Dark Warrior

Dark Warrior

by Donna Fletcher

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060538798
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/26/2004
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 932,912
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

About the Author

Part of the fun in writing, Donna Fletcher admits, is doing the research. But it is with her characters that she has the most fun. She loves giving life to fresh characters and feels their excitement as they face the pleasures and pitfalls of falling in love.

Donna's own adventures have taken her to England, Ireland, and Scotland. She has walked the fields where battles were fought centuries ago, toured haunted castles, stood where beheadings were commonplace, explored the mystic mounds of long ago, and collected a plethora of memories and research that will live long in her heart and mind. She also loves exploring and photographing old abandoned homes, and she often takes long walks in the woods with camera in hand. She feels her life is rich and full, having three terrific sons, two fantastic daughters-in-law, an endless supply of friends, a loving dog, and a crazy, black, one-eyed cat named Bear.

Read an Excerpt

Dark Warrior

Chapter One

Thus shadow owes its birth to light.

John Gay, "The Persian, Sun, and Cloud"

Mary ran for her life in woods that once offered sanctuary.

Low-hanging branches scratched at her arms in an attempt to impede the escape, and familiar tall trees became as angry sentinels blocking her at every twist and turn. Gray storm clouds rushed overhead, keeping pace with her; a fine mist of rain fell, dampening the linen shift and tunic she wore. Her soft leather boots crushed the fresh spring growth as she tried to increase the distance from her pursuers.

Their angry warning shouts were meant to frighten her, but she did not think she could be any more frightened; she had been running for the last ten years.

The ground trembled from the pounding of running feet as they gained on her. She hastened, but the rapid pace brought on a growing fatigue that soon would impede her flight.

She silently encouraged herself. Keep going. Keep going.

She ran and she ran and she ran. Her heart pounded, breathing turned rapid, and the voices behind grew louder.

Do not turn around. Keep running.

The pursuers taunted her with their laughter, playing with her, letting her know they were so very close to capturing her. She refused to let them intimidate her and refused to surrender. She would run until she breathed her last breath.

Her determination gave her renewed speed; she heard a string of violent oaths spewed from behind as she moved beyond their reach.

The wet ground made her footing difficult. She slipped and righted herself, but not quickly enough.

Hands suddenly shoved at her back and she tumbled face-forward to the ground, her breath knocked completely out of her. Given no time to regain her senses, the man roughly turned her onto her back, straddling her and grabbing her neck in his large, thick hand.

"Run from me will you?" He snarled between panted breaths, sounding like an enraged animal about to tear his prey to pieces. "You're not going anywhere. Decimus wants you."

Mary grabbed at his hand, fear racing through her. He was choking her; she could not breath. She pulled and clawed at his wrist, his arm, but he squeezed even harder. Her vision blurred, shouts sounded around them.

She struggled and fought, and knew she was dying.

No breath. No breath. No --

Mary woke with a start, her hand going immediately to her neck. She cringed from the pain. Total darkness surrounded her, and she curled up into herself in the tiny prison cell.

It had been a full day since her capture, at least she thought it had been. Being deprived of light made for the absence of time. It was as if darkness was a void where time did not exist or matter.

She gently moved her fingers over her neck, determining that it was bruised nearly from ear to ear. She had attempted to give answers demanded of her captors' questions after the strangling ceased, but her throat was so pained that speech was barely possible.

This angered them even more, and the one who had choked her shoved her in disgust to the wet ground. She was already wet and muddied; this only added to her miserable condition. And now she sat in a cell, the mud having dried and caked on her garments, in her long blond hair, streaking her face. She knew she must look a sight.

She laughed softly. What did her appearance matter? She sat alone in the dark cell, her life in danger. Her thoughts should be on more important matters, but then what chance was there for her to escape? And being released? She shook her head at the absurdity of the wishful thought.

A faint noise in the corner of the cell caught her attention. She listened as the scurrying of tiny feet rustled the straw serving as the cell's floor-covering. No doubt mice or rats looking for a morsel of food. She tapped her feet together to frighten the rodents off. She heard an anxious scurry of feet and then sudden silence. They had made their escape, while she remained a prisoner waiting for ... ? Mary shook her head and huddled in the corner of the cell, a chill causing her to shiver. She hugged herself tightly.

Decimus had finally caught her after all these years.

She shivered again, gooseflesh prickling her soft skin at the mere thought of the man and his infamous reputation for hunting, capturing, and punishing heretics. It was said that he gained extreme pleasure from inflicting pain on his prisoners, and the only escape from him was death.

She shook her head slowly at the memories that had brought her to this tiny cell. She had lived a quiet, uneventful life since her parents' friend Magnus, or as most knew him the "Legend," had brought her to sanctuary in the woods in the northeast of Ireland far from her native Scotland.

