Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Game of Sevens

I've been tagged in the writers Game of Sevens by Matthew Harffy, another Anglo Saxon writer. The rules are simple: Go to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript and go to line 7, post the next 7 or so sentences - as they are and tag 7 people to do the same. Click on the link with Matthew's name to see his post.
Here are the 7 lines from page 77 from The Wolf Banner. This piece is from the part of the book where Tovi anxiously waits up late instead of going to bed, worried about his mother's apparent wanton behaviour when entertaining some guests from Normandy. The Wolf Banner is the sequel to Sons of the Wolf. 
As he moved the pieces absentmindedly on the board, he thought of his seax, the gift that the Earl of Wessex had given to him when he had saved his daughter from drowning. He was allowed to wear it now that he was in his twelfth year and it was a comfort to know that it was with him, just in case he should have need of it. His mother, it appeared, had imbibed far too much of the potent mead that she had provided for their table and was behaving childishly, like a young girl, basking in male flattery for the first time. She had been taught some of the Frankish language by the nuns who had educated her as a girl growing up in a convent and the men were light-heartedly correcting her efforts.

Friday, 11 April 2014

The Latest Blog Hop: Meet My Character

Welcome all back to my Sons of the Wolf blog. I know we
haven't been around much as Wulfhere and I have been working on other projects but as I have been tagged by Rosanne E Lortz in this latest blog hop, I have the opportunity to revive this sleeping site and remind my followers and readers that we are still alive and kicking!

So Let us start the hop with the questions that one has been asked. So first, number one:

1) What is the name of your main character, his he/she fictional or a historical character

Wulfhere is an English thegn,  a Saxon who lives in the shire of Sussex, called the Suth Seaxa in old English. It is the area that used to be known as the Kingdom of the South Saxons. He owns the land that belongs to Horstede village and his property is documented in the Domesday book. He was a real person, but I have made in fictional because nothing is known about this man apart from what land he owned. And because I wanted to set this book in an area close to me, I chose him as the main character. 

2) Where and When is the story set?

The story, as I have said above is set in a village called Horstede, which is now called Little Horsted and lies near the town of Uckfield in East Sussex. In those days, the 11thc, a blanket of thick forest covered the land for 40 miles south of London and Horstede was set in a clearing of five hides, a hide being an ancient unit of land said to be the amount a family would need to live on.  It was listed in the Domesday Book as being land held from the king by Wulfhere before 1066. Holding their lands from Wulfhere, were 9 villeins and 6 cottars. Between them they owned 7 and a half ploughs with a team of 8 oxen each and 1 with a half team of 4. Now-a-days, it is little more than a hamlet. Aside from a single row of houses, a parish church and a school, there is also a Golf club and a hotel. Surrounding it there are farms and  fields. There is even a roundabout called the Little Horsted roundabout. According to David Howarth, whose book 1066:The Year of the Conquest, it is little changed from a thousand years ago. Mr Howarth's book is what inspired me to use Wulfhere as my main character. His wonderful description of life seen through the eyes of the ordinary people of England was what gave me the inspiration to write this story. 

3) What should we know about him or her?

Wulfhere might be a real historical character, but there is no documented record about his deeds or what he was like. What we can guess is that he was a thegn of middling nobility, owning the minimum  5 hides of land that a thegn could hold.  In my story, Wulfhere, being a king's thegn, works as a court official on a rota basis. The rest of his time is spent at home in Horsted carrying out maintenance works for the king and  assisting with training the local militia. His longhall in Horsted is host to his family whom he loves dearly, and his tenants to whom he is responsible as their lord. He is a man of great integrity, he would rather die in battle than run like a coward as he proves in the first novel Sons of the Wolf at the Battle of Hereford. He strives to be a good man, to love his wife and family, but he is also a flawed creature, whose own needs he sometimes puts before those he loves.

4) What is the personal goal of the character?

Wulfhere's personal goal is to keep everyone happy. He often feels pulled in different directions as the various people in his life make demands upon him. He prides himself on loyalty to his lord, Harold Godwinson, but even the great Earl's demands on him test his loyalty to the limit.

5) What is the main conflict, what messes up his or her's life?

