“Exciting, violent, and bloody and full of historical facts” (LoveReading.co.uk review)—the historical series for fans of Diana Gabaldon and Bernard Cornwell continues with the legend of Merlin as the gifted healer progresses into a man of great renown.
DEATH OF AN EMPIRE— THE LEGEND OF MERLIN CONTINUES
Merlin is the product of a brutal rape. Determined to uncover his father’s identity, he sets sail from Celtic Britain with his band of loyal companions. Their journey through war-ravaged France, Rome, and Ravenna to Constantinople will push their strength to the limit and shape Merlin’s reputation as a great healer.
The Roman Empire is under attack. Bound by an oath to relieve suffering the talented apothecary saves thousands of warriors from total destruction. A bloodier conflict between opposing powers arises, and Merlin must use all his resolve if he wishes to survive the death of an empire. M. K. Hume has won the praise of readers and critics alike with her original take on the beloved and enduring Merlin legend. Her background in Arthurian literature lends historical accuracy to a trilogy wrought with passion, heart, and adventure.
Merlin Prophecy Book Two: Death of an Empire Chapter I
AN INAUSPICIOUS MEETING
For how can man die better than facing fearful odds
For the ashes of his father and the temples of his gods?
In faraway Tintagel, where the fortress clung to a barren rock thrust out into a cold, howling sea, Queen Ygerne stood in her forecourt, wrapped in furs and shivering in the gelid afternoon air. To the west, the obscured sun colored the thin, storm-ravaged clouds with a transparent orange glaze. Light struggled with darkness, like the battle that raged within her spirit. With hands thrust in coarse woollen mittens, she clutched at her flat belly and begged the goddess to be kind. Then, for good measure, she prayed to the Virgin Mary that the immortal mother would intercede with the Christian god and bless her unborn child.
When Ygerne had become certain of her third pregnancy, she had told her husband, King Gorlois, that this time she was sure that her infant would be a boy. Her heart clearly told her the formless child’s sex, and she already dreamed of him, soft and milky, nestling in her arms. Gorlois had whooped with joy, for although his girls, Morgan and Morgause, were a permanent celebration of the wonder of their union, his masculine pride was stirred by the thought of a son to inherit the kingdom of Cornwall. Gorlois asked so little of Ygerne, and loved her so generously and purely, that the queen was overjoyed that she could give him his heart’s desire. The solstice feasts had been transformed by the fertility and felicity of their shared love.
M. K. Hume is a retired academic. She received her MA and PhD in Arthurian literature and is the author of The Merlin Prophecy, a historical trilogy about the legend of Merlin. She lives in Australia with her husband and two sons.