I’m really excited to share the new cover for The Lady of Mercia’s Daughter with my readers. (The text has also had a thorough refresh as well).
The Lady of Mercia’s Daughter is the story of Lady Ælfwynn, daughter of Lady Æthelflæd of Mercia (yes, Mercia again:)).
Following the death of her mother in June 918, Lady Ælfwynn is the first known woman to have succeeded her mother as the ruler of one of the Saxon kingdoms. Yet depressingly little is known about her. And that was all the excuse I needed to craft a narrative of her time as Mercia’s leader.
Rereading the book, which is one I credit with helping me create the wonderful King Coelwulf, I was surprised by how many kernels I recognised from The Last King. Indeed, Coelwulf even gets a very brief mention.
Here’s the blurb
Betrayal is a family affair.
12th June AD918.
Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians and daughter of Alfred the Great, is dead.
Ælfwynn, the niece of Edward, King of Wessex, has been bequeathed her mother’s power and status by the men of the Mercian witan. But she knows Mercia is vulnerable to the north, exposed to the retreating world of the Viking raiders from her mother’s generation.
With her cousin Athelstan, Ealdorman Æthelfrith and his sons, Archbishop Plegmund and her band of trusted warriors, Ælfwynn must act decisively to subvert the threat from the Norse. Led by Lord Rognavaldr, the grandson of the infamous Viking raider, Ivarr of Dublin, they’ve turned their gaze toward the desolate lands of northern Saxon England and the jewel of York.
Inexplicably she’s also exposed to the south, where her detested cousin, Ælfweard, and uncle, King Edward, eye her position covetously, their ambitions clear to see.
This is the unknown story of Ælfwynn, the daughter of the Lady of the Mercians and the startling events of late 918 when family loyalty and betrayal marched hand in hand across lands only recently reclaimed by the Mercians. Kingdoms could be won or lost through treachery and fidelity, and there was little love and even less honesty. And the words of a sword were heard far more loudly than those of a king or churchman, noble lady’s daughter or Viking raider.
The sequel, A Conspiracy of Kings, has a fabulous new cover as well, but I’m still tinkering with it. Thanks to my cover designer, Shaun at Flintlock Covers, for working his magic once more.