VENGEANCE OF ARTHUR by Tracy Cooper-Posey
Once and Future Hearts. Book 9.0
Ancient Historical Fantasy Romance
The omens gather, while Camelot fractures…
Saraid is an orphan, thanks to the Saxons, but has found a place as lady companion to Adrivete, the daughter of King Drust of Deira. She wants nothing more than to stay where she is and live a quiet, uneventful life.
Her peace is shattered when Owain, the son of the dead King of Rheged, rides into Deira and demands they hand over Lamorak, the murderer of his aunt, Morguase of Lothian…before sliding from his horse in exhaustion. Then a message is received from Arthur, the High King of Britain, ordering Adrivete to travel to Camelot with Owain. Adrivete insists Saraid travel with her.
Saraid is out of her element, uncomfortable, hungry and tired, and dismayed by the forced intimacies of the road. When Owain unexpectedly helps her cope with the rigors of travel, Saraid learns he is not at all the gruff, infamous son of Rheged that rumour paints him to be.
Neither of them wants to go to Camelot. Together, they might survive the politics, conspiracies and the storm that gathers over the city of miracles…
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
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You'd swear every word read is true, that's the power of research and love of writing. This book in the series has a powerful punch. Yes it has Arthur, Genevieve, Lancelot but the story is filled with other characters that you just know must be real. They have to be because they move you emotionally. We have characters that feel they have no worth, but are proven wrong, we have
salacious murder, wronged innocents, evil, malicious men, love which was lost for a decade but never forgotten found again, new loves discovered, and the barely seen edges of a love full of betrayal. Throw in traitorous murderous man that a King won't harm and like I said you have one powerful punch of a story. No real spoilers, just some glimpses of what you'll miss if you don't get this gem of a book.
A love story during the time of King Arthur's court. King Drust of Deira has a daughter, Adrivete and she has a companion named Saraid. They play an integral part of this story. One is a worldly woman and the other has never been anywhere. As Adrivete is called to Arthur's court, her companion accompanies her. Not all is what it seems with all the intrigue of the court and the goings on behind the scenes, this story moves along at a good pace with interesting twists at every corner.
I highly recommend this book along with all of Tracy's books as wonderful reads.
I've read every single one of Cooper-Posey's "Once and Future Hearts" books and can honestly say that THIS is the best book yet - and yes, these books are better read in order, as the background story development has been laid and characters have been developed. Arthur is entering another critical point of his reign, where his ever-patient Saxon enemies are waiting to detect any weakness as an excuse to strike. King Arthur has peace - but it's a constant battle to maintain, especially while there are those are reluctantly allied. The skies are darkening, but is it due to a rare cosmic event, or is it a sign of the future?
Owain is one of those reluctant parties and it certainly doesn't help that he has a dark background, sullied by close family members of ill repute (and that's an understatement) who resent Arthur and his power. Still, Owain has an moral code that he cannot go against, so he finds himself trying to save the life of Lamorak, who was found in the bed of his aunt, and is now being hunted by his enraged cousins. An unexpected chance event finds him in the company of Saraid, lady-in-waiting to Adrivete (daughter of King Drust of Deira).
Saraid has had a very sheltered existence, although she suffered from a traumatic childhood in which she was abandoned by her father at a very young age. Coming to serve Adrivete has broaded her horizons and she finds herself intrigued by Owain, who bursts upon the kingdom in pursuit of Lamorak. One thing leads to another and Lancelor arrives to escort Lamorak to Camelot, along with Owain, Adrivete (who has her own backstory), and Saraid. The journey to Camelot is a bonding experience, as everyone outside of Lancelot's entourage has their own reasons to dread arriving in Camelot. What happens in Camelot is nothing expected by anyone... especially the reader. Cooper-Posey inserts a couple of plot twists that will leave you gasping out loud and somehow... with more unanswered questions.
This book has it all - suspense, mystery, murder, romance, and action - as well as building up to the next installment. Cooper-Posey is a master storyteller and she skillfully weaves her storylines and characters - I loved this book! Vengeance of Arthur is a rollercoaster ride from start to finish and you'll be left anxiously waiting for the next book.
I thoroughly enjoyed this latest instalment of Arthur's trials and tribulations told alongside the romance of some very real characters I grew to love.
Each novel in the series is even better than the last (I've loved them all!) with the wonderful characters central to this story completely captivating me and holding me spellbound.
I was held on the edge of my seat as the machinations of characters and tense situations worked towards a climax that delivered a proper *gasp* moment! I was so immersed I hadn't even realised I'd gasped til my husband asked if I was ok (WoW!).
I love how the story is told as a slice-of-life close-up of everyday people from Arthur's court and from other parts of Britain in those times. The characters are real and easy to relate to because Ms Cooper-Posey creates such rich detail without a lot of wordage.
I highly recommend this series be read in order and am delighted that after nine books I'm still captivated and surprised by new plot twists.
I thoroughly enjoyed this latest entry of the series. The complex characters and intricately crafted plot grabbed my attention immediately and didn't let go until I read the final word. I was enthralled!
I have really enjoyed the books in the Once and Future Hearts series, and this book is no exception. Loved it! Vengeance of Arthur is filled with politics, government, heartbreak, family honor, redemption, and love. Saraid is my favorite character in this story: she was a delight to get to know. Mordred is as always true to his scheming nature, which puts him into my least liked category. It is also amazing to realize that this series has reignited my interest in King Arthur.
