Extract from The Welsh Linnet.

“Stand or I fire!”

I flattened myself against Fairy’s neck and urged her into a gallop, praying I could lose them in the fog. I heard the crack of the carbine and a shot whistled by my ear, immediately followed by a crack from the second man’s carbine. I was too far ahead for them to attempt a pistol shot. They must not close that gap.
I galloped back in what I hoped was the direction of Basing, branches whipping at my clothes and clods of earth flying up from Fairy’s hooves. My world had shrunk to the muddy strip of path I could see between the mare’s ears as she pounded steadily towards safety. The only sounds I could hear in the eerie silence were her hooves, the creaking of leather and the horses of my now silent pursuers. Rising above them was the thumping of my heart, louder in my ears than any drum beat.

She was sweating heavily, but her pace did not falter. How much further did we have to go? I lifted my face from Fairy’s mane for a hasty glance ahead. Looming out of the fog were the ramparts of the Old House, the dim outlines of the turrets of the New House beyond it. Behind me I could hear the muffled hoof beats of the two horses. Were they gaining on me? I could not tell.

England in the year 1642. Civil War looms between King Charles I and his Puritan Parliament. For brothers Will and Harry Lucie, life as officers in the King’s cavalry promises excitement and adventure. But there is danger and suffering ahead for the brothers and their sister Bess. Fortunes of war throw Harry together with grieving widower Gabriel who seeks only escape and oblivion. None of their lives will ever be the same again.

From the slaughter of Edgehill to the defence of doomed fortress Basing House, the story of dishonour and betrayal plays out against the backdrop of real events and places, “this war without an enemie”. The Welsh Linnet is the first in an intended trilogy about the English Civil War which raged in England, Wales and Scotland throughout the 1640s.

The English Civil War was fought between King Charles1 and his Parliament. It was fought over the meaning of democracy and about freedom of religion. The echoes of the struggle are reflected in what we now call the Westminster system of government and surfaced unexpectedly following the Brexit vote in the UK in 2016 when the High Court ruled that the decision could not be enforced by the Royal prerogative alone but required Parliament to support it.

Reviews

“Captures the essence of the time. The story sweeps you along. A fine addition to the English Civil War tales already out there.”

Michael Arnold, author of the Stryker Chronicles