Her parents were good people, though their beliefs were a mixture of pagan and Christian. The village of Muir where she had been raised was not a common village. It was a place of pagans and old beliefs, and had once belonged to an old hermit who had grown tired of his solitude and encouraged travelers to remain on his land. The people worked hard alongside each other growing their crops, tending to the needy, sharing laughter and singing songs. They remained to themselves, unnoticed by authorities until her father's reputation as a teacher had grown.

Tears slipped down her cheek in remembrance of her parents and all they had done to help people. They believed people had the right to worship as they chose, to think, to question. Questions were not encouraged by the authorities or the Church; obedience and submission were the rules and they were to be obeyed without question ...

Dark Warrior. Copyright © by Donna Fletcher. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Dark Warrior 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In the sixteenth century Scotland, using the power of the Church, Decimus kills Mary¿s parents, declaring they were heretics following pagan ways; he also affirms that Mary be ostracized as the daughter of heretics. THE LEGENDARY WARRIOR Magnus rescues the young Mary taking her to Ireland for safety. She lived peacefully there for the next dozen years............................... When Mary is again endangered, Magnus sends his best protégé, The Dark One, Michael to rescue a recaptured Mary. He succeeds in freeing the badly battered Mary who is unable to speak. Though he has rescued many people in recent years without looking back, something about Mary touches Michael¿s inner soul. Willing to risk his life too free those abused by the Church, Michael knows he would go to hell for her. Mary feels the same way as she wonders if she feels hero worship for her savior or simply is in love with him.......................... This engaging medieval romance uses an inquisition as a backdrop to a dark suspense romantic thriller. The return of Magnus (star of THE LEGENDARY WARRIOR) adds depth to understanding the likable lead couple though there reactions to dangerous situations seem to ho hum and accepting. Still readers will root for the beleaguered twosome to overcome their enemies and their doubts to forge a permanent binding relationship......................... Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is an over-all good read. If you are a reader who enjoys to have to think while you're reading, this is a good book for you. The relationships are good during this book, but some of the plot twist can be confusing and can leave you wondering 'Why did she do that?' Fletcher is a author worth reading, but this is not one of her best.
NavyWave62 More than 1 year ago
LOVED IT!! I went out and bought several more of her books. The suspense was awesome, didn't see alot of the twists. I agree with another reviewer, the ending should have explained more about Michael and what happened. I also, didn't care for the cover - really not like Mary's character. Not the author's fault because the cover wasn't good. Highly recommend this book. BUT PLEASE READ LEGENDARY WARRIOR FIRST!! If you read this book first, you may be confused as to the other character's.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The ideal of this story was good. I liked all the characters, especially the leading males. I did not care for the ending. I would have liked more details about Michael and what happened in the future. The romance was very good and not explicit.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book keeps you in suspense from page one for want of knowing the identity of the mysterious 'Dark One.' Despite being shrouded in a black cloak and mask, he reeks with sensual masculinity. You are constantly kept in a state of anticipation and just can not wait to find out the identity of this alluring man.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel was a joy and also a deceptive page turner. It is about horror, facing fears, and discovering love in forbidden places. This book I gave four stars, because I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys supprises and happy endings.
kyssme007 More than 1 year ago
This is a book I can read time and time again. I find that this is a classic love story that show passion, honor, courage, and strength. Mary and Michael are truly the best fictional characters with chemistry binding them together. Though fate is not kind to Mary, Michael insures her safety to the very end with a surprise plot twist that will throw you out the door. Truly a great read for anyone looking for mystery and romance.
TheBooknerd on LibraryThing 8 days ago
The synopsis for this book sounded very cool, romantic, and fun. And at first, I did enjoy this story. But about halfway through things just became ridiculous and irritating. There's a surprise twist that I don't want to give away by going into too much detail, but the characters' actions in several instances made me roll my eyes in disgust and irritation. Putting the customary melodrama of historical romances aside, the story wasn't believable.
Anonymous 4 months ago
I love this book and the one that preceeded it. The characters were interesting and the stories kept me engaged. I hope that there will be a future book that will include these characters so that I can find out what happened to them. I certainly recommend them.
Anonymous 12 months ago
Great story....though could he not see that he had a more important responsibility in keeping his wife safe with him and loving and caring for his child.....page 229.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was mediocre. I would recommend it to a 16-year old. Unfortunately, I'm 46. It was cute but predictable. And of course, don't read it for any eroticism.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Are you funny? Great cause l need a laugh. Make us giggle or think with you jokes and riddles
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent couldn't put it down. The characters played well against each other!