Oswiu: King of Kings (The Northumbrian Thrones 3)
Oswald’s head is on a spike. Can Oswiu avoid the same fate?
The great pagan king Penda set a trap, and when the brothers Oswiu and Oswald walked in, only one came back alive.
Rumours abound that the place where Oswald’s body is strung up has become sacred ground a site of healing for those who seek it. Oswald’s mother believes he will protect those he loves, even beyond the grave. So she asks the impossible of Oswiu: to journey to the heart of Penda’s kingdom and rescue the body that was stolen from them.
Oswiu: King of Kings is the masterful conclusion to The Northumbrian Thrones trilogy.
“Edoardo Albert’s book is brilliant: hugely enjoyable, a galloping plot with characters I care about – exactly the sort of thing I love to read. . . . This was a joy to read from start to finish.” Conn Iggulden, author of the Conqueror and Emperor series.
First Published 21 October 2016 by Lion Fiction.
Oswiu laboured up the steep steps to the gate. Below, on the thin spit of beach, the boats were being unloaded after their journey up the coast. Restless horses, too long confined on shifting platforms in the sea, were being persuaded not to run off. Oswiu’s retainers, salt stained and damp despite the wax-rubbed cloaks they wore for the sea voyage, were busy slinging shields on to backs and removing swords and spears from the leather wrappings they used to keep them dry while at sea, the more careful among them – which meant the older men – also stopping to clean off the grease they’d smeared on to the iron before winding leather around their weapons. The younger ones, when they saw the red bloom of rust on the grey of sword or spear, would soon learn the value of such precautions.
For his part, Oswiu drew his cloak tighter around his shoulders. Climbing up towards the gate exposed him to the wind. The king looked over his right shoulder, to the north east, whence the wind blew. There were clouds on the horizon and soon they would be over the Holy Island, Lindisfarne. Oswiu grimaced. He had hoped to send word to Aidan to come to him, but now he would have to wait for the weather to change. It was the season: the spring saw the wind change, from day to day. This early in the season, there was little warmth to the sun, and the north easterly still blew cold.
It reached fingers in, past the fur at his collar, sending winter chills down Oswiu’s back. The king grinned at the familiar touch. The north easterly always blew cold, whatever the season. It was as familiar as the handle of his seax; he was home.