Wulfhere is embroiled in a bloodfeud with his neighbour, Helghi. Helghi is not a thegn, but holds a substantial amount of land for a ceorl and has always been envious of Wulfhere. The feud first started many years before, over a horse that Helghi insisted on buying from Wulfhere for his young son Edgar. The horse is too wild and not properly broken in it and despite Wulfhere's protestations, Helghi insists on having it for his son. Subsequently, the horse throws seven year old Edgar and cripples him. Helghi stupidly blames Wulfhere and so the feud starts. Although this story is well known, some say that the feud harks back some generations, but no one can be sure of the origin. Unfortunately, the fragility of an already souring relationship between the two men is increased when Helghi sets his eyes on Wulfhere's wife's friend and she turns to Wulfhere for help. Wulfhere rescues the woman from Helghi's clutches and this causes more trouble for Wulfhere other than that he gets from Helghi. I shall not say too much more for fear of spoiling the story.

6) Is there a working title of this story and can we read more about it?

Wulfhere's current story that I am working on is The Wolf Banner, this is the sequel to Sons of the Wolf. ?You can read more about it on our Facebook page

7) When can we expect the book to be published?

Soon, I am hoping, but like Rosanne, it all depends on life, anything can happen. I am a busy mum and grandmother, fulltime nurse and help run The Review blog so life can be very unpredictable. Firstly though, it would be wise to read Sons of the Wolf then you will be up to speed to read The Wolf Banner.

Thanks for visiting this post, I have tagged 5 other authors and they will be posting about their main character on the 15th April. Well actually 6, I accidentally asked too many but didn't have the heart to turn one a way because they are all so awesome!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Sonsof the Wolf on indieBRAG Blog Tour

Starts Monday 10th June right through to the 19th!

Please join me on my first Blog Tour with IndieBrag on their first book blog tour! 
I am so honoured and excited to be visiting all those fabulous authors and reviewers blogs and so grateful to Geri Dunlap Clouston and Stephanie Moore Hopkins for their support!

If you would like to win an e-copy of Sons of the Wolf then email me at sonsofthewolf1066@googlemail.com There will also be an opportunity to win a paperback copy too!

Here are the links to the blogs
June 10th Su Harrison
June 11th  Ginger Myrick
June 12th Judith Arnopp 
June 14th Debra Brown
June 15th Debbie Young
June 16th  Maria Grace
June 17th Lisl Zlitini
June 18th Sue Millard

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Welcome to the Great Heroes & Villains Blog Hop! This is an exciting event where you book mad fans get the chance to win some prizes on every blog you visit. On mine I have 5 e-book copies of my novel to be won, not just one copy but 5! that means you have plenty of chance to win. All you have to do is read my blog post and then follow the easy instructions at the end of the post. Its so easy! Then hop over and take a look at everyone else's blog posts for the chance to win more prizes! there are 21 blogs to visit so that's 21 chances to win a prize! The winners of the blog hop prize will be posted here on my blog for all to see and then all you have to do is message me either on FB or twitter and I will send you your prize.

To contribute to this fun blog hop, I wanted to explore the character of my protagonist in my novel, Sons of the Wolf. Wulfhere is more hero than villain, but he is extremely flawed and although he could neither be considered evil or bad, he struggles with the side of him that is selfish and immoral. In some ways, he is both hero and villain. To get some idea of the overview of Wulfhere's story read a synopsis of the novel.

At first glance, Wulfhere is everything a stereo-typical hero should be, steadfast, loyal, loving and protective of those close to him, putting others before himself. He perhaps models himself on his Lord, Harold, who is all of these things and generally unwavering in those qualities unless he has to be. But Wulfhere has weaknesses. Women. These come in all sorts of forms, one is his wife, one is his mistress and the other is his daughter Freyda. Imagine a huge lion  lying patiently  in the cool of the outstretched branches of a tree in the hot African  plains,   while his cubs play around him, climbing over him, swatting him with their little claws and annoying him like flies. The females hunt for him, provide him with his lunch and look after his offspring, but they nag him too, because he is lazy and he doesn't do anything they want him to. When lunch is served, the little ones continue to annoy him and no one badgers the head of the family when he is at table! Suddenly, the lion roars and everyone scatters in fear. This is how it is with Wulfhere. He will patiently endure his wife, Ealdgytha's  efforts to chastise him and punish him for his discretions or his lack of motivation or advancement; he will allow his mistress, the beautiful and enigmatic Alfgyva to pressure him and make him feel guilty; as for Freyda, his vivacious young daughter, she gets away with murder because she is his favourite child and he can deny her nothing until one day they over step the mark and his anger, slowly brought to boil, suddenly reaches its maximum heat and he explodes in rage, roars like the lion and everyone is sent running, just as the lion cubs have done, in the tornado of hot wind that emanates from his great jaws. It is then that Wulfhere becomes the villain, he lashes out, either on some poor human or on some inanimate but necessary object. If only he could have asserted himself more carefully and not allowed these women to cudgel him into action. He might then have remained on the moral high-ground and stayed even-tempered like the Earl, whom he looks up to.

