"An Involuntary King" is a stirring saga of enduring love, conflict, loss, and hope told with passion, action, and humor.
Lawrence sees his father, the king, and his older brother killed at the hands of a would-be usurper. Thrust into the role of ruler, he resolves to become not just a good, but a great king. He is helped by his young bride, Josephine. When the two are separated by war, Josephine turns in her fear and grief to the darkly sensual Breton mercenary, Elerde, who has fallen in love with her; he vows to have her for himself, come what may. Lawrence sends the mercenary away, setting in motion events that will threaten his kingdom.
"'An Involuntary King' is a timeless tale, a rich and exciting saga of Anglo Saxon England, populated by a vibrant cast of characters who seem to leap right off the page and latch onto the reader's imagination. It is a book that once read will not be forgotten." Brandy Purdy, author of "The Confession of Piers Gaveston" and "Vengeance Is Mine".
"Nan Hawthorne has spent a lifetime creating and bringing to life the beloved characters contained within the pages of this medieval saga. (They) gush with integrity, endearing themselves to the reader. The prose is vibrant and the battle scenes so authentic that I found myself drawn inextricably into the ever-developing, engaging story. Nan Hawthorne’s passion for the medieval era is skillfully woven into a tapestry of enchantment in this engrossing story. A must read for medieval enthusiasts. " Mirella Patzer, author of "Bloodstone Castle".=
"An Involuntary King" is a story within a story. Based on stories,tow of which are included in the appendices, that the author wrote with a friend in their teens, this novel is a stirring saga of enduring love, conflict, loss, and hope. The author retained few anachronisms from the childhood stories, painting an Anglo Saxon world just years before the Viking invasions.
Lawrence sees his father, the king, and his older brother killed at the hands of a would-be usurper. Unprepared to be king, he resolves to do whatever he can to become not just a good king, but a threat king. He is helped by his young bride, Josephine. The two are separated by war during which Lawrence is nearly killed. In her fear and grief, Josephine turns to the darkly sensual Breton mercenary Elerde. Her regard for him is only friendship, but Elerde has fallen deeply in love with her and bows to have her for himself, come what may. Recovered, Lawrence learns of the innocent tryst and sends the mercenary away.
The king's and queen's respite from trouble is cut short when, as Josephine visits her dying uncle's family in her home kingdom, Elerde and a pack of mercenaries from many lands seize control. The hunt for the queen, known to be behind enemy lines, is on. She and her cousins mount a resistance, ever threatened with capture, until one day her most devoted companion the Irish bard Rory, intervenes and sacrifices himself so that Josephine can be reunited with her husband and children.
Meanwhile Lawrence is confronted with a military problem uncommon in the times, having to sit in siege around the fortress held by the leader of the cabal. Dirty tricks abound from the pack of mercenaries until finally the king is triumphant and the kingdom back in his hands. Only then is he made aware that his own crown has bee n seized by his cousin Gadfrid.
The struggle to regain it leads Lawrence into an assortment of adventures, battles, an assassination attempt, capture by bandits, imprisonment, and his own palace in the hands of a usurper.
But Josephine is not there. She has allowed herself to be spirited away by none other than Elerde. Will Lawrence regain his throne? And will Josephine and their children return to his empty arms?
Review by Brandy Purdy, author of "The Confession of Piers Gaveston" and "Vengeance Is Mine: A Novel of Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard, and Lady Rochford, the Woman Who Destroyed Them Both".
"AN INVOLUNTARY KING is a timeless tale, a rich and exciting saga of
Anglo-Saxon England, populated by a vibrant cast of characters who seem
to leap right off the page and latch onto the reader's imagination.
"A king never meant to be a king struggles to prove himself and quash his own self-doubts, and become not just a good king but a great king. While his queen, Josephine, is cursed by her own beauty, which draws admirers
as honey does flies, and sparks passions that put not only herself but
king and country in jeopardy.
"From the first page to the last, AN INVOLUNTARY KING is a stirring story
of love in its many guises in which kings, queens, warriors, and roving
minstrels all play a part; bloody battles and hard-won victories; and
the real and heart wrenching conflicts that arise between hope, loyalty,
desire, duty, and honor. It is a book that once read will not be
Due in online bookstores September 2008.