The Last Arrow

The Last Arrow

by Marsha Canham

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940011335235
Publisher: Marsha Canham
Publication date: 06/05/2011
Series: Robin Hood Medievals Series , #3
Sold by: Smashwords
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 503,410
File size: 573 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Author of 16 Historical Romances and one contemp, my first book, China Rose, was published in 1984. Since then my historical romances have consistently appear on the USA Today list. I have been honored to be the recipient of multiple awards from Romantic Times, including 2 Lifetime Achievement awards, Storyteller of the Year, Medieval of the Year, Swashbuckler of the Year, as well as having been awarded one of a very few five star reviews handed out by Kathe Robin for The Blood of Roses. The Iron Rose was also named as one of the seven best Fiction books of the year by Publishers Weekly. A print author since the early 80's, it has been truly wonderful to be able to reissue my early books in digital format. Some, like China Rose, Bound by the Heart, and The Wind and the Sea, have not been available to readers for twenty five years. It was The Wind and the Sea, in fact, that inspired Romantic Times to create the category "Swashbuckler of the Year" and it won the very first award. I write the type of books that I love to read...full of action, drama, intrigue, and of course...romance. I am inspired by the old swashbuckling movies I grew up watching staring the likes of Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Randolph Scott, Tyrone Power...bigger than life heroes matched with equally gutsy heroines. I write, in fact, as if there is a movie playing out in my mind and my hope is that readers enjoy what they *see* as much as I do.

Read an Excerpt

Brenna split off and ran in the direction of the river.  She guessed, by the quivering oval patches of pewter gray that broke through the uppermost layer of tree branches, there was perhaps an hour or two of daylight left in the outer world.  The inner world of the forest would have far less, but she was not worried.  Having seen the gully, she knew where she was, knew the location of the river, knew where to intersect the hidden tract the villagers of Amboise used when they wanted to take their wares to Blois without paying a toll.  She also knew of a place on the river where great fat salmon swam into the shallow pools to feed in the quiet water.  If she could skewer a plump, succulent salmon, she knew it would win a resounding round of praise from her father.  He particularly loved the fish poached in wine, smothered in onions and thyme, washed down with a flagon of his prized pierrefitte.

There was no need to exercise more caution than she normally would in the greenwood.  No need to play the fool either, and for that she kept her ears tuned to the sound of the wind in the upper boughs, the angry squabbling of squirrels and hare in the knee-deep ferns, the chatter of birds overhead who, like old women on a fence, stopped their gossiping long enough to mark Brenna's passage, then resumed their bickering as if nothing had interrupted.  Gil had taught her the forest was full of alarms if one took the time to become familiar with them.  The crunch of a leaf, the snap of a twig, the sound of furry feet scrambling away were all indications of an unexpected presence.

She ran with an easy, loping gait, her bow slung over her shoulders and the long cable of her braid thumping between her shoulders on each step.  Her breath was starting to take on a ghostly quality in the cooling air and the fine hairs that had sprung free around her neck and temples were curling against the thin sheen of moisture that slicked her skin.

She had no desire to work up another chilling sweat, and while she loped along, she unfastened the laces of her leather jerkin, letting the sides hang open so the air passed freely through the looser weave of her shirt.  Force of habit made her glide to a halt every few hundred yards to listen to the forest.  Once she thought she heard the echo of a church bell, a tiny, tinny sound far off in the distance.  There was a monastery farther up the river, and the monks were meticulous if not downright fanatical about gathering their flock to prayer. It was likely the vespers bell, which would be bringing the mendicants off the herds and out of the gardens after a hard day's work.

Another familiar sound brought her head tilting to one side.  She was within bowshot of the river, two hundred yards more or less, and could not only hear the chatter of the water passing over the rocky shoreline, she could smell the deeper, damper musk in the air.

