Throwback Thursday: The Du Lac Devil by Mary Anne Yarde


Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Renee at It’s Book Talk.  It’s designed as an opportunity to share old favourites as well as books that we’ve finally got around to reading that were published over a year ago.  If you decide to take part, please link back to It’s Book Talk.

Today I’m revisiting a book I reviewed in March 2017 – The Du Lac Devil by Mary Anne Yarde.  Published in December 2016, The Du Lac Devil is the second book in the author’s The Du Lac Chronicles series.  The first book in the series, The Du Lac Chronicles, was published in February 2016 and the third instalment, The Du Lac Princess, in October 2017.

DuLacDevilAbout the Book

War is coming to Saxon Briton.  As one kingdom after another falls to the savage might of the High King, Cerdic of Wessex, only one family dares to stand up to him — The Du Lacs.  Budic and Alden Du Lac are barely speaking to each other, and Merton is a mercenary, fighting for the highest bidder. If Wessex hears of the brothers’ discord, then all is lost.  Fate brings Merton du Lac back to the ancestral lands of his forefathers, and he finds his country on the brink of civil war. But there is worse to come, for his father’s old enemy has infiltrated the court of Benwick. Now, more than ever, the Du Lac must come together to save the kingdom and themselves.  Can old rivalries and resentments be overcome in time to stop a war?

Format: ebook (393 pp.)                 Publisher:
Published: 6th December 2016      Genre: Historical Fantasy, Historical Romance

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My Review

I haven’t read the first book in the series so I’ll confess I did find it a little difficult at first to work out who everyone was, who was related to whom and how and what the different political factions were.  So I would probably recommend readers to start with the first book in the series (The Du Lac Chronicles) to get more of the back story of the characters.

Having said that, I enjoyed the book and thought the author did a great job of blending her imaginary world with the limited historical fact and the more extensive fable surrounding King Arthur, Lancelot, etc.    There was no attempt at period language, which I think is probably wise as this is often unsuccessful, although there were a couple of occasions when some very modern sounding phrases jarred, such as ‘Come on, sunshine, time to wake up’ and ‘This could all go pear-shaped at any minute’.

The book focuses on Merton, the youngest of the sons of Lancelot du Lac, who has built up a fearsome reputation as a mercenary.  His rumoured ‘devilish’ actions are actually the key to his success as a mercenary but of course there is usually more than one side to a person’s character.    The plot is fast-paced and full of twists and turns.  There are secret alliances, plots and counter-plots, intrigues and acts of violence driven by ambition, revenge, love and betrayal.   At times, it became a little taxing to keep up with all the changes of alliances and revelations.  Into the heady mix is woven romance as Merton finds himself the object of more than one woman’s affection.  Can the ‘Du Lac Devil’ be tamed?

The author has created a thoroughly entertaining story – a blend of historical fiction, fantasy and romance, with plenty of loose ends left for future books.   I received a review copy courtesy of Xpresso Book Tours and the author in return for an honest review.

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In three words: Fast-paced, entertaining, romance

Try something similar…Sword at Sunset by Rosemary Sutcliff

MaryAnneYardeAbout the Author

Mary Anne Yarde is an award winning author of the international bestselling series, The Du Lac Chronicles. Born in Bath, England, Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury – the fabled Isle of Avalon – was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.  At nineteen, Yarde married her childhood sweetheart and began a Bachelor of Arts in history at Cardiff University, only to have her studies interrupted by the arrival of her first child. She would later return to higher education, studying equine science at Warwickshire College. Horses and history remain two of her major passions.  Yarde keeps busy raising four children and helping run a successful family business. She has many skills but has never mastered cooking–so if you ever drop by, she (and her family) would appreciate some tasty treats or a meal out!

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