Starting 20th August ‘The Girl from Brittia’ will be just 99p or $o.99 for one week! Telling the story first recorded by Procopius, it’s a curious tale of a jilted bride. Unlike so many Dark Age tales, here it is the women who drive the story and call the shots at pretty much every turn! Read the blurb here
Edlin shook her head in a mixture of grief and amusement. Even while dying, her father was still throwing around orders. He lay swathed in blankets in his bed that had been moved into the Hall of Dumnoc. His face was white, his eyes watery, but his voice remained strong, as he instructed Rendel, his oldest son. Rendel was a tall man, powerfully built and with a commanding manner, but as he listened to his father he was respectful and almost humble.
“You must strike more inland, my son,” Wilhelm spoke. “The coast is ours from the Blide to the Ald. Move inland.”
“We shall, Father,” Rendel replied. “The greatness of the Suff Anglii shall know no bounds. The Wolf shall conquer all.”
“And see to your sister’s betrothal. There must be someone she finds acceptable.”
Rendel gave Edlin a brief, but sympathetic look. “I will, Father,” he said soothingly.
“You would not want me to marry just anyone,” Edlin protested. “We are the Wolf Children of Wotan. I cannot marry just anyone.”
“Anyone would be better than no one,” her father grumbled, closing his eyes. “It is not right that I have no grandchildren.”
“Do not trouble yourself, Father. Your wishes shall be done,” Rendel replied smoothly, shooting a look at Leofe, his wife. “I am sure there will be a new Child of the Wolf soon.”
Leofe looked down at her stitching, but Edlin caught the stricken look on her face. Her sister-in-law was not her favourite person, being both bossy and overbearing, but Edlin felt a brief flicker of sympathy. However, she could not help feeling relieved that the matter of her own marriage had been forgotten for the time being. Before anyone could say any more, a draught blew in making the torches flicker wildly. The door had opened to admit another man, dressed in dusty, dark clothes. He was younger than Rendel, but like him was fair haired and blue eyed. He strode quickly towards the bed.
“Praise the Gods, I arrived in time,” the man said, looking down at Wilhelm.
“Wehha!” Rendel took the man by the hands. “What news, Brother?”
“We have crossed the Ald. The woods beyond are in our hands,” Wehha replied, taking the drink Leofe had offered him with a grateful smile.
Wilhelm’s eyes flickered open. “Good work, my son. The Wolf grows ever greater. Perhaps there will be a man there who will appeal to your sister.”
Wehha shook his head. “He’s not still going on about that is he?” he asked.
“Her unwed state preys on his mind,” replied Rendel. “And he is right. Her morning gift and handgeld will be less if she delays too long, while the bridegift that we must pay will grow ever greater.”
Wehha looked down at his sister. “She has seen but sixteen years. I think she has a few years of childbearing left! She’s pretty enough to command a high price.”
Edlin glared at him, glad to forget her grief for an instant. “Pretty enough? You flatter me, Brother!”