Peace never lasts…
It is 1464. Ned Elder and his two sisters, Emma & Eleanor, have won a hard-fought peace and their feud with the Radcliffes seems long over, but one man never accepted the outcome. After three bitter years of waiting to destroy the Elders, a new ally provides him with a fresh opportunity for revenge.
When Ned is summoned to confront a Lancastrian revolt by the new king, Edward of York, he finds his enemies are not just amongst the ranks of the rebels. Branded a traitor by his own commander, the Earl of Warwick, Ned is soon a wanted man in hostile territory and the price on his head only rises when he stumbles upon a royal secret.
Meanwhile, Eleanor and Emma watch over Ned’s pregnant wife, Amelie, with only a small garrison of old men and boys to protect them. The feud may have ended, but the scars run deep for all three women and they must hold their nerve and prepare to defend themselves at any cost.
A condemned man, Ned must find a way to escape his pursuers or else the whole Elder family will be destroyed.
A Traitor’s Fate is the second installment in Derek Birks’s Rebels & Brothers series and picks up three years after the first novel’s ending. The reader is once again transported to fifteenth century England, with the Wars of the Roses the tense backdrop of the tale. The bitter feud between the Elders and the Radcliffes has an unexpected revival even as Ned Elder is accused of being a traitor.
The characters have been battle-hardened and emotionally scarred, and they are more developed and rounded in this second tale. Birks does a terrific job of detailing not only the determination and heroism of the men but the indomitable courage—and in one instance, villainous machinations—of the female cast as well. The characters are authentic to the times, and the author does not shy from the grim reality and brutality of the era. The battle scenes and forest skirmishes are realistic, bloody, and gritty.
This is a story filled with deceit and intrigue, danger and heartache, family and friendship. An action adventure tale driven as much by its characters as it is by its plot, A Traitor’s Fate is a riveting read and a stellar segue into the next installment in this gripping family saga.
Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction, especially fiction regarding the two rival branches of the House of Plantagenet and fiction centered around family, action, and adventure, with the caveat that the author does not skip detailing the blood and gore of violent battles