrior who rides to war with a black wolf at his side spreads fear before him, even among those counted his allies.  When Rhiannon of Galleva rides to her first battle with Emrys and Cai, she expects to fight the Saxon hoards pouring into Britain. She is not braced to defend herself against Idris’ incursion into her heart.

High King of Britain
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.  But Rawn is hiding secrets of his own, that run counter to Mair’s desperate wish to be free to fight for Britain.

Battle of Mount Badon
Their every encounter gives off sparks of contempt and misunderstanding. Bedivere is one of King Arthur’s companions, his marshall and war duke of his army.  Handsome, remote, traditional and honor-bound, all he wants is to be a perfect warrior and serve Arthur.  Only, Arthur’s people face another dark winter of deprivation and defeat at the hands of the ruthless Saxons.  How can Bedivere find victory for Arthur when there is no hope?  Cara of Brynaich is half-Saxon, the younger daughter of a reviled family. Her facial scars keep her apart from everyone. Her heart holds only hatred for the Saxons who betrayed her mother, murdered her father and brought her and her kin to such misery. She has no time for honor and tradition.  Hope is for blind fools.

Included in this boxed set:
4.0 War Duke of Britain
5.0 High King of Britain
6.0 Battle of Mount Badon

This story 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

8.1 Touch by Maen Llia
9.0 Vengeance of Arthur
10.0 Grace of Lancelot
11.0 The Grail and Glory
12.0 Camlann

A Historical Fantasy Romance/Ancient Historical Romance series

{Also see: Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Historical Romance, Fantasy Romance, Romance, Novels}

~ Maps for the Series ~

Who’s Who and What’s What for the Series

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Once and Future Hearts Box Two
Average rating:  
 7 reviews
 by Beatriz
Goodies in a box

This is box two form Once and Future Hearts series. The bonus is the notations throughout the box. Although I’m not a professional I really like to know about the creation process. This series is linked to the Jewels of Tomorrow series, as they are set at the same time. What I like most about the books is how personal relationships are woven and interlaced with the historical events with such skill. 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. Strong female roles who not only supports male ones but have strength on their own. 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 ;).
If you like Ancient history and very well written books don't skip the opportunity to enjoy the series, totally worth the time!

War duke of Britain
Arthur is finally here!! But what a twist!! Imagine how good is the author in her craft that she is capable of surprising us here readers even though the Arthurian cycle is one of the most rewritten one in western literature (in my opinion). Love Rhiannon, the heroine in War duke of Britain, and how she follows her heart instead of the usual conventions. And love the moral of the story about freedom, never forget Rome was built upon slaves. Aaand can't wait to see what happens next with Morgan a favourite of mine and a very interesting character indeed.

High King of Britain
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.

Battle of Mount Badon
Battle of Mount Badon is the sixth installment in the Once and Future Hearts series. This is not only the story of Cara and Bedivere, but of Guenivere, Arthur, Lancelot and even Morgan, yet Bedivere may be my favourite one, even strong trees can bend.
What I love most about this series is they still have the ability to amaze me six books into the series! This time Camelot caught me by surprise even though I should've been expecting it.

 by Heather Baxter
Once And Future Hearts Box Two.

II started this book not quite knowing what to expect & boy did Tracy surprise me. I loved this story/tale right from the words get go. Tracy's Arthurian knights of the table with their strong women, leave a lot to be desired in this day & age. They fight, they drink, they dress for more comfort less than to impress not like today.

It took me a while to read, but I enjoyed every second of it, A brilliant read of Arthur & his band of men & women. The ones that stood out were Rhiannon & her romance with Idris The Slayer now who couldn't be moved by them. There was also Steffan & Anwen wanting to stay close even though they were getting on in years & him blind, they could both still fight if need be. Merlin & Cai were still in what i call the growing older group, but having done a lot with their time.  Friendships, have strengthened so the can fight side by side, knowing what each other thinks.

This box set has covered a lot of things over years & places, so thank you for such a beautifully written set of books Tracy, i really did enjoy them.

 by KatZ
A Box Set of Three Great Books

This is box two containing books 4-6 of the Once and Future Hearts Series. I greatly enjoyed the stories in this set, which are an outstanding retelling of the Arthurian legends. If you enjoy the story of King Arthur, you will love these books. If you like historical romance, you will also like these books. So good, I binged on these the first time as each individual book, and now in this box set, I binged on them again.

War Duke of Britain

Arthur finally is here and all his early friends and Merlin surround him. This story is mainly told by Rhiannon who's family Arthur has lived with for years. Idris is a giant of a man from the north who comes answering the call to arms. He catches the eye of Rhiannon. This book is full of friendship, war, invading Saxons, Merlin, mystery, political mayhem, and love. So many people gathered here in this book! This is a great book set long ago and full of bloody war and political intrigue.

High King of Britain

I love a retelling of the Arthurian legend that uses research and a great writing style to bring the story alive again. This time we have Mair and Rawn, two determined fighters who get their story told. The finding of Excalibur was awesome. Of course there is always love in these stories, as of course there would be in real life. Not just a good book, a GREAT one.

