Dark Champion

Dark Champion

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by Kinley MacGregor
     
 

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Fearless men, their allegiance is to one another, to the oppressed, and to the secret society known as the Brotherhood of the Sword—and they must never surrender to the passionate yearnings of their noble hearts.

A Lady of Love

Beautiful, peace-loving Rowena knows that Stryder of Blackmoor is a warrior, and is therefore a man to be shunned.

But

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Overview

Fearless men, their allegiance is to one another, to the oppressed, and to the secret society known as the Brotherhood of the Sword—and they must never surrender to the passionate yearnings of their noble hearts.

A Lady of Love

Beautiful, peace-loving Rowena knows that Stryder of Blackmoor is a warrior, and is therefore a man to be shunned.

But something burns in the eyes of this powerful knight that she has never seen in others of his kind: a tenderness, and a need to love and be loved. Yet to enter his world would be madness—against every principle by which she has lived her life—so she must resist the yearning that would draw her into his arms.

A Man of War

Duty bound to battle for right, Stryder has never desired the comforts of home and hearth—until he gazed upon the exquisite face and form of the incomparable Rowena. He dares not succumb to her sensuous charms, for Stryder is a man sworn to know no love. But when treachery and danger threaten, the noble knight must stand as the unsuspecting lady's champion—though his actions could cost him his honor, his heart. . . and his forbidden dream of happiness.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060565411
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/27/2004
Series:
Brotherhood of the Sword Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
378,596
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

Read an Excerpt

A Dark Champion


By MacGregor, Kinley

Avon Books

ISBN: 0060565411

Come and sit with me a moment, friend and pilgrim, for I have a tale to tell that many of you have never heard before.

It is one of honor and friendship. One of bravery and nobility. One of strength and loyalty. It is a tale of boys who became men, not because they aged in years, but because they walked through the very fires of hell, arm in arm, back to back, defiant and bold with only one code of honor between them.

We all survive.

We all go home.

We are brothers unto the end.

It is said that the strongest steel is forged by Satan's fires. I have witnessed this myself. For I was once one of their number. Captured in a land known by many as Outremer or the Holy Land, and held as hostage by my enemies, it was there that I found these amazing men.

There were fifty of them in my cell. Cramped and cold, tired, beaten, and worn. But not defeated. Nay, these men could never be defeated.

Not by anything born of this earth.

Though I knew them for young men, and in some cases mere boys, they looked as haggard as any old beggar. Their faces were lined by horror and starvation, their clothes tattered and shredded, their bodies scarred and bleeding from old wounds and new. Still, they fought on with a strength of will that amazes me unto this day.

Out of fifty, five of them emerged as our leaders: the Wraith, who moved with stealth and secrecy while he ran interference with our guards; the Scot, who sacrificed himself for others so that they would not be punished; the Widowmaker, who watched over us and planned our escape; the Sorcerer, who was able to distract and steal whatever we needed; and the Abbot, whose scholarly ways and unending faith reminded us that we were still human even though we lived as animals in a filthy cage.

We named the five of them the Quinfortis, a Latin term that means the strength of five. They kept our spirits and hope alive every day as our captors sought to break us. Without them none of us would ever have made it home.

We would be dead now.

All of us.

It is in their honor that this chanson is written.

The Widowmaker

I met the man the Brotherhood termed the Widowmaker on the first day of my incarceration. His face had been so misshapen by a beating that he reminded me of some horrid monster. But it was his eyes that seared me.

Intelligent and sharp, they had seen right through me. He offered me his hand, as he had done the others who had been taken against their will, and told me that so long as he breathed, I would be protected.

He meant that.

On the night of our escape from hell, seven men stayed behind to cover our trail.

The Quinfortis, the Phantom, and the Pagan.

While we boarded a boat for home, the seven of them bravely faced our pursuers, alone with nothing more than their bare hands to protect them. Even now, years later, I can still clearly remember the sight of them in the moonlight as they fought like possessed champions while we ran at their behest.

