Book Two of The Wayenor Saga
(US e-Book, FoxAcre Press, April 2014)
(US Paperback, FoxAcre Press, September 2014)
(US e-Book, Sasha Miller, July 2023)
(US Paperback, Sasha Miller, July 2023)
Wayenor has seen siege before but this one, by Shelith invaders from Kallendia's hereditary northern enemy, is the most determined Vannessa, Countess of Wayenor has yet endured. Despite her early pregnancy, Vannessa is equally determined to conduct the defense personally as long as possible before she becomes physically unable to carry on.
The Shelithites begin by displaying women hostages they had hoped would cause Wayenor to capitulate lest they suffer the same fate. Instead, Vannessa boldly leads a rescue party and brings the unfortunate women to safety inside the walls.
One of the rescued women is an Idramrian noblewoman. She becomes a great favorite in Wayenor and, inexplicably, tension and conflict between Vannessa and her husband create what might become an unbridgable gap.
Grimly determined that the Shelithites will not prevail, Waynor's warriors inflict so much damage on the would-be invaders, burning and sinking their ships, that they give up the siege and retreat into their remaining ships to return to Shelith but not before launching one last assault. During this, Vannessa's husband is gravely wounded and the shock of seeing him being carried inside the walls, seemingly lifeless, throws her into early labor.
Her former squire, Alynder, arrives at Wayenor, seeking sanctuary. She and her husband had been taken by Shelithe slavers and only she had escaped. Vanessa vows to go on a rescue mission as soon as spring comes.
As the autumn and winter draw on, too late, Vannessa realizes that there exists more forms of siege warfare than one army in the field going against another, smaller and more intimate army locked inside a stronghold. Tension between the Count and Countess build to an unendurable level.
A rescue mission, an uninvited member of the rescue party, the unexpected acquisition of a Shelite squire, all serve to bring this part of the Wayenor Cycle to a satisfying conclusion. But, almost inevitably, there is more danger on the horizon.