Battle of Mount Badon

Tracy Cooper Posey did it yet again and gave us another engaging story to read in her Once and Future Hearts series. Here a damaged Cara meets a seemingly perfect Bedivere and things become complicated. I feel like I have really gotten to know the characters in the Arthur legend so well, and the time period scenes and Saxon aggression really made me think how hard life would have been so long ago. This series just continues to get better and better as each story builds more and more on this wonderful reimagining of King Arthur and his court.

 by Audrey Cienki
Once and Future Hearts Box 2

What an incredible storyteller! In Once & Future Hearts Box 2, Tracy Cooper Posey succeeds in doing what I had considered impossible-telling an Arthurian tale as well as Mary Stewart. I am just in awe of her ability to meld historical detail with legends and turn out a mesmerizing story. Tracy takes a story that has been told for centuries and makes it her own while remaining true to the spirit of the legend.

Tracy can make her characters sympathetic and relatable even when you really just want give them a ‘good talking to’. Mair and Morgan are a few of the familiar characters who make appearances in this tale.

And the sword! I love Tracy’s explanation for how the sword ends up in the stone. Such a great idea.

Somehow, Tracy manages to humanize these larger than life icons into a story that resonates with everyone.

From the first word, Tracy Cooper Posey grabs hold of you and delivers you into the story. I feel like I have actually met the characters and that I am actually present during the action.

This is a great set of books and an amazing series!

 by IngSav
An enthralling series with epic historical stories told through the romances of 'everyday' characters.

The books of this series all feature an intimate relationship with two characters and their relationship challenges, in order to create highlights in the overall story of King Arthur and his court.

I immersed myself in ancient Britain and thoroughly enjoyed each focus romance, as well as several other relationships, set amongst the epic tale woven about Arthur, his court and his army. The spellbinding story-telling provided tales so complex and yet so enthralling that I was completely addicted and transported, despite it being a tough and brutal time in history.

Characters were complex, interesting, engaging, strong & passionate. There was great chemistry and lovely intimate interactions without being too unrealistic within the boundaries of the war and camp-like environments.

There was often a delightful theme of strong women learning about and achieving their best selves. It was interesting to 'see' war from a female and a male point of view...the preparations, mental fortitude and physical training needed.

Interesting plot twists and intriguing insights into characters motivations make these well-crafted books a delight!
I highly recommend this whole series (starting at Born Of No Man or Box Set One) whether you are an Arthurian aficionado or just someone like me who appreciates sophisticated plots and well written romance! These books by Tracy Cooper-Posey are immersive and transporting.

 by Karen
Once and Future Hearts Box Two

Great series

The second trilogy of stories in the boxed set, in the Once and Future Hearts series, contains War Duke of Britain, High King of Britain, and Battle at Mount Baden. This is Cooper-Posey at her best, with her personal insights added between the novels.
You can hear the drums of war beating throughout this installment in the The Once and Future Hearts series.

War Duke of Britain, based on the Celtic version of the Arthurian legend. Time has moved forward, and the children of Pendragon Rises are now adults. The romance of Idris the Slayer and Rhiannon is woven around the coming together of all Britain under a dying Uther to battle the Saxons. There’s wonderful political intrigue, and more than a few secrets revealed. I’ve never been a fan of the Arthur story, but this series by Cooper-Posey is not only palatable, but one I look forward to reading (despite the subject matter). I love the way the tapestry of the historical setting is pieced together, bringing the sights and sounds of the dark ages alive.

High King of Britain, the fifth installment in the The Once and Future Hearts series, takes the reader to the battles leading to the coronation of Arthur as High King. The panorama is sweeping as the united houses fight to both keep their borders intact from the Saxon invasion, even as treachery looms from within by their own people. Mair, born and raised to be the perfect warrior, finds herself on a journey of self-revelation as an increase of knowledge becomes a pool of wisdom. Rawn, with true self-sacrificing love, allows Mair to discover who she is and who she can become, despite the cost to himself. As always, Cooper-Posey finds a path through the thorny briars to make the seemingly impossible relationship of Mair and Rawn real and ultimately satisfying.

Battle of Mount Badon is the sixth installment of the Once and Future Hearts series, set in the mythos of the Arthurian legend. This story is my favorite, so far, of the entire series. Besides the main thread of Cara and Bedivere, we encounter the now-adult Gueniviere and the beginning of tiny ripples that promise to destroy all those caught in the ever-widening circles of intrigue and unrequited love. I have never been a fan of Arthur, Camelot and like ilk, but Cooper-Posey has caught my attention, and each book of the series has been a treat. The tale of Cara and Bedivere is woven seamlessly into the on-going war between those of Britain and the invading Saxons. Cooper-Posey brings the sounds and smells of the story to life; the reader can experience the confusion of the time, and the realities of life in a brutal age. Cara and Bedivere are my favorite characters in this series, and their relationship is cast in monochrome, with stark pragmatism. I never had to suspend my belief to relate to these characters, which is the highest praise I can give an author.

 by Cleocutie
Great set of books

Great books. The stories themselves are great and add in that they tell the story of King Arthur from lesser known members of his court and the stories become great.

