The Dragon's Dove Chronicles Book 1
by Kim Iverson Headlee
Genre: Historical Fantasy
What if King Arthur’s queen was every bit as heroic as he was? Find out by immersing yourself in this epic story of the power couple whose courage and conviction would shape the destiny of a nation.
Gyan is a Caledonian chieftainess by birth, a warrior and leader of warriors by training, and she is betrothed to Urien, a son of her clan’s deadliest enemy, by right of Arthur the Pendragon’s conquest of her people. For the sake of peace, Gyan is willing to sacrifice everything...perhaps even her very life, if her foreboding about Urien proves true.
Roman by his father, Brytoni by his mother, and denied hereditary rulership of his mother's clan because of his mixed blood, Arthur has followed his father's path to become Dux Britanniarum, the Pendragon: supreme commander of the northern Brytoni army. The Caledonians, Scots, Saxons, and Angles keep him too busy to dwell upon his loneliness...most of the time.
When Gyan and Arthur meet, each recognize within the other their soul’s mate. The treaty has preserved Gyan’s ancient right to marry any man, providing he is a Brytoni nobleman—but Arthur does not qualify. And the ambitious Urien, Arthur’s greatest political rival, shall not be so easily denied. If Gyan and Arthur cannot prevent Urien from plunging the Caledonians and Brytons back into war, their love will be doomed to remain unfulfilled forever.
But there is an even greater threat looming. The Laird of the Scots wants their land and will kill all who stand in his way. Gyan, Arthur, and Urien must unite to defeat this merciless enemy who threatens everyone they hold dear.
“I see her, Ogryvan. The Hag. There…by the fire.”
He saw only Cynda, cradling at her breast the wee pink creature that was his infant daughter. The baby fed greedily, obviously unaware of anything save her primal need. Peredur stood at Cynda’s feet, gazing up at his half sister in wide-eyed wonder.
Ogryvan beckoned to Cynda. Slowly, to avoid disturbing the bairn, she approached the bed. Little Peredur marched straight to his mother’s side. As Ogryvan drew the boy into the shelter of his arms, Peredur wriggled an arm free to reach for Hymar’s hand. Turning pain-hazed eyes upon him, Hymar summoned a sad smile for her firstborn.
“Here is your Hag, Hymar,” Ogryvan replied as Cynda bent down with the baby. “What shall we name her?”
Hymar’s face melted into joy as she beheld her daughter. “She is…my rarest song…Gyanhumara.”
She raised her hand to touch the child. Gyanhumara’s tiny fist closed around her finger. Hymar sighed, smiling, eyes transfixed upon the infant. Her chest did not rise again.
The Dragon's Dove Chronicles Book 2
“Magnificent.” ~ Kathleen Foley, author of the Faith in Uniform series
In a violent age when enemies besiege Brydein and alliances shift as swiftly as the wind, stand two remarkable leaders: the Caledonian warrior-queen Gyanhumara and her consort, Arthur the Pendragon. Their fiery love is tempered only by their conviction to forge unity between their disparate peoples. Arthur and Gyan must create an impenetrable front to protect Brydein and Caledonia from land-lusting Saxons and the marauding Angli raiders who may be massing forces in the east, near Arthur’s sister and those he has sworn to protect.
But their biggest threat is an enemy within: Urien, Arthur’s rival and the man Gyan was treaty-bound to marry until she broke that promise for Arthur’s love. When Urien becomes chieftain of his clan, his increase in wealth and power is matched only by the magnitude of his hatred of Arthur and Gyan—and his threat to their infant son.
Morning’s Journey, sequel to the critically acclaimed Dawnflight, propels the reader from the heights of triumph to the depths of despair, through the struggles of some of the most fascinating characters in all of Arthurian literature. Those struggles are exacerbated by the characters’ own flawed choices. Gyan and Arthur must learn that while extending forgiveness to others may be difficult, forgiveness of self is the most excruciating—yet ultimately the most healing—step of the entire journey.
THE CLASH OF arms resounds in the torchlit corridor. Blood oozes where leather has yielded to the bite of steel, yet both sweating, panting warriors refuse to relent.
Her heart thundering, Gyan grips her sword’s hilt, desperate to help the man she loves. Caledonach law forbids it.