It is during the Battle of  Hereford that we see this other side of this man. Wulfhere morphs into Hero Mode when he is forced out of necessity to fall into that role, taking command not only of his own unit but of all the men  when the English cavalry flank he is part of is thrown into chaos, betrayed and deserted by their commander-in-chief, Earl Ralph. The King's nephew had left the field with his own mounted men before the battle had even started, leaving the already overwhelmed English army, even more depleted. Wulfhere takes charge, he is an experienced horseman, but not experienced in fighting on horseback with organised cavalry. As a thegn, he is used to being a leader among men and he knows that his forces will look to him as he rallies them to him, shouting orders in the mayhem, bringing some order to the pandemonium that has ensued the Earl's desertion. The men rally to him and he manages to instil some inspiration in them, calling upon them not to be cowards and flee the field as the yellow-livered Franko/Normans had done. He knew that either way they would die, but at least if they stood their ground and fought, they would have a chance and if that chance did not come, he for one would die like a warrior with his sword in his hand till the end and not be taken down with a spear in his back.

And so here we have the many facets of our Wulfhere. He is neither the ultimate saintly hero who will fight against all evil and maintain that saintly, chivalric characteristic as he goes about the business of life, forging a road through to Heaven that is as unobstructed by rocks and boulders as his copy book is unblotted. Nor is he the villain of the piece, without conscience or a sense of guilt at his shortcomings; never trying to put the wrongs he has committed, aright. He is proud, often to his detriment. He cannot always see the full extent of what his actions have done to those he cares for, but he truly does try to make amends when he does. He is the lion, majestic and proud, considerate and protective, loyal and steadfast, expecting love and affection in return for his love and regard. He is the roar of the beast when pushed too far and his pride explodes in a tornado of wrath that everyone should do well to fear. He is neither devilish, roguish or villainous, saintly, patient or subservient. He is human and that is what I believe are the qualities that make my readers feel empathy for him.


Who do you love? Is your favourite character a hero, villain or a flawed human being like Wulfhere?

To enter for a chance to win an e-copy of my novel Sons of the Wolf, tell me who your favourite character is and why and you will be entered into the draw. there are five copies to win! Please leave your answers in the comment boxes below the boxes and click on the links to the other bloghoppers for more chances to win prizes! Thanks so much for visiting us here at Sons of the Wolf!

Don't forget to hop on over to the others!!! We're here for the longweekend!

List of Links

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

A preview of an Excerpt from The Wolf Banner

            “You are very pensive today, min deore,” Harold said when he and Eadgyth, having broken their fast that Sunday morn, attended mass with everyone in Waltham present to welcome their lord home. He was surveying the work in progress, the new Church of the Holy Rood. Harold had commissioned the new church to replace the old ramshackle building in thanksgiving for surviving a serious illness when he had been younger. His mother had prayed for him at the altar in the old church for his recovery and it was where he had first met Eadgyth and fallen in love with her as she had tended him when he was sick. He had made the oath to rebuild the old church in new finery some years ago, inspired by King Edward’s work on his own project, the great church of St Peter in Westminster.

The children skipped around them with Ranulf acting as their guardian and although the day which had started bright with sunshine and blue sky was now cloudy with a chill in the air, there was nothing but warmth between them as Eadgyth held on to her husband as if he were nothing more than a vision that would soon vaporise into thin air if she didn’t.

            Eadgyth had been preoccupied, vague and hardly participating in her usual effervescent manner. Harold’s head canon, Adelard and the chief stonemason, a Frenchman called Robert Deschamps showed them around the half built church, explaining in his captivating style the machinations of the work. But Eadgyth seemed lost in a world of her own and although she was educated, knew how to converse very well in the French language that they were all speaking, she maintained a low profile throughout. As the party had paused to admire the building, the laughter of the children echoing as they skipped around the stone foundations and the half built walls, Harold stopped and leaned in closely to her and repeated what he had said to her earlier which had gone ignored. “Min Deore, you are lost in a world beyond here, what ails you this morning?” He emphasised ‘you’ as if he were referencing his own brooding manner from the previous night.

