Entrusted (Knights of Brethren #6) Read Online Jody Hedlund

Categories Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Tags Authors: Series: Knights of Brethren Series by Jody Hedlund
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Total pages in book: 78
Estimated words: 71668 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 358(@200wpm)___ 287(@250wpm)___ 239(@300wpm)
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During a time when legends were born . . . ENTRUSTED

The feisty enemy princess, the cunning knight holding her captive, and the ultimate battle that will determine their fate.
Hoping to minimize the death and destruction of the coming war, Princess Birgitta of Swaine leads the Dark Warriors as part of her brother King Canute’s efforts to take the throne of Norvegia. As she engages in a skirmish with a band of elite Knights of Brethren, she’s kidnapped by Kristoffer Prestegard, a cunning warrior.
While searching for the holy lamp that can help defeat the Dark Warriors, Kristoffer realizes that Swaine has already seized the ancient relic. Since King Canute is fiercely protective of his sister, Kristoffer offers to return Princess Birgitta in exchange for the coveted holy lamp.
While trying to keep his feisty prisoner from escaping, Kristoffer learns that his father and uncle have set in motion a scheme that would give him the kingship of Norvegia. Where will Kristoffer’s loyalties lie, and how will he choose sides without losing everything, including the princess he’s grown to love? The real story of the Holy Lamp continues . . .

FULL BOOK START HERE:

Chapter

1

Kristoffer

A haze of destruction hung in the air, sending prickles up my spine.

I toed a blackened cauldron left amongst the rubble of the lofthouse. Bright embers glowed in the fading light of the June day, and smoke swirled up, stinging my eyes and nostrils.

Though the dwelling was charred along with every possession within, I saw no human remains.

“Looks the same as the last place.” Next to me, Stefan, one of my squires, shifted a scorched board with his boot.

“I concur.” Since crossing the Blood River and heading east toward the Valley of Red Dragons, we’d come across several such burned homes.

My other two squires, Finnseth and Jansen, waited on their mounts, their keen gazes roving over the hills that were covered by thick woodland. Like me, my men were attired in chain mail with a number of weapons at hand, ready for any situation.

“More Dark Warriors?” Stefan rubbed a hand over his weary eyes. The long hard hours of riding without much sleep were taking their toll on us. But as the youngest of my squires at seventeen years old, Stefan was faring the worst.

’Twas easy to see the place had been set ablaze hours ago, before dawn. All the evidence did indeed point to another attack by Dark Warriors, who fought in the darkness. Not only did they have night vision, but they could extinguish all lights so that victims were left to fight blindly in the dark. Once finished with their onslaught, the Dark Warriors set everything aflame in a twisted effort to illuminate their destruction and possibly prove they were in control of the light.

However, the absence of any victims was unusual, since the Dark Warriors were known for ruthlessly slaying everyone they caught. In fact, the recent slew of victimless burned homes and villages was puzzling. From what we could tell, no one had died in any of the skirmishes, and the Dark Warriors hadn’t taken prisoners. If so, we surely would have come across evidence of the captivity.

“My guess is Dark Warriors.” I used the tip of my sword to prod asunder the darkened fireplace stones that had collapsed into a heap. “Yet I still cannot grasp the change in their methodology in allowing their victims to live.”

“Maybe the Ice Men?”

I stepped back from the shell of the lofthouse. The surrounding buildings—a small stable, smokehouse, chicken coop, and the privy—were burned to the ground too. “If Ice Men, we would surely have seen them and their draco by now.” Though King Canute of neighboring Swaine had used fierce Ice Men and their red draco during the war last autumn, we’d seen no evidence of the Ice Men joining with Canute over recent weeks in his effort to invade Norvegia again.

Instead, this time, Canute had enlisted the aid of the Dark Warriors from the far northern reaches of Swaine. Of course, we’d believed the Dark Warriors had long since become extinct and so we had been heartily surprised when we’d learned they’d joined forces with Canute.

At another strange prickling on the back of my neck, I scanned the base of the foothills, the bright lush green of summer always a welcome sight after the long months of winter. The majestic peaks of the Snowden Mountain Range rose above the hills, their pinnacles still a brilliant white with thick snow, the reminder that Norvegia’s northern climate was harsh and even deadly.

I shifted my scrutiny to the woodland that covered the higher elevations of the foothills. Someone was out there, watching us. I had no proof of it. Only my intuition.

With our coat of arms, a dragon head on a background of royal red, we were easily identified as King Ansgar’s men. If the Dark Warriors were hiding in the woods nearby and recognized the emblem, then they would confront us once darkness gave them their advantage.


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