As the last of a rebelling people are put to the sword, the Roman army gathers its forces and looks to the Ocean and a new threat to their power. A new challenge. For all the brutality of his men, for all the ferocity of his rule, Caesar already knows it will take a new kind of cunning to bring an end to his war. And to claim the power that he craves.
Beyond his gaze, in the land of the Dewnan, apathy stifles the response of her warriors. Treachery from within and invaders on all the borders threaten the destruction of this once proud land.
But there is hope.
Prince Artur returns, alone and bedraggled, to confront his own doubts and the loss that has shaped him. He must find a new strength to carry on, and a new way forward for his people. Can he trust those who surround him? Can he become the King that the Dewnan need?
Only the passage of the moons will tell.
Defending the Valley of Tamara against the barbarian horde that has been set upon them, This Sacred Land is the first book in The Chronicle of the Dewnan, which sees the true Artur born amidst the passion and pain of battle. His is a tale where victory is never certain, but also a tale of friendships formed for all time.
For it is a story of hope; it is The Chronicle of the Dewnan.
Julius Caesar watched as the ram struck again and broke through. The gates swung open and the mass of waiting legionaries twitched like a giant predator anticipating the surge it would make towards its intended prey.
It was the end of the campaign season and his men had been granted an unexpected reward today and for this, they applied themselves with a fresh zeal. The Aduatuci leaders had reneged on his terms and attacked the besieging legions in the night. The sortie had been strongly repulsed and perhaps four thousand of their best warriors lost. Now his men had broken down the gate and would enter the citadel and take prizes at will until the Pro-Consul’s cornu sounded.
At the command, the legionaries rushed forward. A thin line of defenders stood just within the gates, their swords drawn and crudely made shields deployed, but the forces they faced were overwhelming. Gladius and pilum ran through them, a brief red fountain glistening in the morning sun before they disappeared beneath the trampling boots that squelched through the defiled, blood-soaked and broken bodies, in search of a live victim…
Artur looked around the table and then back again, concentrating strongly and purposefully upon her.
‘I think we are the fighting Dewnan, and with our Veneti brothers, we must make a stand and repulse these people. Yes! I think we should take the fight to them. We are proud and brave warriors, inheritors of the Great Pretani, and we will show these people they are mistaken if they think they can treat us with contempt.’
He forms opinions quickly, she thought. For a man who was uncertain so recently, his purpose seems clear, even if it is misguided. Has he drunk too much wine? Or is there a more positive force at work on him? She looked at Gwalian, who looked back, awaiting her response.
Murmurs of approval spread again around the table at Artur’s words. Morlain, with the slightest rise of one eyebrow, continued, ‘You are right, of course. We have to stand and fight for what we believe in. However, from what I have heard, our visitor is correct when he says that we should not, in any way, take these people lightly. They are efficient and ruthless. Provoking a fight, unless we are confident we will win, would be foolish.’