Monday, 2 April 2018

Fatal Rivalry: A General #Fiction #Novel by Mercedes Rochelle

Born and raised in St. Louis MO, Mercedes Rochelle graduated with a BA in Literature from the University of Missouri. She learned about living history as a re-enactor and has been enamored with historical fiction ever since. A move to New York to do research and two careers ensued, but writing fiction remains her primary vocation. Her first four books are historical novels about 11th century Britain and events surrounding the Norman Conquest. Mercedes now lives in Sergeantsville, NJ with her husband in a log home they had built themselves.






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About the Book


In 1066, the rivalry between two brothers brought England to its knees. 


When Duke William of Normandy landed at Pevensey on September 28, 1066, no one was there to resist him. King Harold Godwineson was in the north, fighting his brother Tostig and a fierce Viking invasion. How could this have happened? Why would Tostig turn traitor to wreak revenge on his brother?

See the tumultuous events surrounding the Norman Conquest through the eyes of The Sons of Godwine. Harold and Tostig were not always enemies; it took a massive Northumbrian uprising to tear them apart, making one an exile and the other his sworn enemy. And when 1066 came to an end, all the Godwinesons were dead except one: Wulfnoth, hostage in Normandy.

For two generations, Godwine and his sons were a mighty force, but their power faded away as the Anglo-Saxon era came to a close.

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Keep reading for an excerpt:


"Silence," King Edward shouted. "We are not here to determine why the Northumbrians revolted, but how to stop their depredations." That helped quiet the room down. "There is no justification for their illegal actions," the king continued. "They have pillaged and killed my lawful subjects. They have risen up in rebellion against Tostig's lawful rule. They must be punished."

Finally! I stood straighter, more confident now that the king was in control.

Harold cleared his throat. "Sire," he said, beginning slowly. "Are you speaking of civil war?"

Edward turned to my brother impatiently. "Call it what you will," he said disdainfully. "These people must be chastised. They are in rebellion against their king!"

The room fell silent. Edward looked around at the witan. Where was his support?

I could feel myself losing patience, but I bit my tongue.

"Sire," my brother ventured again. "What would you accomplish but more bloodshed? If you compelled the Northumbrians to take back the rule of Tostig, how would we enforce it?"

"Enforce it?" I exclaimed, no longer able to control myself. "What are you saying, brother?" I seized him by the arms and faced him, eye to eye. "We will enforce it with our soldiers!"

"We would have to lay waste to your whole earldom! Is that what you want?"

"If that's what it takes, then yes!"

"Tostig, aren't you listening? They won't take you back!"

This couldn't be my brother speaking! "I beggared myself for you," I spat. "For your endless Welsh campaign, so you could come home with all the glory! Is this how you thank me?"

My brother ignored my taunt. Leaning to one side, he tried to look around me at the king. "Think of what they are threatening, Sire. They are threatening to ravage Northamptonshire as we argue. Think of what they are doing to our country. I was there. It might be better to consider their demands."

I couldn't believe my ears! I tightened my grip on his arms.

"You can't be saying this!" I shouted in his face. "You must have instigated this rebellion! You! Who insisted I raise all the taxes! You knew what would happen! You must be in league with Edwin and Morcar! How could you turn on your own brother!"

The uproar continued, but Harold and I were locked in a private struggle. I stared him down; he was the first to look away.

"I swear!" he roared over the noise. "I swear to you that I knew nothing about this rebellion."

"We already know what your oath is worth," I growled. I doubt anyone heard me except Harold and King Edward.

But Harold was busy pointing up in the air and calling for attention. "I am willing to call oath-helpers to prove my innocence. I have witnesses! I swear I am innocent of this accusation!"

"All right, all right," Edward consented. "That will not be necessary. Now, sit down."

I didn't agree with the king. I didn't move. "My faithful brother." I spat the words. "Support me in this, else you will lose my loyalty forever."

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