Urien makes a low lunge. As Arthur tries to whirl clear, the blade tears a gash in his shield-side thigh. The injured leg collapses, and Arthur drops to one knee. Crowing triumphantly, Urien raises his sword for the deathblow.
Devil take the law!
Gyan springs to block the stroke. Its force jars her arms and twists the hilt in her grasp. She barely holds on through the searing pain.
Urien slips past her guard to slice at her brooch. The gold dragon clatters to the floor. Her cloak slithers to her ankles, fouling her stance. As she tries to kick free, Urien grabs her braid, jerks up her head, and kisses her, hard. Shock loosens her grip. Her sword falls. She thrashes and writhes, but he holds her fast, smirking lewdly.
“You are mine, Pictish whore.”
Urien’s breath reeks of ale and evil promises. She spits in his face. He slaps her. She reels backward, her cheek burning. He grabs her forearms and yanks her close.
“Artyr, help me!”
The Dragon's Dove Chronicles Book 3
Outcast, clanless, and but a junior officer in Arthur the Pendragon’s army, Angusel struggles to rebuild the life stolen from him through betrayal by the person he had held most dear. His legion allegiance thrusts him onto the campaign trail as one of Arthur’s forward scouts, stalking Angli troops and being among the first to clash with these vicious enemies at every turn. But the odds loom high against him and his sword-brothers, and they will need a miracle just to survive.
Pressured to make the best choice to ensure her clan’s future leadership, Eileann struggles with her feelings for Angusel, whose outcast status makes him forbidden to her as a mate. When Angli treachery threatens everyone she loves, she vows to thwart their violent plan to conquer her clan. But she is no warrior, she has no soldiers to command, and she will need a miracle just to survive.
How can one soldier make a difference? How can one woman save her kin and clan? In the crucible of combat, Angusel must surrender to the will of the gods, and Eileann must invoke divine power to forge the most dangerous warrior the world has ever known.
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THE former Exalted Heir of Clan Alban of Caledon was dead.
He was certain of it.
There existed no light, no pain, no smells, no heat, no chill, no sensation of any kind save the most beautiful strains of harp music he’d ever heard. The images it evoked bespoke love in its many incarnations: the frenzied passion of the Belteine fire dance, the soaring joy of two souls bonded by desire, a mother’s fierce protectiveness of her children, the lament of a bereaved spouse, a lullaby for a newborn, the rapture of a long-delayed reunion. The Otherworld wasn’t like what he had been taught—he saw no eternal battlefield where Lord Annaomh’s Army of the Blest fought Lord Annàm’s Samhraidhean minions. None of the ancient tales mentioned music in the Otherworld, but he supposed the Old Ones could have whatever they liked.
Comforted by the melody, which was jaunty and lilting and mournful and jaunty again, he wasn’t about to complain to his sithichean hosts.
The final notes thrummed into silence. “Well done, Eileann,” spoke a nearby male voice in Caledonaiche. “I’ll wager the Old Ones themselves are pleased by your harping.” This won the murmured assent of other Caledonach men.
“Thank you, Tavyn.” The female Caledonach voice sounded demure, as though unaccustomed to hearing such praise.
He was about to add his lauds to Tavyn’s when pain battered his head and chest. Apparently, the gods weren’t done tormenting him. He had been housed with his people—his former people. If this group had recognized him, they never would have allowed him into their company.
Caledonaich did not associate with those who had been stripped of honor.
Dragging a hand across his eyes, though unwilling to open them, he encountered the folds of a bandage swathing his brow. His hand dropped to his chest, and he found another bandage where his battle-tunic and undertunic should have been. He probed the ache’s source and winced. Half a handspan farther down, and the wound would have gifted him one-way passage to the Otherworld.
Where am I?
“Rest easy, brave one.” He must have uttered the question aloud, and the lady harper sounded much closer than before. “You’re in the field hospital at Port Dhoo-Glass.”
The Caledonach ward.
Someone pressed a cool, damp cloth to his cheeks and neck. He had to admit it did feel good.
“Medics found you with a gash on your forehead and a spear in your chest,” the woman continued. “If you hadn’t moved when you did, they would have left you for dead. You’re lucky to be here.”
Some luck. He wished the medics had left him to the ravens.
Kim has been a published novelist since 1999 with the first edition of Dawnflight (Sonnet Books, Simon & Schuster) and has been studying the Arthurian legends for nigh on half a century.
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