BEGUILED (Legends of Valeros: 3)
Announced for Spring 2018
Several counts in the Languedoc ask Chretien–one of the bonfraires in the confraternity centered with Valeros–to find an assassin who’s out to create chaos while the counts attend a special Church council in Montpelhier.
Chretien’s effort to find the assassin is interrupted catastrophically at every turn. First, an orphan he rescues insists on serving Chretien, but cannot stop spawning lies about children sold to Saracen pirates.
His nephew Yusuf, with his friend Qasim, are now attending the new university at Montpelhier. They bring news that a monk has arrived to purge heresy from the university libraries, and they need Chretien’s help to save important science texts plus a large collection of troubadours’ songs. The songs include tales of Chretien’s crusader father, whose heretical expression in song might mean even more threat to Chretien’s extended family.
The counts’ request for Chretien’s protection include a demand that he use the magic of the fabled Nizari assassins, though Chretien knows there’s no such thing as magic. Except the ghost of his crusader father appears, apparently to just offer bad advice.
All these demands lead Chretien to promise more filial duty, and more danger, than one man can manage.
Beguiled, a standalone story, joins the series of interrelated 13th century adventure tales, Legends of Valeros.