            She turned dreamy eyes toward him and they were moist, as if ready to break into tears. “’Tis nothing, Harold...” She hesitated as if there were more.

            Harold lowered his chin and raised thick brown eyebrows that contrasted to the lightness of his hair. So attuned to each other’s nature were they, that each one could read the other’s mood like a missive.

            “Nothing is ever nothing when it is nothing,” Harold said, his voice low and encouraging.

            “There is something that I wish to say to you, but I do not know where to begin,” she stated.

            “Then say it, Sweeting. What is it?”

            “Nay, I cannot here. Not with company around us.”

            “Then let us walk,” he suggested. And he indicated to Skalpi that he wanted to be alone with his wife to walk back to their manor, knowing that the children would be safe with their nurse and Ranulf and the rest of his companions.

            They walked on ahead and Eadgyth diverted to a peaceful place where she thought they could be in private for a while to talk. She had thought of nothing else all morning, all through the mass and then as they walked around their new church.

            “I want you to marry,” she said after a few moments of silence. Her voice was confident. They sat by the mill pond on the wooden seating that Harold himself had made so that she could go there with the children when the weather was good.

            For a moment, sitting beside her, it was as if he hadn’t heard her, for he didn’t move or make any acknowledgement. She heard him breathe and wondered if he was ever going to answer her. “It is the only way,” she said.

            He looked at her, bemused. “My love,” he said and he gave a little laugh that sounded fake. “What on earth has gotten into you? Have you tired of me already?”

            She shook her head and put her hand in his. “Never, never, never ever would I tire of you, my Lord. It is not for me that I ask this, for I could never imagine being without you... and you have, not ever in our time together, given me cause to be displeased with you, or want to be away from you. It is for Wulfnoth and Hakon that I ask this.” She paused and showed him intensity of her pale blue eyes that betrayed the self-assurance of her voice.

 He was looking at her with sudden understanding of the sacrifice she was attempting. “Eadgyth, lufestre, there is no point in asking this of me for I will not marry, not while I have you.”

“Even if it would get Hakon and Wulfhnoth back?”

“How would my marrying someone else help?” he asked.

“If you were to marry one of those women your sister is always urging you to marry, someone whose family could get you the influence you need at the court of the Duke – perhaps even the Duke’s niece, Judith. I have heard her name mentioned at court, or perhaps one of the Duke’s daughters, Agatha or something. Then the boys would be bound to come home.”

He looked at her with an amused smile and taking her hand to his lips, said: “You are such a clever little bee. I would never have thought of this idea myself.”

“Oh you!” she cried, smiling at his gentle teasing. “So why not do it then?” She gave him a playful slap on his upper arm and he winced, clasping the spot, pretending it had hurt.

“You want me to do this?” he asked. He was looking at her seriously.

“One day I will lose you Harold, we have always known that. If I have to lose you to another woman, then I would rather you did it for the boys.” She looked away and wiped the corner of her eye where a tear had formed. “It would make it easier...”

For a moment, Harold set his lips together and sighed. She did not look at him, but sensed that he was frowning. “You say this to me?” he asked suddenly, but it was not a question, more of a statement. “After all that we have meant to each other – I thought you knew me, Eadgyth. I thought you knew me better than myself! But I must have been wrong to think that, for if it were true, then you know I would never leave you for anyone else.” He stood and took a few steps away from her. Her words had made him angry.

She and Harold rarely exchanged heated words. When they had first met, she had thought him conceited and brash and mistook his outward show of self-confidence as arrogance. The second time she was to meet him, he was lying close death, grateful that she had taken the time to bathe him, change his soiled sheets and spoon feed him like a child. She had grown to love him in the months that followed and although she fought against it, he had won her heart. She came to know that she had loved him from the moment he brazenly kissed her hand with those mocking blue eyes of his gazing at her like some lecherous rogue. She just hadn’t realised it. Since she had agreed to become his handfastned wife, there had been very few times like this, where either one had hurt the other. Now it made her feel uncomfortable. She went to him and from behind, put her arms around him. He tautened, but did not pull away.

