A glob of spit thwacked
her cheek. Her eyes flashed but she clamped her jaw shut as the guards dragged
her into the Great Hall of the Eel, past the throng of townsmen.
They hacked and snarled
at her, their disgust striking her face like rain. She held her chin high but
with her hands secured behind her back, she couldn’t wipe her face clean.
goat-herders in hessian, callous-handed blacksmiths and even merchants dressed
in silk shoved and jostled her as she struggled through the crowd.
Hands grabbed her hair.
Strange fingers tore at her grubby clothes and groped her breasts. She gasped
through clenched teeth, her heartbeat pounding in her ears.
But she said nothing.
Soon she would speak and
they would be forced to listen.
The guards shoved her
into a chair in the centre of the room beside the others. She grunted as her
elbow struck the hard wood. The Masters of the Shield and the Scion sat in
front of her. Behind them was the low dais where the High Table sat and the
forest green, gold and terracotta tapestry woven with the eel sigil of Ambrovna
covered the wall.
The side door opened,
hushing the mob and the Duke entered, his golden brooch glinting against his terracotta-red
surcoat. The guards thumped their swords against their shields to announce his
arrival, a deafening metallic din rising up to the vaulted ceiling. The pushing
stopped and the townsmen bowed their heads.
Her belly clenched like a
As he sat on the carved
wooden throne, the blank-faced Duke nodded to the Master of the Shield. Lord
Kalin lifted a dark eyebrow and began.
‘Men of Ambrovna.
According to the laws of the Kingdom of the Four Rivers and the Duchy of
Ambrovna, Gerthorn Nyvard, the thirty-fourth Duke of Ambrovna is present in
this Great Hall to hear the accusations made against these women. In this
realm, the Duke’s decision is final and justice will be served today.’
She rolled back her
shoulders and lifted her chin. She was ready.
I’m delighted to reveal the cover for my next novel – Women of Wasps and War – the Sting of Injustice.
Women of Wasps and War is a grim feminist historical fantasy inspired by a true story.
Women of Wasps and War will be released by mid-June 2019. If you’d like to keep up with the latest news, including pre-order links and a chance for a free Advance Reading Copy (ARC), make sure you join my mailing list.
Women of Wasps and War
Agata, the Duchess of Ambrovna, was never meant to take the throne.
In a land where men
rule, her sole purpose was to smile and curtsey.
However, when war
left her land leaderless, the Fatherhood religion begrudgingly allowed a first;
a woman to rule.
Now the war is over and the men have returned more arrogant and cruel than ever, and the Duchess is shoved back into a life of needlework and silence.
But with her new
thirst for justice, Agata is reluctant to allow her country to return to its
Without her position of power, Agata and her circle of women look to the taboo wisdom of the Wasp Women for answers. But this ancient knowledge comes with consequences, and with death and treachery on the horizon, Agata must decide whether it is worth the risk.
Women of Wasps and War is a grim, gripping tale of power and politics, and the heart-breaking struggle between love and honour.