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The Atheling Chronicles

The Atheling Chronicles

The Swan's Road by Garth Pettersen

Book One - The Swan's Road

In the eleventh century, Cnute, the Viking king of Engla-lond and Scandinavia, sails with his son, Harald, and his shield brothers to Rome. Thrown off course by a storm, they follow the route up the Rhine. When Harald hangs back to assist Selia, a beautiful Frisian woman, his path turns perilous. Newfound enemies, retainers of Robert the Devil, Duke of Normandy, pursue them. Harald, Selia, and their companions fail to rendezvous with King Cnute, and are forced to travel cross-country on horseback. If Duke Robert’s plan to assassinate Cnute succeeds, an invasion of Engla-lond will follow. Can Harald and Selia reach Rome in time to warn the King?

The Dane Law by Garth Pettersen

Book Two - The Dane Law

After a peaceful year running their Frisian estate, Harald and Selia are called to Engla-lond. Their return is marked by violence and intrigue. The king has vowed to Queen Emma that their son Harthacnute will inherit the throne, but the atheling is cruel and reckless. Many view Harald as the better choice, which makes him a target for the ruthless supporters of his half-brother. King Cnute urges Harald to be prepared to assume the throne should Harthacnute prove unfit.
Harald resists being swept up by forces beyond his control, but doubts he and Selia will survive the reign of King Harthacnute.
And what of his older brother, Sweyn?

The Cold Hearth by Garth Pettersen

Book Three - The Cold Hearth

“The sons of Cnute are dead men.” The dying words of his brother’s assailant travel across the North Sea to the English Midlands.

Harald, the king’s second son, receives the warning while rebuilding a hall where he hopes to farm and lead a peaceful life with Selia, his Frisian wife. But as the hall nears completion, they learn the family who lived there before all perished in a single night of bloodshed. Could the grounds be cursed?

Now the threat of unknown enemies casts a long shadow. Should they distrust the brooding Saxon neighbour or the two weapon-bearers they hired for protection? Should they suspect either of the two women they have taken on with the other hirelings? Only their Jewish warrior friend, Ravya ben Naaman, seems above suspicion.

TheSeasEdgebyGarthPettersen500_edited_ed

Book Four - The Sea's Edge

In 1030 C.E., Cnute, king of England, Denmark, and Norway, sends Harald, his middle son, to the Kingdom of Dublin to meet with his Norse-Irish allies. Harald’s mission is to coordinate an invasion of the northern Welsh kingdom of Gwynedd, to replace King Rhydderch who is growing too powerful on England’s borders. Harald is reluctant to be involved in affairs of state, but agrees to go, even though his beloved wife, Selia, is unwell. Harald tells Selia he will not have to take part in the fighting.

While she waits for Harald to return, Selia and her friend Gudrun befriend a young and attractive gleeman (poet-minstrel). When the gleeman is accused of a crime, Selia seeks witnesses in his defence.

Harald becomes involved in a conflict with Dublin’s neighbour, and to appease the king of Dublin, he commits to leading their combined forces in the attack on Wales. The plan is to replace King Rhydderch with Iago, the weaker King of Anglesey. The more Harald learns of these monarchs, the more his allegiance leans toward the man he has been sent to kill.

Will Harald unseat a strong and just ruler to carry out his father/king’s commands, or will he tread a more righteous road, which will destroy the life he and Selia have built in England?

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