“If I have hurt you, my Lord, then please forgive me. It was not my intention,” she whispered as a lone tear rolled down her cheek. “I was trying to make it easier for us...”

“Easier?” he swung around and faced her, his face creased in a frown. “First you tell me to marry, then you tell me you could bear it if it was for Wulfnoth and Hakon. Do you think that when I said to you I would never marry anyone as long as I have you, that I did not mean it?”

“Harold, please, do not be angry with me. You said when you told me you wanted me to be your handfastned wife, that as the son of an earl, you may one day need to make an official alliance at the behest of the King for the sake of the kingdom. I have known all these years that we are together on borrowed time.”

“That was then, before I knew that our hearts and souls would always be as one. I couldn’t have known then that I would not want to put you aside, as I do not now.”

“But it will happen one day Harold –”

“And have I not resisted any attempts the King or my sister has made to wed me to some foreign princess?” She made to protest again, but he caught her shoulders. “I wish I could shake some sense into you, my beautiful, selfless Swannehaels!”

“Please, my love, do not be angry with me,” she cried, throwing herself into his arms. “I only thought of it because I saw how unhappy you were for Wulfnoth and Hakon.”

He stroked her hair. “My lady has been told that she need never worry, for she will never lose her lord, no matter what happens. You and the children are all I could ever need, Eadgyth. You are the one most constant in my life and will always be.”

As they stood there, in the strengthening wind, locked within each other’s arms, his words comforted her. She felt a sense of relief that although she would have been prepared for it, she didn’t have to lose him. Not right then, anyhow.
The Wolf Banner is the sequel to Sons Sons of the Wolf which you can purchase on Amazon UK/Com and Waterstones, The World Book Depository and Barnes and Noble.
Photograph care of Rich Price

Monday, 29 April 2013

Oh and here is the banner!

This weekend I am taking part in an exciting Bank Holiday Blog Hop which involves lots of other really good bloggers, each of whom are giving a prize to those who enter their contests. It wont be difficult to enter, just follow the links to each blog and do what's asked. The theme of the blog hop is Heroes and Villains and everyone will be writing up a great blog post about their ideas about what this subject means to them so not only will you have the chance to win books and other prizes, but you'll be able to read all the great stuff people have written about their hero or their villain. Mine is basically about my character Wulfhere from Sons of the Wolf. but I won't say any more because I don't want to spoil it for you. See you next week peeps. Below is a list of people participating!

Niki Blatchley, Martin Bolton, Debra Brown, Adran Chamberlain, Mike Cooley, Karin Cox, Joanna Fay, Peter B Forster, Ron Fritsch, Mai Griffin, Joanne Hall, Jolea M Harrison, Sue Tinney Heath, Eleni Konstantine, Kyle Lewis, Liz Long, Peter Lukes, Mark McClelland, Edward M McNally, Sue Millard, Leilani Miller, Ginger Myrick, David Pilling, E M Powell, Kim Rendfeld, Terry L Smith, Tara West, Keith Yatsuhashi

Thursday, 11 April 2013

BRAG medallionwinner
Welcome to my Blog post for the Historical Book Fair  kindly hosted by Francine Howarth. This is a great opportunity for us authors to allow readers a snippet of our work. I thought I would let some of my characters tell their story themselves. First though, please read a blurb from the back of the jacket.
1054, pious King Edward sits on the throne, spending his days hunting, sleeping and praying, leaving the security and administration of his kingdom to his much more capable brother-in-law Harold Godwinson, the powerful Earl of Wessex. Against this backdrop we meet Wulfhere, a Sussex thegn who, as the sun sets over the wild forest of Andredesweald, is returning home victoriously from a great battle in the north. Holding his lands directly from the King, his position demands loyalty to Edward himself, but Wulfhere is duty-bound to also serve Harold, a bond forged within Wulfhere’s family heritage and borne of the ancient Teutonic ideology of honour and loyalty.

Wulfhere is a man with the strength and courage of a bear, a warrior whose loyalty to his lord and king is unquestionable. He is also a man who holds his family dear and would do anything to protect them. So when Harold demands that he wed his daughter to the son of Helghi, his sworn enemy, Wulfhere has to find a way to save his daughter from a life of certain misery as the daughter-in-law of the cruel and resentful Helghi, without comprising his honour and loyalty to his lord, Harold.

