Today on The Maze, I am excited to announce the release — after a whopping seventeen years in the making — of the latest installment in the Dragon's Dove Chronicles series, Raging Sea!
Artless selfie aside, I couldn't be more proud of this book, which features the coming-of-age story of my Lancelot character, Angusel.
Title: Raging Sea
Series: The Dragon's Dove Chronicles, book 3
Author: Kim Iverson Headlee
Genre: Epic Historical Fantasy (Arthurian Legends)
Publisher: Pendragon Cove Press
Print Publication Date: 02/01/2019 (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BooksAMillion)
E-book Release Date: 03/11/2019 (Kindle Unlimited)
Pages/Words: 384 pages/100K words
Cover Designer: Natasha Brown
clanless, and but a junior officer in Arthur the Pendragon’s army,
Angusel struggles to rebuild the life stolen from him through betrayal
by the person he had held most dear. His legion allegiance thrusts him
onto the campaign trail as one of Arthur’s forward scouts, stalking
Angli troops and being among the first to clash with these vicious
enemies at every turn. But the odds loom high against him and his
sword-brothers, and they will need a miracle just to survive.
Outcast, clanless, and dead to her family, Eileann struggles to
rebuild the life stolen from her through the deaths of her husband and
infant daughter by Angli treachery. She vows to thwart their violent
plan to conquer her clan. But she is no warrior, she has no soldiers to
command, and she will need a miracle just to survive.
How can one soldier make a difference? How can one woman save
her kin and clan? In the crucible of combat, Angusel must surrender to
the will of the gods, and Eileann must invoke divine power to forge the
most dangerous warrior the world has ever known.
first time in a year and a half, Angusel was returning home.
To his birthplace, he corrected himself. “Home” had become a barracks chamber.
He marveled that Stonn seemed to remember the lands
surrounding Senaudon, tugging at the bit and prancing higher by the
league. It took Angusel’s last mote of skill to keep his stallion from
bolting down the path ahead of the Pendragon and Centurion Cato.
And why shouldn’t Stonn be eager? He had the comforts of a familiar stable awaiting him, not scorn.
Angusel straightened in the saddle, submerging his
resentment. Whatever might happen, he would comport himself as one of
Arthur’s soldiers, stoic and reserved.
That plan worked until the troop rode to within hailing distance of Senaudon’s gate tower.
His mother chanced to be standing on the battlements,
talking to Saigarmor, the guard captain. As Centurion Cato identified
the troop, Alayna’s face clouded. She had to resent the Breatanach
occupation force—swelled tenfold for the second time in as many years by
the soldiers being staged for Angalaranach action—but it seemed to
Angusel that her scowl deepened when she made eye contact with him.
Angusel squared his shoulders and looked straight
ahead as he’d been drilled countless times to do, thankful for the
military protocol to mask the wound rending his heart.
Peripheral vision told him that Alayna had departed
the battlements, leaving Saigarmor to act on her behalf in completing
Arthur dispatched a soldier to find the Comitissa
Britanniam and ordered First Ala to dismount and lead their horses to
the staging area’s picket lines while he wheeled Macsen about to join
his family’s litter.
The cavalry troop hadn’t advanced a score
of paces when Alayna appeared, mounted, from through the gate and
cantered straight up to the Pendragon.
“What is he doing here?” Angusel had never heard her sound so furious, and the pit in his gut confirmed that he was the he
she had meant. He kept his gaze trained forward as he clenched Stonn’s
reins, mindful not to drag on them and hurt his horse’s mouth. The heat
in his cheeks and the sweat coursing down his back he did his best to
ignore. “What gives you the right to violate Caledonach customs with
such blatant disregard?” she demanded in Caledonaiche.
Arthur gave her a long, cool appraisal. “My soldiers
are here upon my orders,” he answered her, wielding an improved
Caledonaiche accent. “All of them. If you have a quarrel, it is with me
and no one else. Not even my wife. We can settle this quarrel, you and
me, in the nearest combat ring and to the death, if that is your wish.”
“My wish? You don’t give a bloody damn about what I wish. I’ll wager you can’t guess what I wish!”
“That you had never underestimated me in the Battle of Abar-Gleann?”
Angusel heard the undercurrent of humor in the Pendragon’s voice and pursed his lips to contain the smirk.
Alayna uttered a frustrated growl. As she reined her
horse about, her frustration yielded to pity. Angusel risked a glance in
that direction. Arthur’s sister and her children were peering out from
between the curtains of their litter, and the traveling had heightened
the worry and sadness on their faces.
“Your kin?” Alayna asked Arthur.
He confirmed her guess. “Their home is under siege.
They shall be staying in the encampment with Gyan and me until it’s safe
for them to return. We’ll not trouble you any further than we must.”
“Rubbish.” That won her a surprised look from Arthur.