The Wraith, the Scot, the Widowmaker, the Sorcerer, the Abbot, the Phantom, and the Pagan. Men who refused to use their God-given names while imprisoned since they had been reduced to animals forced to fight for bare sustenance.

Men who are bound by their scars and oaths to each other, and by the brand on their right hand that their enemies had placed there to remind them always of that time in the past when they were beasts.

But on the night of our escape, they weren't animals. They weren't men nor were they boys.

They were legends.

The kind of legends whose courage and selflessness should never be forgotten.

I have already told the tale of the Wraith in Midsummer's Knight, about the blessings that have since come upon Simon of Ravenswood.

It is time now that I write of another.

The Widowmaker who is best known to the world as Lord Stryder, earl of Blackmoor -- a man of many secrets and strengths.

A man who has fought all his life and who has yet to realize the beauty that can be found off the battlefield.

And for those of youwho are curious,my name, like those of the others, was hidden during my captivity. The Brotherhood gave me my own special moniker. I usemy Christian name now, but for the purposes of introducing theworld to the heroes I know, you may call me simply the Minstrel. I am a wandering bard, ever seekingmy own peace from the pastwhile I make sure that everyone knows of the personal sacrifices of the men who made up our company.

And now here begins the official tales of The Brotherhood of the Sword ...

Continues...

Excerpted from A Dark Champion by MacGregor, Kinley Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Kinley MacGregor lives a life of extraordinary danger...as does any woman with three sons, a husband, a menagerie of pets, and a collection of swords that all of the above have a major fixation with. But when not running interference (or dashing off to the emergency room), she can be found chained to her computer where she likes to play with all her imaginary friends. With more than ten million copies of her books in print, in 26 countries, she certainly has a lot of friends to play with, too.

Writing as Kinley MacGregor and Sherrilyn Kenyon, she is the author of several series including: The Dark-Hunters, Brotherhood of the Sword, Lords of Avalon, and BAD. With an international, cult following, her books have appeared in the top three on the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestseller lists.

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Dark Champion 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 57 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
During the reign of Henry Plantagenet, several English prisoners escape captivity in the Holy Land because of the sacrifice of some of their peers. One of these Lord Stryker has become the King¿s Champion, but also remains loyal to the Brotherhood of the Sword consisting of those surviving knights incarcerated together in the Holy Land. Lady Rowena de Vitry, the ¿Lady of Love¿ troubadour hates knights whom she believes are barbarians who take what they want from the defenseless. However, when she meets Stryker sparks fly though neither wants to acknowledge it. She is shocked when he comes to the defense of his half-brother, a troubadour like her............................. King Henry wants Rowena married, but no one seems capable of attaining that status. His wife Eleanor suggests Stryker wed Rowena so that the monarch can feel secure that a major supporter owns a critical estate. Rowena has vowed she will never marry any knight while Stryker has pledged he will never marry as insanity runs in his family. However, the queen pulls strings using the duo as puppets by insisting that Rowena teach Stryker to sing for an upcoming contest.............................. Though an exciting treachery subplot seems an afterthought as this is a Brotherhood of the Sword tale, fans will appreciate this terrific gender war between a gentle acerbic troubadour and a caring hard-boiled knight. The story line works when the lead couple battle while falling in love as predicted by that masterful manipulator the Queen. The secondary characters enable the audience to either see inside the reign of Henry Plantagenet or understand the prime players. Medieval romance readers will enjoy this tale and look forward to more novels starring other brothers......................... Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LUVSCOTS More than 1 year ago
I love the series. This was not my favorite. To many plots and sub plots it was confusing. I loved Stryker and Rowena. I loved their banter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great and fast read!
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I felt like i was riding a rollercoaster. Too many sub plots and she left you hanging and not knowing who the killer was. I guess she wants u to continue with the Brotherhood books but i wont! I felt no chemistry for the main characters either. The ending was rushed too.
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