On Battle fields he fights for his life, but the enemy is to be found closer to home, a far sinister and shadowy enemy than he can ever know.....
Sons of the Wolf is a snap shot of medieval life and politics as the events that lead to the downfall of Anglo-Saxon England play out, immersing the reader in the tapestry of life as it was before the Domesday Book. With depictions of everyday life experienced through the minds of the people of the times; of feasts in the Great Halls to battles fought in the countryside, it cannot help but enlighten, educate and entertain.
Now Please welcome the children of Horstede, here to tell you their stories.


"I am the daughter of Wulfhere and I was fourteen when his story started. My father was the thegn of our village znd I loved him dearly and he loved me as his favourite. I had always known I was his favourite child. He could deny me nothing. But it all went wrong for me and him when he came back from warring in the Northern lands where he had fought a terrible battle against the Scots. You see, I had fallen in love with the son of our neighbour, Helghi of Gorde. All that summer whilst Father was away, I sneaked away to meet him in the forest. I knew it was forbidden for any of us to talk to any of the people from Gorde, but I had no idea why. I had no idea of the depth of animosity that ran between our fathers. Edgar was a handsome lad, but he had a crippled leg. His father blamed my father for it, something to do with a horse that my father had sold his father, although he had warned Helghi that the horse was not suitable for a boy; Edgar had only been a child at the time and the horse had thrown him and broken his leg. Neither Edgar nor I could see that this was a problem. But soon we were to find out that we were two young lovers stuck in the middle of a blood feud that we knew nothing about. We were soon to learn that the rivers of hatred ran deeper than any of us could ever have known. A hatred that would tear us apart and never die until one of our fathers was dead.”
“I was only 8 years old when our saga began; and two years younger than my brother Tovi, my closest companion in my short childhood. Life was wonderful for us until the day my father was sent a package from the Lady of Waldron. That day was the day that would change our lives forever. Tovi and I used to spend our summer days running through the forest, playing amongst the woods and the stream and the pond where we used to swim. Once we caught our sister Freyda, swimming with her paramour, Edgar Helghison. We knew it was forbidden for any of us to speak to the Helghisons, but we didn’t really know why. Of course seeing our big sister with Edgar was a great source of amusement and we used it to our advantage. Freyda was not very happy that she had to pay for our silence by handing over the brooch and copper plated mirror I was very fond of. But soon all was blown and Freyda and Edgar were found out and I had to return the items very reluctantly and much to my displeasure.
    The day that father received the package, Tovi and I had been hunting with some of the village children.  We were running like foxes through the woodland path when we met the man from Waldron, scaring his horse into throwing him off. Unfortunately he was hurt and  his horse had run away, so he was unable to continue on to Horstede to finish his mission which was to give my father this little mysterious package from the Lady Alfgyva who lived in Waldron. With the innocence of children, we offered to take it to my father. If only we had not, for some reason, Tovi and I would always blame ourselves for that mysterious package contained something that would drive a wedge between our mother and father forever. If I could turn back the time, from that day, I would, for life was to change dramatically for us all.”
“My father, Wulfhere, thegn of Horstede was bred for war. He learned from a young age to fight with a spear first and then sword and axe. And it was also from a young age that he taught me and my twin brothers Wulfhere to fight too. I loved my father, but one day I was to catch him out and that was the day that my life changed. I began to see my father for the flawed human he truly was. But he always tried to be good to me and to my brothers and sisters and for that I would always respect him. Life was not always good for me in our household. My older brothers hated me, I never knew why. I think it was just their way. They loved to torment me and once they hung me from a tree to stop me from going hunting with the Earl. I was so excited that Father had said I could go and they stopped it from happening. Then another time they hung me down a well and almost drowned me because I stopped them from using my younger sister Winflaed as target practice. Luckily Father caught them and pulled me out. They were punished, but I never found out how. But you could be sure that they were not beaten. Father was not one for punishing us in that way.
    One happy thing in my life was my little sister Winflaed. She and I were allies against the tormenting twins. I wasn’t always very nice to her, but she always took my side, no matter what. But the worst thing in our lives was yet to come in the shape of a blood feud. No one could ever know what it was like to have your life blighted by one until you have experienced it yourself. My Father was to fight on many a bloody field, but sometimes the enemy was closer to home, far more sinister and deadly than any battle.” 
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