Published by Kathy Dawson Books
Publication Date: March 6th 2018
Purchase Links Amazon~ B&N
A Scottish medieval adventure about the youngest in a war-band who must free her family from a castle prison after knights attack her home–with all the excitement of Ranger’s Apprentice and perfect for fans of heroines like Alanna from The Song of the Lioness series.
One dark night, Drest’s sheltered life on a remote Scottish headland is shattered when invading knights capture her family, but leave Drest behind. Her father, the Mad Wolf of the North, and her beloved brothers are a fearsome war-band, but now Drest is the only one who can save them. So she starts off on a wild rescue attempt, taking a wounded invader along as a hostage.
Hunted by a bandit with a dark link to her family’s past, aided by a witch whom she rescues from the stake, Drest travels through unwelcoming villages, desolate forests, and haunted towns. Every time she faces a challenge, her five brothers speak to her in her mind about courage and her role in the war-band. But on her journey, Drest learns that the war-band is legendary for terrorizing the land. If she frees them, they’ll not hesitate to hurt the gentle knight who’s become her friend.
Drest thought that all she wanted was her family back; now she has to wonder what their freedom would really mean. Is she her father’s daughter or is it time to become her own legend?
Interviewer: Your names, please?
Drest: My name is Drest. Have you heard of my Da? His name is Grimbol. He has a war-band of my brothers and me, and we’re all bloodthirsty villains. Emerick, my captive—
Emerick: In truth, I am a knight.
Drest: You’re my captive.
Emerick (sighing): I may be that at present, but I’m also a knight of Faintree Castle.
Drest: Aye, a muddy-hosed pig’s bladder of a knight whose toad-witted friends took my Da and all my brothers away.
Emerick: They’re not my friends.
Interviewer: May I ask where you are going?
Drest: We’re going to Faintree Castle, where his friends took my family. If I don’t break them out of the castle prison, my whole family’s going to be hanged. In four days. (Starts to get up.) I beg your pardon; we can’t stop like this. We have to keep going.
Emerick: Hold, Drest. We’ve been walking all morning. And did not this kind stranger agree to trade us his flask for a story? It’s just water, but that’s more valuable than silver to us now.
(Interviewer hand over the flask; Drest drinks noisy, then helps Emerick drink.)
Interviewer: I’ve seen Faintree Castle. Warriors call it enchanting, but to my eye, that fortress is nothing but formidable. How do you expect to free a notorious war-band like your father’s, Drest—yes, I’ve heard of him—from a castle like that?
Drest: I’m trading Emerick for two of my brothers.
Emerick: I believe we agreed that you would trade me for but one.
Drest (grumbling): Aye, that’s why I have to keep him alive. A man whose friends took my family, my enemy—
Emerick: We know that the castle’s lord will show mercy to Drest for helping me go all that way. As you’ve no doubt noticed, my injuries are great. So I need her.
Drest: Aye, more than I need you.
Emerick: Not if you wish to trade me for one of your brothers.
(They exchange scowls.)
Interviewer: May I—may I go on? Drest, I wonder what life has been like for you, growing up with a family with—uh—with such a family. Has it been an epic life?
Drest: Nay, we’re just a war-band. We’re like any other family. We climb sea cliffs and help each other up from the rocks below if we fall. We fight each other with swords—sometime they’re wooden. My brother Uwen and I like to swim out to the roughest part of the cove and battle the sea.
Emerick: How do you do that? Attempt not to drown?
Drest: Aye. We’ve always won.
Interviewer: What about you, Emerick? What is life like at Faintree Castle?
Emerick: A great deal more peaceful than Drest’s. The first thing I do every day is attend mass in our chapel.
Drest: A mass? Is that not a thing you carry? How do you tend it?
Emerick: No, Drest, it’s a ceremony. With a priest. Do you know what a priest is? Never mind. I go to mass, and then break my fast in the Great Hall with the other knights. I then—
Drest: Break a fast? How do you do that? Is “fast” not a way of running, or swinging your sword?
Emerick (groaning): Always your sword. You there, have you any more questions?
Interviewer: Umm…yes, if I may. What is your most treasured possession in all the world? Drest?
Drest (pats her right hip and the massive sword upon it): My sword. Its name is Borawyn. It was my brother Wulfric’s sword, and it’s never lost a battle.
Emerick: My life. No other possession can be as treasured as that.
Drest: Not a sword?
Emerick (wearily): No, Drest, not a sword. Life matters more than any blade. Surely you agree.
Drest (turns to the interviewer): What about you? What’s your most treasured possession?
Interviewer: Well, I can see Emerick’s point, but if I were to choose something tangible, I would say my pen. It can be like a sword in many respects.
Drest: Can it really? I wouldn’t think a quill would stand up to steel.
Emerick: Words, Drest, can stand up to steel.
Drest: Nay, I don’t think so. But let’s see. You there, get ready with your quill.
(Suddenly, she’s on her feet, her sword half-drawn. And I, the interviewer, decide that speaking further with Grimbol’s daughter and her captive may not be the wisest course. I roll up my quill and ink in this parchment, wish them Godspeed on their journey, and hurry off on my own.)
*~~About the Author~~*
Don’t forget to come back tomorrow to check out another enchantingly epic #EE18ers post! 😉