Moving slower now, stealthier through the tangle of saplings and gorse, Brenna listened for any alarms her presence might make.  Deer, hare, and other small creatures would be sidling down to the embankment for their evening drinks.  If she startled them off too suddenly, any fish in the pools would heed the warning and swim into the middle of the river.  In her favor, it was also the time of day when colonies of blackbirds and swallows were resuming to their rookeries in the forest, and they were making enough noise to cover anything short of a shout.

Another hundred yards and she could see the River Loire through the thinning trees.  It moved leisurely toward the sea, a hundred fifty miles to the west, like a wide ribbon of molten silver.  The tops of the trees on the opposite bank were burnished bronze by the settling sun, and high above, the purpled bellies of wind-dragged clouds wore crowns of pink and gold and amber.  Dusk would not be far behind, all grays and blues and darkest blacks.

Creeping closer to the bank, she used a fallen tree to cloak her movements as she emerged from the edge of the forest and slipped down onto the wide, shingled shoreline.  The bank here was flat, not very wide--there were perhaps ten feet between the ledge of jutting roots and the silky rush of water.  This particular pool was tucked into an elbow of rocks, shadowed by the huge oaks and pines that crowded the shore, the trapped water so still and dark it looked like spilled ink.  And whether it was because the closeness of the trees had exaggerated every squeak and snap, or because she simply felt overly exposed standing under an open sky after so many hours of moving from shadow to shadow, the sudden unearthly silence brought her to a frozen standstill.

A cool shiver rippled down her spine as she recalled a story once told of a pool in England, cursed for a thousand years to languish in utter silence despite being in the heart of a greenwood teeming with creatures of every size and description.

But that was England and this was France and she certainly did not believe in faeries or magic spells.  She believed in what she saw, and in this case it was only the shadows pressed hard against the water, black on black.  It was likely the rocks and few sparse trees on the narrow promontory that were buffering the sounds from the wind and the water beyond.  As for curses and ill-fated lovers...

Brenna squeezed her eyes tightly shut and opened them again quickly but this was no trick of the failing light.  It was not an elf and certainly not a tragic prince agonizing over a lost love.  It was a half-naked satyr bent down on one knee by the waters edge, a gleaming, bejeweled dagger clutched in his right hand, raised to strike.

Table of Contents

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Last Arrow 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 67 reviews.
Callie Cordle More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful series - the characters are deep and their relationships are complex! I will look for sooooo much more from this author :) For those of you concerned about getting the most for your money - I've found that each of these books is nearly 900 pages or more and worth EVERY penny!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice finish to the series. I'm very happy to have found these books. Beautiful love stories and wrapped up the telling of great history.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have recently started reading Ms. Canham books. They are detailed and enthralling. This third book of the Robin Hood trilogy did not disappoint. It is over a thousand pages and kept me guessing until almost the end. The book is mostly about two of the black wolfs children and there adventures. Great love stories that will not disappoint. I was sad about one Eleanor and Tuck toward the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this series but especially this book. I have read it severl times. Clynnb
Ronda Freeman More than 1 year ago
My one and only complaint was that it is sometimes difficult to follow. There are so many characters, over the course of the three books, that when she explains the plot and necessary background, I could get lost. But overall, I loved the characters and hated to see them go. They were all over 1000 pages and very reasonably priced. Rich story lines and thick plots. Nicely done. I highly recommend all three in the trilogy. I will, miss our heros!
nr100 More than 1 year ago
I recently finished reading "The Last Arrow". It was one of those books that you love to read but are sad when you finish because,, well there isn't more to read. Make sure to read the first two of the series(in order, of course) to get the full story. Ms. Canham is a first class storyteller. I love how detailed and descriptive she is in writing about that time period.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really love all 3 of the books in this series, so much so I am considering buying them in hardback! This lady can write!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book.
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I really enjoyed all three books.
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This book keeps your attention... it is written very well and has a very interesting story line.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the third book in the series....really enjoyed all three of them. Great for anyone that enjoys historical books.
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j2smith79935 More than 1 year ago
Excellent. A very fitting end to the series!
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