The Du Lac Chronciles, Mary Anne Yarde
My motivation behind The Du Lac Chronicles
There is something very appealing about chivalry and honour. It is no surprise that the
stories of King Arthur and his knights have etched their way into the hearts of a
nation. They certainly found their way into my heart at a very early age. Their stories
were part of my childhood – growing up very near Glastonbury, I guess that is not
However, I always felt slightly deflated by the ending of Arthur’s story. There is a
terrible battle at Camlann where Arthur is mortally wounded. He is whisked away to
Avalon and that is the last that we hear of him. Likewise, his knights if they have not
already been killed, tend to end their days as hermits. I never really bought into that
ending. It was just too final and far too vague.
I started to research the era and was fascinated with what I learnt. In particular I
became very interested in a Saxon called Cerdic. In AD 519, Cerdic of Wessex –
according to The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles – became the first West-Saxon King of
Britain. His journey to being crowned is quite extraordinary. He landed in Hampshire
at the end of the fifth Century. He and his son, raged war across the Southern
kingdoms of England – conquered most of them, and brought a sort of unity to the
south that had not been seen since the Roman era.
But here is where it got interesting for me. Cerdic’s exploits and Arthur’s legendary
legacy became entwined. Some say the their armies once met at Badon Hill. I wanted
to explore this possibility some more, and this is where my inspiration for The Du Lac
Chronicles came from.
The Du Lac Chronicles is set a generation after the fall of King Arthur and I wanted
to create a story where the knights did not end up in monasteries and then disappeared
into the shadows of history. I wanted to write about what happened after Arthur died.
In particular, I wanted to write about the changing ‘Saxon’ world that these knights
now found themselves in.
The Du Lac Chronicles follows – through the eyes of Lancelot du Lac’s sons – Cerdic
of Wessex’s campaign to become High King. The world the du Lac’s had known was
to be changed forever by this one man’s determination to enslave the kingdoms under
the Saxon yolk. In my story these men, these knights, do not die easily and they
certainly do not become hermits!
“It is dangerous to become attached to a du Lac.”
Annis whipped her head around to look at the old woman. “You speak Latin?”
The old lady did not answer. She did not even look at Annis, but stared straight in
front of her. “He will break your heart and you will not recover.”
Annis felt her skin crawl at the prophecy and she stood up. “You know not what you
“Do I not?” The old lady cackled and looked at Annis critically. “I wasn’t born old,
you know, and I didn’t used to look like this,” she stated, amused. “I knew Alden’s
father.” She looked at Annis sharply. “I can see a shadow of Lancelot in him. You are
Annis of Wessex. Cerdic’s daughter. I knew him as well.”
Annis paled and took a step back. This woman could see things. She knew things that
others did not. She had heard of witches and sorcerers, never thinking she would ever be
in the company of one. “How do you know them?” she stammered. She heard herself
stumble over her words.
Old Jen shrugged her shoulders. “I am not a spy for your father, if that is what you
think. I am a healer, Annis, a good one. I was a healer in Arthur’s court; and that’s how I
knew Lancelot.” She tittered as she remembered. Lancelot had been an awful patient. He
always thought the world was going to come to an end if he was not on his feet. So he
would push himself until he collapsed and then moan all the time he was recovering. He
told her once that he was convinced that she was trying to poison him. He took to turning
around and walking hurriedly away if he saw her approaching, cheeky beggar. “As for
Cerdic.” The smile fell from her face and her eyes hardened. “You are not like him.”
“I am grateful for that.”
“You are in love with him…Alden du Lac. You love him.” Old Jen said.
“Why do you say that?”
Old Jen cackled again. “You look at him as if you had never seen the sun before. It
makes me feel very old.”
“You are right. I do love him.” Annis confessed.
“Then I am sorry for it. You seem like a nice person.” Old Jen glanced back at the sick
hut. “He cannot marry you. You understand that, don’t you? He cannot unite himself with
the daughter of his enemy. I fear he might be using you. Don’t let him break your heart.”
She saw Annis’s face fall at her words and she immediately felt guilty at being so abrupt.
“But I am old; what do I know?” She added hastily.
The Du Lac Chronicles : Book 1
“An evocative, timeless saga of love and betrayal”
Tony Riches, author of The Tudor Trilogy
Amazon Best Seller
AD 495, Wessex, Briton.
If all you had left was your heart, would you give it to your enemy?
A generation after Arthur Pendragon ruled, Briton lies fragmented into warring kingdoms and principalities.
The powerful Saxon King, Cerdic of Wessex, has spent the last twenty years hunting down Arthur’s noble knights. He is determined to secure his kingdom against any reprisals for killing their legendary leader. The knights who have survived the genocide are destined to spend the rest of their lives in hiding, never revealing who they really are.
The only knight who refused to be intimidated by this Saxon invader was Lancelot du Lac. Lancelot and Cerdic formed a fragile truce, but Lancelot has been dead these past eight years and it has fallen to his sons to protect Briton from the ambitions of the Saxon King.
Alden du Lac, the once king of Cerniw and son of Lancelot, has nothing. Betrayed by Cerdic, Alden’s kingdom lies in rubble, his fort razed to the ground and his brother Merton missing, presumably dead. Cerdic has had Alden tied to a post and ordered his skin to be lashed from his back. In the morning, if Alden is still alive, he is to be executed.
Annis, daughter of King Cerdic of Wessex, has been secretly in love with Alden for what seems like forever. She will not stand by and see him die. She defies father, king, and country to save the man she loves from her father’s dungeons. Alden and Annis flee Wessex together.
To the horror of Alden’s few remaining allies, he has given his heart to the daughter of his enemy. Alden’s allies see Annis, at best, as a bargaining chip to avoid war with her powerful father. At worst, they see a Saxon witch with her claws in a broken, wounded king.
Alden has one hope: When you war with one du Lac, you war with them all. His brother Budic, King of Brittany, could offer the deposed young king sanctuary—but whether he will offer the same courtesy to Annis is far less certain.
Authors Bio: Mary Anne Yarde
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!
Amazon Author’s page http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Anne-Yarde/e/B01C1WFATA/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0