The sequel to "Blood and Allegiance", "Escape and Betrayal" continues the adventures of Bryony, her family and friends in the medieval style setting of Athlandia.
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Bryony is once more trapped in Kynbury Castle, a captive of her cousin Unwin, King of Athlandia. When Unwin finally reveals his startling plans for her, Bryony is shocked and knows she must escape.
An unexpected ally comes to her rescue and together they escape and rejoin the rebels. Bryony quickly begins to create a place for herself in the rebel camp while developing her relationship with Will, the rebel leader and rightful king. However, even back amidst the security of her friends and family, Bryony discovers she is still not safe from the scheming of the King. The rebels take steps to protect her from Unwin's plans but the camp has already been betrayed. The rebels have to fight for their freedom and escape to the safety of Nordmark, the neighbouring country.
"Stay close to me," hissed Will and Bryony nodded assent.
Following unseen into 'The Running Horses', they crept round to the gloomy shadows at the back of the lively and crowded but dimly lit bar to listen. Will still kept a firm hold of Bryony's hand. Her heart was thumping so loudly she was sure everyone around her must be able to hear it.
One of the men bound onto a table and addressed the room. As he turned in a slow, deliberate circle, Bryony gasped involuntarily and squeezed Will's hand. She recognised Sir Botolf at once.
"I take it you know him and his reputation?" whispered Will.
Bryony nodded, shivering slightly as she remembered Botolf's eagerness for a fight. She listened as the knight began to speak.
"We believe that the rebel scum and their vagabond leader have a bolt hole near here," Sir Botolf growled loudly at the suddenly silenced assembly. "We will handsomely reward anyone who gives us information leading to the discovery of that cesspit or to the capture of any of this filth. They have recently stolen something that belongs to the King and he wants it back."
Again Botolf rotated on the table; this time he slowly and purposefully drew out his sword and ran his finger along the sharp blade as it glinted starkly in the sporadic torchlight. When he spoke again, his voice was dark and menacing.
"Do not misjudge me. Anyone who has information and doesn't deliver it to me or anyone who is known to harbour this rabble will pay dearly."
A heavy silence met Botolf's cold words, his own dislike returned by the people.
Bryony shrank closer to Will, aware that his muscles were taut, his other hand poised on his hidden sword hilt ready for action, and was grateful for his proximity. Even hidden in the shadows, she suddenly felt very vulnerable. She smiled grimly at the thought that she was the King's stolen 'thing'.
Botolf spoke once more before he leapt back down from the table to join his men.
"Make no mistake: dealing with the rebels means death!"