Angusel’s eyebrows raised too, but he flattened them before she could
notice. “As you say, my quarrel is with you alone. If you take your kin
to war, they will need a troop to guard them—soldiers who would be of
greater use in stopping the Angalaranach threat.” The pity dominating
her face softened into compassion. “They look as if they could stand a
spot of comfort, poor dears. They may shelter inside my fortress for as
long as is needful.”
Arthur regarded Angusel’s mother long enough to have made her son squirm. Alayna stood resolute.
“Thank you, Chieftainess Alayna,” said the Pendragon. “I shall not forget your kindness.”
“I shall not permit you to, Artyr.”
Angusel feared she might embarrass him by flirting
harder than the coy grin she slid Arthur while uttering the Caledonach
form of his name, but she took her leave and nudged her mount over to
introduce herself to Lady Annamar and her children. After a brief
exchange, which ended with Annamar expressing profuse thanks, Alayna
instructed the litter’s driver to follow her through the gates.
Alayna’s son felt his chest swell because of her choices.
Before First Ala could resume course toward the picket lines, a figure emerged from the maze of tents and storage structures.
“Gyan? What has happened?” Arthur asked in Breatanaiche when she had walked close enough that he could keep his voice low.
Angusel studied Stonn’s black mane, waving off the occasional fly, but he was too close to avoid hearing their conversation.
“Colgrim sent a force to attack a ferry port village belonging to Clan Tarsuinn,” she said, also in Breatanaiche.
“A raid?” asked the Pendragon.
“Far bigger, though exact numbers are unknown. The
clan”—she sucked in a long breath—“Chieftain Rionnach and his men
repelled them, and most of the Angalaranach survivors escaped, but…”
Angusel dared to glance up. Her pursed lips couldn’t
conquer the quiver of her chin, and the Pendragon had leaned his face
close to hers.
“Mo laochag,” Arthur whispered, “let’s finish this in private.”
She blinked and touched her consort’s cheek guard. “My headquarters tent, mo laochan.”
Their innocent intimacy tore Angusel’s heart. Keeping
Stonn’s reins slack, he clenched them till his fists cramped. The pain
restored a dollop of reason. He forced his hands to relax, berating
The Pendragon watched his wife’s departure before
redirecting his attention toward First Ala. He moved his head in a slow
sweep. “Soldier Gawain,” he said, “front and center.”
Gawain led Arddwyn out of formation to approach his uncle and war-chieftain, whom he saluted.
of plans, men,” Arthur said primarily to Centurion Cato, though in a
tone that carried to the ala. “I need a squad to scout ahead of the
legion. Cato, select fifteen to twenty men from the First who are the
most adept at fighting on foot. Your horses will not be crossing the
Fiorth. Begin the mission by riding to Chieftain Rionnach’s stronghold
to learn what he knows about the Angli and to seek his assistance in
moving the infantry cohorts across Clan Tarsuinn territory. I designate
you as my emissary. Optio Ainchis Sàl can serve as your translator. I
shall dispatch further orders depending upon your report of Rionnach’s
response. You depart at dawn.” Arthur glanced at the men, appearing to
make eye contact with several of them. “The rest of First Ala shall
remain here with the Horse Cohort under the direct command of Prefect
Angusel’s disappointment surged as he noted that the
Pendragon expected the scouts to leave their horses on the firth’s north
bank for the most perilous part of their mission—as well as Arthur’s
implication that he intended to leave the cavalry in reserve at
Senaudon—but he knew better than to openly disagree with the army’s
And he knew better than to hope that Centurion Cato
would select Drustanus as one of the advance scouts. He offered a swift,
silent prayer that his friend would survive whatever the gods had in
store for the First.
Centurion Cato saluted and made as if to reply, but
the Pendragon raised a finger and shifted his gaze toward his sister’s
son. “Soldier Gawain, since of all men in First Ala you know Dunpeldyr’s
lands best, I promote you to the rank of optio and charge you with
walking point to keep the scout squad clear of Angli patrols. Choose
between one and three men to accompany you.”
“Ainchis Sàl.” Gawain grinned at Angusel. “He can be
as annoying as that itch you can’t ever reach, but his stout heart and
clear eyes and strong arms are all the help I’ll need.”
“The unit’s Caledonian translator?” Arthur knit his
eyebrows. “It could put the mission at risk should he get injured or
While Angusel mulled whether he could get away with
speaking in his own defense, Gawain solved that problem for him. “When
does an itch ever go away at the first scratch?” Gawain’s grin yielded
to absolute seriousness. “Ainchis Sàl can handle himself, sir, and his
parade gear displays the phalera to prove it.” He saluted Angusel. “Same
Angusel couldn’t decide what astonished him more: Gawain’s declaration, or the fact that it had made Arthur smile.
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Raging Sea, part 1: Reckonings
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Stories make us greater.