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By Rosemary Goring

Patrick Paniter used to be James IV's right-hand guy, a diplomatic genius who used to be in control of the weapons on the disastrous conflict of Flodden in September 1513 during which the English annihilated the Scots. After the demise of his king he's suffering from guilt as he relives the occasions that ended in conflict. while Louise Brenier, daughter of a rogue sea dealer, asks his assist in checking out if her brother Benoit was once killed in motion, it's the least he can do to salve his sense of right and wrong. now not happy with the scoop he brings, Louise units off to determine the reality herself, and rapidly falls foul of 1 of the lawless clans that rule the ungovernable borderlands. After Flodden is a singular concerning the effects of the conflict of Flodden, as noticeable in the course of the eyes of a number of characters who both had a hand in bringing the rustic to struggle, or have been profoundly plagued by the result. there were only a few novels approximately Flodden, regardless of its significance,and none from this attitude. It's a racy experience, combining political intrigue and romance, and its readership can be an individual who loves ancient fiction, or is attracted to the heritage of Scotland and the turbulent, ungovernable borderlands among Scotland and England.

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Clarify, please, should you will. ’ She sat, and folded her palms in her lap. Her lips have been white. Gabriel defined the scene within the English legal, the place Benoit were heard hard an viewers with Surrey; how, as soon as he had spoken to him, he were published, and paid. Madame Brenier frowned. ‘But he's alive,’ she acknowledged, as though that have been all that mattered. ‘He survived the conflict and he'll be coming domestic. Coming domestic, quickly. ’ She grew to become to Vincent, her smile childlike and unsure. ‘Aye, mistress, so it seems,’ he acknowledged, yet he gripped the shoe as though he have been throttling it, and his eyes stayed on their visitor. ‘I realize it is painful, a dreadful factor to consider, Madame,’ Gabriel acknowledged softly, ‘but it really is attainable your son is a undercover agent. ’ The notice sizzled at the kitchen air, as though an individual had spat at the hearth. ‘Un espion? Benoit? ’ ‘He has been passing info to the English, it'll look. the actual fact he has now not come domestic, whilst he's evidently unhurt, tells its personal tale. have been he blameless, he will be with you currently. ’ Madame Brenier rose. She opened the shutters and stared out onto the evening, as though she may well locate convenience in its sheltering darkish. there has been silence, till she spoke. ‘If that's so, then it's all my fault. Mine on my own. ’ Gabriel drew in a pointy breath. ‘How can that be? Spying opposed to one’s state is a capital offence. i can't think you persuaded him into this depraved act. Please inform me you probably did no longer, Madame, or you are as susceptible to swing for it as he. ’ ‘Swing? ’ The note jolted the widow again to her senses, and he or she confronted the courtier, her head excessive. ‘My son is to be hanged? good, if this is the case, i'm going to the scaffold with him, and gladly. simply because he'll have acted basically due to the issues I acknowledged to him. Harsh issues, yet actual. I, toute seulle, should have pushed him to it. ’ Gabriel appeared to Vincent, who had dropped his shoe and was once gaping. ‘Whit are ye sayin, lady? ’ Madame checked out him, and her eyes full of tears. It was once Vincent she addressed. Gabriel used to be of not more value at that second than the firedogs. ‘Remember the evening while he got here again from the Borders, satisfied as a skylark? I’d by no means visible my boy smile so broad. Tu te souviens de celui, oui? ’ Vincent nodded. ‘He sat at this desk, and he acknowledged how a lot enterprise he was once getting, and the way the woodsmen over the border might educate the Scots something or , and so they had the best oaks and beeches this facet of France? ’ She appeared into the fireplace, twisting her palms. ‘I knew it was once no longer the paintings that was once making him so chuffed, although it was once strong for his handbag. Marguerite checked out me, I checked out her, and we either knew. It was once love. Il était fou d’amour, a guy besotted. And we’ – falling tears made a depressing brooch on her bosom – ‘we have been cheerful, simply because there has been no longer a greater, kinder guy within the nation, and he may make a few girl an outstanding husband. ’ She swallowed, and her voice tightened. ‘If she have been more than enough for him. ’ She handed a give up her eyes, and her voice grew softer. ‘The woman he had came across was once from over the border.

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