One Night in Hartswood by Emma Denny EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
- Status: Available for Free Download
- Authors: Emma Denny
- Language: English
- Genre: Medieval Historical Fiction
- Format: PDF / EPUB
- Size: 4 MB
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Oxfordshire – 1360
Shafts of bright midday sun pierced through the canopy above, mottling
Lord Griffin Barden’s retinue with golden flecks of light. A detour through
the forest brought an hour’s relief for both horses and riders: it had been a
long day, and the shade was a welcome reprieve from the blinding winter
sun. Raff led his horse along the wide road, thankful for the cover.
Hartswood Forest had been but a dark smear on the horizon as the party
approached from the north. Now it was transformed into something huge
and imposing, the wide elms twisting above the road, penning them in.
Even in early winter, the trees were packed so closely that it posed a near
impassable barrier, despite so many of them lacking their leaves. The only
way to their destination was on a road through the forest itself, picking
around trees older than Raff’s father – older than his father’s father.
Raff found his mind wandering as he surveyed the area. His experience
lay north, in his family’s territory, and he pondered what he might be able to
find this far south. The trees were pressed so closely together that the heart
of the forest was utterly hidden, and he was keen to know what lay between
those ancient trunks; what animals he may find here, hidden pools or
startling southern wildflowers. The land was protected by royal law –
owned by the King and managed by the Earl their party was travelling
towards – which meant it would be rich with game.
His head snapped around at the intrusion to his thoughts.
‘Save it till after Lily’s wedding, at least.’ His brother laughed.
Raff frowned. ‘Save what?’
Ash shook his head at him. ‘I love ale. Father loves chess. Lily loves
‘Ash!’ Lily warned, twisting in her saddle to glare at him.
‘Loves broadswords, even though she shouldn’t, as a noble lady,’ he
drawled towards their sister with a mock bow, ‘and you, Raff, love your
forests. A true hunter, through and through.’
Raff huffed. ‘I love peace. The only place to find it is in the wilderness
when I’m forced to travel beside you for days on end.’
‘You wound me, brother.’
‘Don’t tempt me to make it fatal, brother.’
Ash laughed through his nose, the scar on his face pulling upwards.
‘If you are intending to explore, you should make yourself useful,’ he
teased. ‘You could catch a pair of rabbits. Lady Cecily,’ he drawled,
grandly, ‘would you deign to wear a fur-lined wedding gown? It may suit,
in this weather.’
Lily rolled her eyes at him, but said nothing.
‘Maybe they like brides rabbit-furred this far south,’ Ash continued. ‘I
She snorted. ‘There’s hundreds of things you wouldn’t know,’ she said,
‘both about the south and brides.’
Ash continued, unfazed. ‘If not a rabbit, a bird, then, perhaps? A circlet
Raff ignored him. He was growing tired of Ash’s continual mocking,
already dreading the prospect of a days-long march back to Dunlyn Castle.
He wondered how poorly his father and brother would react if he voiced his
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