‘We’re not going to lose.’ Daniel declared. ‘We are the guardians of the crown. We’ll fight for the King and for glory and honour,’ he continued, oblivious to the cynical silence of his audience.
Jonathan considered the boy for a moment, seeing himself in the youthful romanticism of a cause in which he had believed so passionately, but wanting desperately to prevent the futile loss of another life.
‘Daniel, war has nothing to do with glory and honour,’ he said and leaned forward, fixing the boy with a hard gaze. ‘Have you ever smelt the stench of death? Have you ever seen a man with his guts hanging out and still living or a man with his face shot away? Have you watched a friend die of gangrene?’
Jonathan knew his words were brutal, and Daniel paled and swallowed. But he met Jonathan’s gaze.
‘I was there when they took and burned our home,’ the young man said. ‘I saw men die. I saw my father killed.’ He glanced at his brother. ‘He died in Kit’s arms. So, yes, I have seen death.’ (Excerpt from BY THE SWORD)
Meet The Guardians of the Crown...
JONATHAN THORNTON (BY THE SWORD): Exiled and hunted for his loyalty to the King's cause, he has returned to England to garner support for the cause of the young King. Haunted by the demons of his past, Jonathan risks death at every turn and brings danger to those who love him.
KIT LOVELL (THE KING'S MAN): A cynical and disillusioned Royalist who passes his time cheating at cards, living off his wealthy and attractive mistress, and plotting the death of Oliver Cromwell. He will abandon his honour to save his brother...
DANIEL LOVELL (EXILE'S RETURN): An idealistic youth in 1651, bound to concepts of honour and vengeance, he will return to England in 1659 after years of imprisonment, exile and torture, determined to kill the man who murdered his father. But his plans for revenge must wait, as the King has one last mission for him.
And for the women who love them, life will be a bitter hand to mouth existence...
KATE ASHLEY (BY THE SWORD): Will find her loyalty to the Parliamentary cause tested when she inherits responsibility for the estate of the Royalist Thornton family. To protect the people she cares about, she will need all her wits to restore its fortunes and fend off the ever-present threat of greedy neighbours.
THAMSINE GRANVILLE (THE KING'S MAN): Penniless and friendless, Thamsine Granville has lost everything. Terrified, and alone, she hurls a piece of brick at the coach of Oliver Cromwell. Only the quick thinking of a stranger saves her from death but Kit Lovell will plunge her into a world of espionage and betrayal – a world that has no room for falling in love.
AGNES FLETCHER (EXILE'S RETURN): Following the death of her lover, his two orphaned children are torn from her care by their scheming guardian. Agnes desperately seeks anyone willing to accompany her on a perilous journey to save the children and return them to her care.
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