I've just passed the 120,000 word mark in the first draft of my second novel and I thought this would be a good time for a little update. The first in the series, Swordland, saw a group of Normans from the Welsh frontier attempt to establish a new realm in Ireland, and book two picks up the story immediately after the events of 1164-1170.
The main character in this story is Raymond de Carew, or Raymond the Fat as he is known to history. He is the nephew of the lead character from Swordland, Robert FitzStephen, and a younger son of William FitzGerald, Lord of Carew. Due to inheritance practices of the Normans in the twelfth century, Raymond has no hope of inheriting lands or position from his family and so he was apprenticed to a knight in the retinue of one of Wales' most powerful men, Strongbow, at the age of seven.
The story is picked up in Wales in the early months of 1170 and finishes in the late summer of the same year on Ireland's south coast at Baginbun (pictured above). Undoubtedly skilled in war, the 24-year-old Raymond has had his issues with finances following his father's loss of estate and couldn't even afford to complete his apprenticeship in order to become a knight. He is also in love with his master's married daughter Basilia. Events, however, transpire to force Raymond into a more leading role in Strongbow's army and bring another woman, a great Norman baron, and a Viking chieftain into his life.
The working title for the book is Lord of the Sea Castle though this may yet change by the time I have the draft done in August.
Edward Ruadh Butler is the author of Swordland which was published by Accent Press in February 2015. The second in the series, Lord of the Sea Castle, will follow within the year. The third book of the Invader Series, charting Strongbow’s arrival in Ireland, will be published in 2016.
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