Can Old Rivalries and Resentments Be Overcome in Time to Stop a War? The Du Lac Devil by @MaryAnneYa
Title: The Du Lac Devil (Book 2 of The Du Lac Chronicles)
Author: Mary Anne Yarde
Genre: Historical Fantasy
War is coming to Saxon Briton.
As one kingdom after another falls to the savage might of the High King, Cerdic of Wessex, only one family dares to stand up to him — The Du Lacs.
Budic and Alden Du Lac are barely speaking to each other, and Merton is a mercenary, fighting for the highest bidder. If Wessex hears of the brothers’ discord, then all is lost.
Fate brings Merton du Lac back to the ancestral lands of his forefathers, and he finds his country on the brink of civil war. But there is worse to come, for his father’s old enemy has infiltrated the court of Benwick. Now, more than ever, the Du Lac must come together to save the kingdom and themselves.
Can old rivalries and resentments be overcome in time to stop a war?
Think you know what really happened between King Arthur Pendragon and Sir Lancelot Du Lac? This is the real story… or at least what Mary Anne Yarde envisions it.
This is book two in The Du Lac Chronicles series and while it is a standalone (thanks to Yarde’s excellent backstory abilities), I highly recommend you read book one first.
Merton Du Lac is one of Lancelot’s sons and while he is the youngest of his brothers, his soul is weighed down by responsibility. To ease his guilt of his brother Alden’s torture by the hand of King Wessex, Merton goes off to war, wherever he can find it. Being a mercenary to the highest bidder is good money but Merton is caught between two rival armies who want Merton’s head on a spike when he gets word of the sudden death of his brother’s wife and their sole heir.
Merton runs into Alden and reunites with Budic as well. The Du Lac brothers are all together and this can only mean one thing: trouble. Merton is the first to sniff out the trap but before he can escape, Alton is captured and thrown in the dungeon. He can’t leave his brother and must figure out a way to free him before the noose tightens around Merton’s neck.
Meanwhile, Merton reunites with his deceased brother’s widow, Amandine. She’s married once again to a droll Lord in Budic’s court. A slow-burning romance between Merton and Amandine, even though Merton tries his best to squelch it. He pushes her away and confesses all his dark deeds in the hopes she’ll reject him. Instead, her pure love for him purifies his heart and a small seed of hope grows in his soul. Can she truly love him?
A mysterious enemy is hell-bent on eliminating all the Du Lacs and when it’s finally revealed, no one is safe. War comes to Briton and Lancelot’s sons must work together to escape death and destruction… or is it too late?
The Du Lac Devil is darker than book one yet so much better. Yarde has done her research and she paints an accurate portrayal of sixth century Briton. Her descriptions of everyday life is spot-on, from the layout to the castle to torture to the Church to how women are treated.
The best parts of this book are the background of Lancelot Du Lac and Arthur Pendragon. Yarde weaves an intoxicating tale blending history with folklore.
This is why I’m a fan of historical fiction. I get to imagine what could’ve been and immerse myself into a particular fascinating time period.
If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones and/or The Vikings, you’ll love the back-stabbing/political jockeying in The Du Lac Devil. You’ll also love Josephine and Philippe.
I wait with bated breath for the next book in the series. I need to know what happens next!
Favorite Character: Merton. I love rooting for the misunderstood often brooding underdog character. There were times when I didn’t like what the author was putting him through but I understand now why she did it. Merton is a tortured soul and yet when he falls in love with a pure soul, we catch a glimpse of the knight beneath the devil inside Merton.
“An heir to the throne is hardly innocent.” He made himself smile, and he held his hand out towards her.
My Rating: 5 stars
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Born in Bath, England, Mary Anne Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury—the fabled Isle of Avalon—was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.
At nineteen, Yarde married her childhood sweetheart and began a bachelor of arts in history at Cardiff University, only to have her studies interrupted by the arrival of her first child. She would later return to higher education, studying equine science at Warwickshire College. Horses and history remain two of her major passions.
Yarde keeps busy raising four children and helping run a successful family business. She has many skills but has never mastered cooking—so if you ever drop by, she (and her family) would appreciate some tasty treats or a meal out!
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N