Dark Steel(de Russe Legacy Book 7)

By: Kathryn Le Veque

A Medieval Romance




Author’s Note





Welcome to Dane Stoneley de Russe’s story!

When I first wrote about Dane, it was as a secondary character, and the son of the heroine, in THE DARK ONE: DARK KNIGHT. Dane was a precocious but adorable seven year old, constantly getting himself (and others) into trouble. Therefore, I had to think about Dane before I started writing about him as an adult – what kind of man did he grow up to be?

The answer was: a good one.

With Remington as his mother, and Gaston as his stepfather, he couldn’t help but grow up properly guided. He’s grown up into a thoughtful, career-oriented knight. But Dane’s problem? He’s trusting. Sometimes too trusting.

While Dane’s brother, Trenton (Dark Moon), grew up into a hardened assassin, Dane didn’t go in that direction. He’s a virtuous, chivalrous man, but he has a flaw – he lets his emotions get the better of him sometimes. Sometimes he acts before he thinks (and we saw that when he was a boy). He never outgrew it.

Enter Grier de Lara.

Smart, and rather naïve, she has the same trusting manner that Dane has, but she has a bitter streak in her as well. You’ll discover that. It was such a joy to write about this pair and I hope that joy shows. Now, there are a few Welsh references in this book, as it’s set on the Welsh Marches, so I’ve once again provided a pronunciation key to help as you go along:

Idloes: EEED-loys (much like the pronunciation of Eloi, from H.G. Wells “The Time Machine”)

Grier: Greer

Eolande: Yo-LAWND (her nickname is Landy, which is pronounced LAWNDY)

Moria (as in the Mother Abbess): Moriah/Mariah

That’s about all of the “odd” pronunciations in this novel, so read on and hopefully enjoy Dane’s story. It’s a very fast and thrilling adventure, so hold on for a swift ride!

Love,





Children of Gaston and Remington de Russe





Trenton (Gaston’s first marriage to Mari-Elle de Russe) married to Lysabel Wellesbourne

Dane (Remington’s first marriage to Guy Stoneley) married to Grier de Lara

Adeliza (married, has issue)

Arica (married, has issue)

Cortland (Cort)

Matthieu (married, has issue)

Boden

Gage

Gilliana





The Shrewsbury (Salop) Battle Horn




(Folk song, author unknown, melody unknown.

Thought to have been composed in the 14th century)



In days gone by

A rallying cry,

Meant for one and all.

As brave men would fight,

Deep into the night,

For the safety of those at Salop.

Heeding this cry,

A devil’s son,

Became a duke of Salop.

A man so true,

No who knew,

The pain he suffered through.

A lady fair,

No man would care,

To call upon her heart.

But the devil’s duke,

Beyond rebuke,

Loved her as none would dare.

(chorus repeat)

In days gone by

A rallying cry,

Meant for one and all.

As brave men would fight,

Deep into the night,

For the safety of those at Salop.

For the lady and her Duke of Salop.





De Russe motto: Et est spes est virtus

“In Valor there is Hope”

Shrewsbury Motto: Tantum in me, Deus, et rex fortis dominabitur

“Only God and the King shall rule me”





PROLOGUE





1519 A.D., October

Battle of Erwood Castle

Welsh Marches

The Shrewsbury horn had blared.

“Dane! Behind you!”

Sir Dane de Russe heard his brother’s cry, bending in with the plaintive cry of the battle horn, and he ducked low and tried to spin away from whatever was coming up behind him. But he wasn’t fast enough, nor was his body pressed low enough. A blow from a shield, the broadside shoved at him, caught him on the head and shoulder, and down he went over the side of the embankment.

Sliding, spinning, out of control, the weight from the armor he wore carried him down the side of the slippery slope. It was pouring buckets, the angry pewter sky above sending a deluge down to the earth as the Shrewsbury army and an angry Welsh army faced off at the base of Erwood Castle.

Water and mud ended up in Dane’s mouth as, halfway down the slope, he finally rammed a dagger into the hillside like an anchor so he wouldn’t slide all the way down into the moat. Down there, men were up to their waists in muck, struggling to not only stay alive, but struggling to kill the men who were trying to kill them in return.