A knight sworn to keep a family secret.
A king who seeks revenge.
A daring plan to save one life…or condemn many.
England 1216AD. Sir Robert Fitzwilliam faithfully serves the English crown, but when the outlaw Allan a Dale, a childhood friend, is captured and thrown in the sheriff’s dungeons beneath Nottingham Castle, trouble is certain to follow.
Allan’s days are numbered. Nothing would please King John more than to see an old nemesis hanged. Nothing except watching Robert’s estranged father, Robin, dangling dead from a rope beside him.
When his father joins forces with the Hood gang to rescue Allan, enlisting the aid of friends and even the girl he loves, Robert must decide where his loyalties lie.
TALES OF ROBIN HOOD
Before there was Robin Hood, there was Allan of the Hood. You know their story – in Sherwood Forest, they rob from the rich and give to the poor. Rogue is a retelling of the origins of the Robin Hood legends set during a time of a rebellion and invasion near the end of King John’s reign. It’s a thrilling adventure of loyalty, love, sacrifice, spies, and intrigue.
Available on Amazon https://mybook.to/RogueTales
Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 15 of Rogue, wherein Robin is headed to Nottingham with his youngest son Richard and Little John…
A driving rain woke Robin from a deep sleep. He rolled over and listened to the drumming as it struck the barn.
“Richard—up.” Robin nudged his son who was sprawled on the pile of hay beside him. They had a full day’s ride ahead. “Let’s get the horses packed and saddled.”
Richard blinked. He lifted his head, gawking at the sound of rain on the roof. “Will we make Nottingham today?”
“It’s just a bit of rain.” Robin didn’t spring to his feet like he did as a young man, and he kept a groan to himself. He plunged his hands into a bucket of cool water and splashed his face. Combing his fingers through his hair, he glanced past Little John who was standing at the open barn door. “That, and some business in Tickhill will slow us, but we’ll make Nottingham by nightfall.”
Richard rubbed his nose into the light woolen cloak he had used to pillow his head. Still wrapped in a blanket, he sat up. “But the king’s men hold Tickhill.”
Little John was lacing up his gambeson. He frowned at Robin, his lips pursed.
“They do,” Robin said. “But I’ve an old friend to visit in the village. No need to steal through the gates. They’ll never know we were there.”
Little John raised a skeptical brow. “Best laid plans…” Adjusting the scabbard at his hip, he gave Richard a sly look.
Ignoring the taunt, Robin gathered his bedroll. “You can trust me.” Thunder in the distance answered him. His eyes swept the barn from the big knight to his son, and then they shared a laugh.
Robin eyed the rivulets of water cascading off the smith’s workshop across the yard. At l’Aigle, his squires practiced in the tiltyard in all manner of weather, even when there was snow on the ground. Richard would remember those days. Robin was pleased his son didn’t ask about waiting out the rain.
He shouldn’t compare, but his thoughts suddenly turned to his eldest son, and then he smiled. Robert had never complained either.
Winds and rain on the Yorkshire moors stung like blades, but Robert had endured the training. Robin couldn’t forget the stubborn set of Robert’s jaw. He never once felt his son would give up. Robert hadn’t only persevered. He had excelled.
Robin shook his head. Had he done the best he could with the time he’d had with Robert?
A loud yawn interrupted his memories and he spun back around. Richard was rubbing his eyes and stretched. He pushed himself off the ground, fully alert, and had a harness on the pack animal before Robin and Little John finished saddling their horses.
“We’ve dried meat left to break the fast.” Robin pointed at the pannier, and Richard dug a small sack from it. Guilt about the food gnawed at Richard’s face, but he tossed it to Robin, and then secured the baskets on the animal’s back.
Outside, the sky was turning a lighter gray. Shadows in the barn faded as Robin mounted. Slipping the food sack across his saddle, he nudged his horse toward the door.
“One more lesson.” Robin tossed Richard a penny. “Give that to the old man who gave us leave to sleep here.”
Richard didn’t question him, but a broad grin stretched across his face. He tugged his hood over his head and kicked his horse across the yard.
“Charity is always a good lesson. You’re a fine father,” Little John told Robin, and then followed Richard outside.
Robert wouldn’t think so, Robin thought, kicking his horse into the rain.
“What’s this?” The man had appeared outside his cottage door when Richard called out. He stared at the coin in Richard’s outstretched hand. He glanced past him at Robin.
“For your kindness, sir,” Richard said.
The man’s family had gathered behind him at the door. “There’s no need for that. I told you to rest your bones.”
“We know, and we thank you.” Richard leaned forward in the saddle and urged the peasant to take the coin. It could buy two or more chickens to feed them. “Please.”
The man nodded. “God keep you. Keep you all.”
Robin glanced at Richard, his cloak slick from the rain as they cantered down the road. He knew humility and charity were as much a part of his son as his skills in the saddle, and with sword, lance, and bow.
His thoughts turned back to Robert. He had hardly known the boy…or the man. Damn, he had been stubborn. Headstrong. He was everything I was… I am.
Get Rogue now!
Charlene Newcomb, aka Char, writes historical fiction and science fiction. Her award-winning Battle Scars trilogy is set in the 12th century during the reign of Richard the Lionheart. Her writing roots are in the Star Wars Expanded Universe (aka Legends) where she published 10 short stories in the Star Wars Adventure Journal. She published the scifi/space opera Echoes of the Storm in 2020, and returns to medieval times with her new novel Rogue in 2023.
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