The Lion and the Rose (Book One: William Rising)
The Lion and the Rose, Part One: William Rising is the first book in an epic historical saga from debut author Hilary Rhodes. Extensively researched and compellingly told, it introduces us to the passionate drama and violent upheaval of eleventh-century Europe. The world as we know it, and the English language, would have been vastly different were it not for the driving ambition of one man: William the Conqueror. But conquerors are made, not born, and William was made in fire and blood. How does a boy become a man, surviving a tumultuous and terrifying childhood? And how does that man become a legend?
William Rising plunges us into this world of danger and betrayal, of choosing sides and dying for absolutes. It follows the creation of a conqueror, as he grows up abandoned, learns to fight at an early age for anything he hopes to keep, and is sculpted into a remorseless, far-sighted, ruthlessly efficient soldier and statesman. From his origins as an orphaned, penniless bastard boy, to his personal and political trials by fire, to the climactic battle with his rebellious barons where he finally comes of age, the young duke increasingly establishes himself as a force to be reckoned with. But as the shadowy intrigues of English politics, and the all-consuming question of an heir for a childless king, begin to draw him into their web, it may just be that William of Normandy has a destiny far greater than even he has ever dreamed.
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The Lion and the Rose (Book Two: The Gathering Storm)
The Lion and the Rose: William Rising introduced us to the young William, Duke of Normandy, and his treacherous and terrible childhood, beset by battles, betrayals, and heartbreak, as he fought his own barons to survive and claim his birthright. The Gathering Storm plunges us even deeper into the violent upheaval and passionate drama of his unfolding story. Now twenty-two, William has won his most pivotal battle and taken control of his inheritance, but impossible struggles loom as he fights to put Normandy back together — and very few of his enemies are actually defeated. Furthermore, across the Channel, the question of an heir for a childless king begins to loom large, and the ruthless and scheming Godwin, Earl of Wessex, will stop at nothing to claim it for his family.
Written with the same meticulous historical research and flair by debut author Hilary Rhodes, The Gathering Storm raises the stakes to the utmost level, and a crown and a kingdom hang in the balance. In these pages, lords rise and fall, England and Normandy are drawn into a perilous collision course, bishops, barons, dukes, queens, and earls play a dangerous game of power and glory, and those who are not strong enough are trampled underfoot. The crows circle and the banners are raised, and the last Saxon king and the greatest Norman duke are destined to face each other in a battle that will change the course of history.
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The Outlander King (The Aetheling’s Bride, Book One)
The story of The Lion and the Rose and the Norman Conquest continues in this spellbinding new historical fiction series from author Hilary Rhodes, pulling back the curtain on the lives of two remarkable women connected across centuries: Aislinn, a seventeen-year-old English girl caught up in the advancing army of the “outlander king,” the man who will become known to history as William the Conqueror. Thrust into the center of the new Norman court and a dizzying web of political intrigue and plotting princes, she must choose her alliances carefully in a game of thrones where the stakes are unimaginably high. Embroiled in rebellions and betrayals, Aislinn learns the price of loyalty, struggles to find her home, and save those she loves – and, perhaps, her own soul as well.
Almost nine hundred years later in 1987, Selma Murray, an American graduate student at Oxford University, is researching the mysterious “Aethelinga” manuscript, as Aislinn’s chronicle has come to be known. Trying to work out the riddles of someone else’s past is a way for Selma to dodge her own troubling ghosts – yet the two are becoming inextricably intertwined. She must face her own demons, answer Aislinn’s questions, and find forgiveness – for herself and others – in this epically scaled but intimately examined, extensively researched look at the creation of history, the universality of humanity, and the many faces it has worn no matter the century: loss, grief, guilt, redemption, and love.
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About the Author
Hilary Rhodes is a scholar, author, blogger, and all-around geek who fell in love with medieval England while spending a year abroad at Oxford University. She holds a B.A. and M.A. in history, and is currently preparing for doctoral studies at the University of Leeds, fulfilling a years-long dream to return to the UK. In what little spare time she has, she enjoys reading, blogging about her favorite TV shows, movies, and books, music, and traveling.
For more information please visit Hilary Rhodes’ blog.