My Books – The King’s Greatest Enemy
I’ve always been fascinated by men who stick to their convictions, no matter what. Roger Mortimer has always struck me as being one such man – determined to fight for his rights in the face of overwhelming opposition.
Brave and resourceful, Baron Mortimer was one of the powerful Marcher Lords, a loyal servant of the Crown who did his best to serve his king, the somewhat fickle Edward II.
It was Mortimer’s misfortune that Edward developed a special affection for Hugh Despenser, a sworn enemy of the Mortimers. It was England’s misfortune that Edward set his favourite’s interests before those of his realm.
In 1321, the barons had had enough and rose in rebellion, led by Mortimer and Thomas of Lancaster. They marched on London and forced Edward to exile the hated Hugh. But once Edward had licked his wounds, he struck back, and suddenly Mortimer was fighting for his life.
That, dear readers, is the background to my new series, featuring Adam de Guirande, Sir Roger’s faithful captain, and Kit, Adam’s wife. Theirs will be a life of much upheaval, of adventure and distress, as the wheel of fortune turns and turns…
Adam de Guirande owes his lord, Sir Roger Mortimer, much more than loyalty. He owes Sir Roger for his life and all his worldly goods, he owes him for his beautiful wife – even if Kit is not quite the woman Sir Roger thinks she is. So when Sir Roger rises in rebellion against the king, Adam has no choice but to ride with him – no matter what the ultimate cost may be.
England in 1321 is a confusing place. Edward II has been forced by his barons to exile his favourite, Hugh Despenser. The barons, led by the powerful Thomas of Lancaster, Roger Mortimer and Humphrey de Bohun, have reasons to believe they have finally tamed the king. But Edward is not about to take things lying down, and fate is a fickle mistress, favouring first one, then the other.
Adam fears his lord has over-reached, but at present Adam has other matters to concern him, first and foremost his new wife, Katherine de Monmouth. His bride comes surrounded by rumours concerning her and the baron, and he hates it when his brother snickers and whispers of used goods.
Kit Coucy has the misfortune of being a perfect double of Katherine de Monmouth – which is why she finds herself coerced into wedding a man under a false name. What will Adam do when he finds out he has been duped?
Domestic matters become irrelevant when the king sets out to punish his rebellious barons. The Welsh Marches explode into war, and soon Sir Roger and his men are fighting for their very lives. When hope splutters and dies, when death seems inevitable, it falls to Kit to save her man – if she can.
Adam de Guirande has barely survived the aftermath of Roger Mortimer’s rebellion in 1321. When Mortimer manages to escape the Tower and flee to France, anyone who has ever served Mortimer becomes a potential traitor – at least in the eyes of King Edward II and his royal chancellor, Hugh Despenser. Adam must conduct a careful balancing act to keep himself and his family alive. Fortunately, he has two formidable allies: Queen Isabella and his wife, Kit.
England late in 1323 is a place afflicted by fear. Now that the king’s greatest traitor, Roger Mortimer, has managed to evade royal justice, the king and his beloved Despenser see dissidents and rebels everywhere – among Mortimer’s former men, but also in the queen, Isabella of France.
Their suspicions are not unfounded. Tired of being relegated to the background by the king’s grasping favourite, Isabella has decided it is time to act – to safeguard her own position, but also that of her son, Edward of Windsor. As Adam de Guirande has pledged himself to Prince Edward he is automatically drawn into the queen’s plans – whether he likes it or not.
Yet again, Kit and Adam are forced to take part in a complicated game of intrigue and politics. Yet again, they risk their lives – and that of those they hold dear – as Edward II and Mortimer face off. Once again, England is plunged into war – and this time it will not end until either Despenser or Mortimer is dead.