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“I didn’t think there were this many people in the entire world,” Rhiannon whispered, three days later. The three of them paused at the crest of the mild hill which led down into Coria. She didn’t feel foolish for saying such an absurd thing, for both Cai and Emrys looked just as stunned, as they peered at the sight before them. The rest of the company filed passed them and through the narrow pass into the valley.

A town was built at the bottom of the long, low hill, with stout walls and watchtowers. The town looked busy—smoke rose from every roof, and movement showed between the buildings, although they were too far away to pick out individual people.

Around the town walls, on every side but the eastern one, an army camp was assembling. Just as Ector’s company was arriving, so too were other companies. They streamed in from three other roads leading away from the town, and across the meadow laid on either side of the narrow river which served the town.

“Look, there is the command tent,” Cai said, pointing. “Right in the center, as Steffen said it would be.”

“The surgery, the smiths, the engineers,” Rhiannon said, picking out the appropriate sections of the camp. “It’s exactly as my father said it would be—remember the map my mother drew?”

Emrys’ eyes narrowed as he took in the layout of the camp. “That is the Durnovaria banner, down there on the bank of the river. The blue and red, see?”

“What of it?” Cai said.

“They’ve been placed on the west side of the camp and the Dumnonnians are on the south, under the town wall. See?”

Rhiannon sharpened her gaze and picked out the green banner that was Dumnonia. “I see it.”

“As far apart as geography allows,” Emrys murmured. He smiled.

“Dumnonia and Durnovaria hate each other,” Cai pointed out.

“Exactly. The seneschal has kept them out of each other’s way,” Rhiannon added.

Cai looked surprised, then thoughtful. “So it’s not a purely Roman layout.”

“It started as Roman,” Emrys said. “Look at the straight rows for the kitchens and the engineers and the metal workers. Only, they’ve adapted it, made it British…”

Ector’s big war mount halted beside them, and Myrddin, who was riding a calm gelding today, instead of walking, came up on their other side.

“Now, lads and lady, mind your manners,” Ector said gruffly. He was a big man, from whom Cai got his girth and height. When Ector had been in his prime, he had been a formidable fighter—or so Steffen had assured them.

“Remember your upbringing,” Ector said. “You’re not savages. See you behave civilized.” He glared at the camp below. “There’s more down there to tempt you into crudity than you could ever imagine. Watch your step, hmm?”

“We’ll keep Cai out of trouble, sir,” Emrys said.

Ector smiled at Emrys fondly, his deep-set eyes warm. “I know you will.” He seemed to be on the verge of saying much more but contained himself to a simple nod.

“Lothian is arriving,” Myrddin said shortly. His gaze was on the far side of the valley where the north road speared between a thick belt of trees and disappeared from view. On that road was a company bigger than Ector’s. At the head, with the banner, rode a tall man with black hair and a sharp, beak-like nose. His officers rode beside him. Unlike most armed companies who kept their slower carts and carriages to the rear, an enclosed cart rolled directly behind them. It was painted with green walls, and narrow window apertures along each side. The door was stout and a guard sat in front.

Rhiannon guessed Lothian’s women were in the cart, shielded from prying eyes and guarded.

“Lot?” Ector said sharply and sat up, peering, his hand shading his eyes. “The northern lords are come?” He sounded amazed.

“You’re a northern lord, father,” Cai pointed out.

Ector didn’t answer. Myrddin did. “The northern lords are a political faction. You remember what I told you about Lot and Urien, and the lords who follow them? Caradog and the others north of the old Roman wall?”

“They fight each other all the time,” Cai said, sounding proud that he had remembered the fact.

“They have no love for Uther, which unites them,” Ector said, his voice a growl. “It is only the most extreme times like this which brings them under Uther’s command.” He grimaced, as if he tasted something foul. “They’ll depart as swiftly as they came, even before Uther gives them leave.”

“They’re here now,” Emrys pointed out, his tone calm. “The Saxons bring us all together for a common purpose. Does it matter how late they arrive, or how soon they leave, if they come at the King’s call?”

“There’s that,” Ector admitted. He glanced to his right, where the tail end of the company was passing by. “We’ve lingered here long enough. We should stake out our camp. Now, remember what I said. Comport yourselves with dignity and avoid shaming your elders.”

“Yes father,” Cai said dutifully.

“Of course, sir,” Emrys added.

Rhiannon said nothing. She was too excited.

And it was exciting to be among all the soldiers and followers and families who traveled with them. Every direction they looked in provided another interesting thing to study. Everyone wore different clothing, in gay colors. Even the leather armor, which had been refined over generations, came in a vast array of construction and shapes and design, so much so that Rhiannon twitched to study them in closer detail.


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