The Beloved Dead

Tony Hays,

The Beloved Dead
 
 

Malgwyn ap Cuneglas was one of King Arthur's earliest companions and now is his most trusted counselor. Despite the malice of his enemies, who fear Arthur's power, and the machinations of the still powerful druids who mightily resist him, Malgwyn knows that Arthur will stop at nothing in his efforts to lead his people to Christ and help to bring civil law and justice to a people who have known little such.

To consolidate his power, Arthur decides that it is time to take a noble wife. But in this Malgwyn knows not only his lord's ambition but his personal grief, because in order to take a queen Arthur must set aside his love Guinevere, because he believes that the scandal surrounding their affair has tainted her for the crown.

Malgwyn is sent north to fetch the young woman who is to be Arthur's bride. The way is fraught with tension and disaster for there are forces who would not see the king wed. When Malgwyn discovers a string of killings involving young virginal women who are slaughtered in a horrific manner—not unlike a ritual sacrifice—he is left with a question that he must answer quickly.

Are these murders portents of the gods taking vengeance on the intrusion of a new faith?

Or mortal men plotting to unseat the king?



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