Great addition to the series. The story continues to be full of emotion and super detailed and the love stories are great. I love how they twine with the classic Arthurian tales and make them even richer.
Saraid is the lady companion of Adrivete, the daughter of King Drust of Deira. She wants nothing more than to continue living her uneventful and quite life.
Owain is the son of the dead King Rheged. He chases his aunt’s killer to Deira to demand he be sent to High King Arthur’s court to be judged. When he arrives at Deira he falls off of his horse in exhaustion. Meanwhile, Lamorak begs King Drust to help him afraid that Owain is there to kill him. Confused over what to do King Drust sends a paid courier to Arthur asking for a decision on what to do. Arthur sends a message and stating an escort had been sent for Lamorak, Owain and Lady Adrivete to travel to Camelot. Lady Adrivete refuses to travel without Saraid. Owain realizes that Saraid is suffering during the unaccustomed travel and starts to find ways to help her.
The whole series is fast paced and I have trouble putting them down! I have to know what happens next. Be prepared for an emotional story. I strongly recommend reading all of the books in this series for a better overall understanding of the characters.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book
I was worried that I would feel lost in “Arthur´s world”, since I read the previous book quite “Downfall of Cornwall” a while ago. But I shouldn´t have, like usually with Ms. Cooper-Posey´s books, the story gripped me from the start. And the glossary with all the kingdoms and persons-and the maps as well- were helpful. The story contains heartache and death, but those where violent times. Unfortunately I can´t give extra stars for the cover, it is so beautiful!
My goodness!! My poor little heart can't take it anymore 😅😅. I reeeally was expecting this new book in the Once and Future Hearts series as it's one of my favourites aaand it didn't disappoint one bit. You may think I'm ever enthusiastic but in this times when almost everything is predictable you can count on Tracy to rock you expectations. Big time. In a million times retold story don't expect the expected, just enjoy the ride 😝
Anyway, I love the heroines in this series, but these ones have someting special. I really like how Agravaine doesn't follow the usual tropes, I'm sure we'll hear about her again. And Saraid's growth was beautiful. Of course the males too. Everyone is human, with their flaws and their strenths. To be honest I'm much intrigued by how Anthur and the rest are gonna end, I'll foresee difficult times ahead! I can't wait for the next one already!
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EXCERPT FROM VENGEANCE OF ARTHUR
COPYRIGHT © TRACY COOPER-POSEY 2022
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Owain realized that he had fallen asleep only when he woke and sensed he was no longer outside, that he was cocooned in warmth, and that he lay on a feather-stuffed bed.
For a moment he drowsed with his eyes closed. The comfort and warmth was a powerful inducement to linger in that state. Now that he was still, he could feel his entire body ached from the strains of the last few days of riding. Then an even stronger sensation made itself felt. He was hungry.
His hunger pulled him properly awake. He opened his eyes to see a window with the shutters flung wide, late afternoon sunlight streaming through. The light fell on the bed he was in, warming the furs from the outside. He could see pale blue sky and the rooflines of small buildings from his prone position.
He could hear movement beyond the room he was in, and the sound of industry beyond the window—a hammer on metal, garments snapping and flapping as they dried, the bleat of sheep from somewhere nearby. Someone was singing, far away, so that no words reached him, only the lilting tune.
The air was scented with cooking smells. Not bread baking. But meats, searing. And a stew or soup, with plenty of onions and potatoes. His stomach cramped even more.
“You’re awake. We thought you would sleep through the night, too.” The voice was feminine and sweet.
Owain turned his head. The woman sitting on a chest by the door of the small, cluttered room had also been in the courtyard when he had arrived. He remembered seeing her briefly, a distaff in her hands. She was sewing a shirt or something in fine linen, now. Clearly, she was a typical woman, incapable of sitting still with nothing in her hands.
She had a sweet face and masses of pale brown hair pulled back into a simple arrangement at the back of her head. The fabric of her purple gown had likely been chosen to enhance the color of her hair…and her eyes, which were also a warm brown, not black.
Every inch of her was completely feminine, from her fine fingers to her pert nose and the rosebud mouth. Owain fought to not curl his mouth in distaste. He knew far too many women who arranged themselves and their accoutrements with studied calculation, designed to ensnare all who dared deal with them. This woman’s scent would not have been chosen to suit her own tastes, but to wreath its invisible fingers about a man and fog his senses.
Well, he had grown up surrounded by such snares and devices. He would not fall prey to them now.
But she was a pretty thing, and her figure, what he could see of it behind the linen she worked, looked to be trim and curvaceous.
The woman smiled at him, even though he had been staring at her. “You are in the palace of the King of Deira. It is the afternoon of the day you rode in here…do you remember that?”
Owain cleared his throat. Her question yanked his thoughts back to those that had obsessed him for five days. Lamorak. Agravaine, Mordred and Gareth and the race for Camelot. “Lamorak…. Is he still here?” His voice was hoarse, and not just with the effects of physical strain and sleep. He could feel an echo of the shock that had made him virtually insensible when he had spotted Lamorak standing before King Drust.
The man had taken the unexpected route. The eastern road that Owain had used. And he had hidden his tracks.
“Yes,” the maid replied. “He agreed to stay here until you had woken and could speak for yourself.” She got to her feet and folded the linen upon the chest she had been sitting upon.
Her figure was very enticing. Owain wasn’t sure he’d seen a waist as small as hers before. The gown she wore clung to waist and hip, displaying the narrowness to full effect.