‘…The wound would heal well-enough, he was not crippled. He huffed with a brief self-deprecating smile. Had his brother also twisted the blade as he thrust, the damage would have been irreparable. He wiped his hand over his face and pushed to his feet. The boys also stood, their gaze fixed on him. Jedeh smiled to reassure them, though wary of the silence of the buarth, awaiting an ambush from every corner. Anger and hatred stared back at them.
‘Though no one had made them prisoners, the boys had not dared stray from their uncle’s side. Jedeh was reviled with disgust and contempt, but they were safer suffering his humiliation than facing violence on their own.
‘“What will you do, Uncle?” Vahan, the younger of the boys, who had come so far to begin his training as a warrior with the Sharkeyn mercenary, hung his head. “What happened to make him want to kill you? You said nothing to him before he struck that was not true.”
‘“Are we leaving here?” Sevnyn studied the ground but his gaze wandered to the door of the kitchen. “We have not eaten since our uncle’s wife gave us food. She invited us into the house. She told the women who cooked to welcome us, but no one has been hospitable since he struck her.”
‘“Christophe did not intend that she be hurt,” Jedeh assured them. “The physician believes she will mend. I will stay to face her husband, to make amends. Nothing will happen to either of you, either from these men or your uncle. The fault was mine. He will know that.”
‘Vahan wiped tears from his cheeks and swallowed hard. “We should go home,” he said, “my mother did not want me to come.”
‘“You are still a little boy, Vahan, sitting by your mother laying your head on her shoulder,” Sevnyn said. “You wanted as much as I wanted, to know this man so many call Demon. We have heard his name cursed in every place that has felt his wrath. He is a great warrior.”
‘“A man who strikes his brother and his wife with such hatred in his heart is not a man from whom I want to learn to be a man, or a great warrior,” the younger boy declared.
‘“Who better?” his cousin laughed….’
Reconciliation is the final book in the five-book series about the mercenary warriors, Jehan-Emíl deFreveille and Christophe Maides. During the 9thC in Europe, soldiers of fortune traveled from all corners of Europe, Scandinavia and the East in search of employers and land. Gilles de Maides finds his humanity and his future in the love of a woman from a landlocked country, on the silk trade routes from the Far East to the Mediterranean, between the Black and Caspian Seas, the battleground of the Ages. Reconciliation will be released this month, January 2014.