Wednesday, 20 February 2013


Arthur, the last High King of the once civilised Roman province of Britannia, has been dead for fifty years. The last British kings of the North are fighting for survival in a welter of feuding and treachery.

Taniu, neglected and unloved daughter of King Loth of Lothian, is out gathering herbs when she meets a handsome young huntsman, unaware that he is Prince Owain of Cumbria. The two promise to meet in the spring, but when the awaited time comes and the King of Cumbria applies to Loth for the hand of his daughter, Taniu refuses, never connecting huntsman and prince.  Tragedy, bloodshed and separation follow, but there is a satisfyingly upbeat ending.

At last, Kathleen Herbert's Heroic Age books, long out of print, are to be published in their correct order. They have been variously known as The Northumbrian Trilogy and The Cumbrian Trilogy. They have a much wider geographical setting than either suggests, ranging from Lothian and Strathclyde, through Deira and Gwynedd to Mercia so I think they deserve a more inclusive overall title.

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