Read Footsteps in Time Online

Authors: Sarah Woodbury

Tags: #adventure, #fantasy, #young adult, #historical, #wales, #middle ages, #teen, #time travel, #alternate history, #historical fantasy, #medieval, #prince of wales, #time travel fantasy

Footsteps in Time

Book One in the
After Cilmeri
Series

 

Footsteps in Time

A Time Travel
Fantasy

 

by

 

Sarah Woodbury

 

Copyright © 2011 by Sarah
Woodbury

Cover image by Christine DeMaio-Rice at
Flip City books

 

Footsteps in
Time

 

In December of 1282,
English soldiers ambushed and murdered Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the
Prince of Wales. His death marked the end of Wales as an
independent nation and the beginning of over seven hundred years
under the English boot.

Footsteps in Time is the story of what
might have happened had Llywelyn lived.

And what happens to the two teenagers
who save him.

 

Books in the After Cilmeri
Series:

Daughter of
Time
(prequel)

Footsteps in
Time
(Book One)

Winds of Time

Prince of
Time
(Book Two)

Crossroads in
Time
(Book Three)

Children of
Time
(Book Four)

Exiles in Time

Castaways in
Time

Ashes of Time

Warden of Time

Guardians of
Time

 

The Gareth and Gwen Medieval
Mysteries:

The Bard’s
Daughter

The Good Knight

The Uninvited
Guest

The Fourth
Horseman

The Fallen
Princess

The Unlikely Spy

The Lost Brother

The Renegade
Merchant

 

The Lion of Wales
Series:

Cold My Heart

The Oaken Door

Of Men and
Dragons

A Long Cloud

 

The Last Pendragon
Saga:

The Last
Pendragon

The Pendragon’s
Quest

 

The Paradisi
Chronicles:

Erase Me Not

 

Pronouncing Welsh Names and
Places

 

Aberystwyth
–Ah-bare-IHST-with (the ‘th’ is soft as in
‘forth’)

Bwlch y
Ddeufaen
– Boolch ah THEY-vine (the ‘th’
is hard as in ‘they’; the ‘ch’ as in in the Scottish
‘loch’)

Cadfael
– CAD-vile

Cadwallon
– Cad-WASH-lon

Caernarfon
– (‘ae’ makes a long i sound like in ‘kite’)
Kire-NAR-von

Dafydd
– DAH-vith (the ‘th’ is hard as in
‘they’)

Dolgellau
– Doll-GESH-lay

Deheubarth
– deh-HAY-barth

Dolwyddelan
– dole-with-EH-lan (the ‘th’ is hard as in
‘they’)

Gruffydd
– GRIFF-ith (the ‘th’ is hard as in
‘they’)

Gwalchmai
– GWALCH-my (‘ai’ makes a long i sound like in
‘kite; the ‘ch’ like in the Scottish ‘loch’)

Gwenllian
– Gwen-SHLEE-an

Gwladys
– Goo-LAD-iss

Gwynedd
– GWIN-eth (the ‘th’ is hard as in
‘the’)

Hywel
– H’wel

Ieuan
– ieu sounds like the cheer, ‘yay’ so,
YAY-an

Llanbadarn
Fawr
– shlan-BAH-darn
vowr

Llywelyn
– shlew-ELL-in

Maentwrog
– Mighn-TOO-rog

Meilyr
– MY-lir

Owain
– OH-wine

Rhuddlan
– RITH-lan (the ‘th’ is hard as in
‘the’)

Rhun
– Rin

Rhys
– Reese

Sion
– Shawn (Sean)

Tudur
– TIH-deer

Usk
– Isk

Part One

 

Prologue

Llywelyn

 

“H
ow can you leave Gwynedd
undefended, my lord? Without you, we can’t hold back the
English.”

Goronwy stood with his back to me,
gazing out the window at the courtyard where a dozen men prepared
to ride out on a scouting mission. I didn’t envy them, for rain
lashed their faces and the temperature hovered just above freezing.
It was cold for November, even here by the sea.

I put aside the letter I was writing
and gave Goronwy, my steadfast friend through nearly fifty years of
governing and fighting, my full attention.


Dafydd will hold the north
for me, and you with him,” I said. “You may travel with me as far
as Castell y Bere, but not beyond that. I need you to watch Dafydd
and rein him in if necessary.”


Dafydd.” Goronwy swung
around to face me. “Traitor isn’t too strong a word to describe
him. You can’t deny it.”


I don’t deny it. Dafydd
follows always his own desires, usually in direct opposition to
mine. I can’t trust him to remain true to Wales or to me, but I can
trust him to remain true to himself. For now, his interests and
those of Wales coincide.” I picked up my pen and twirled it in my
hand. “It’s not Dafydd’s loyalty that concerns me, but the
Mortimers.”


The Mortimers!” Goronwy’s
tone for them matched the one he’d used for Dafydd. “We’ve heard
rumors only. They hold Buellt Castle for King Edward and no amount
of persuasion is ever going to talk them out of it.”


So Marged
said.”


You still want to risk it?
You listen to neither her nor me. If you go south to meet them, I
fear you meet your death.”


I do listen, Goronwy,” I
said. “That’s why you’re staying here, in case I don’t return. The
men will follow Dafydd if they know you stand with him.”

Goronwy rubbed his face with both
hands. “There’s nothing I can say to persuade you not to make this
journey?”


If we are to defeat the
English once and for all, if I am to rule Wales in fact as well as
name, I must control the south. The Mortimers’ allegiance would
strengthen my position and shorten the war. Surely you can see that
I must meet them?”


If it were true, I would
see it, my lord; but I don’t believe they will betray England. Not
all men bend with the wind as easily as Dafydd.”


Some bend; some break.” I
picked up the letter and saluted Goronwy with it. “This time either
Edward or I will break. I know only that I can bend no
longer.”

Goronwy took a deep breath. “May I
take my leave, my lord?”

I nodded. Goronwy
bowed and left the room. I gripped my pen, reading over the words
I’d written, and signed my name at the end:
We fight because we are forced to fight,
for we, and all Wales, are oppressed, subjugated, despoiled,
reduced to servitude by the royal officers and bailiffs so that we
feel, and have often so protested to the king, that we are left
without any remedy ...

 

 

Map of Wales

 

Chapter One

Anna

 

“D
o you want me to come with
you?”

Anna looked back at her brother. He’d
followed her to the door, his coat in his hand.


Okay.” She tried not to
sound relieved. “You can hold the map.”

The clouds were so low they blended
into the trees around the house and Anna tipped her head to the
sky, feeling a few gentle snowflakes hit her face. They walked
across the driveway, the first to leave tracks in the new
snow.


You’re sure you can
handle this?” David eyed the van. It faced the house so Anna would
have to back it out.


Christopher’s waiting,”
Anna said. “It’s not like I have a choice.”


If you say
so.”

Their aunt had asked Anna
to pick up her cousin at a friend’s house since she had a late
meeting and wouldn’t make it. Ignoring David’s skeptical
expression, Anna tugged open the door, threw her purse on the floor
between the seats, and got in the driver’s side. David plopped
himself beside her with a mischievous grin.


And don’t you dare say
anything!” She wagged her finger in his face before he could open
his mouth. He was three years younger than she, having just turned
fourteen in November, unbearably pompous at times, and good at
everything. Except for his handwriting, which was atrocious.
Sometimes a girl had to hold onto the small things.


Which way?” Anna said
once they reached the main road. The windshield wipers flicked away
the new snow, barely keeping up. Anna peered through the white for
oncoming cars and waited for David to say something.

David studied the map,
disconcertingly turning it this way and that, and then finally
settled back in his seat with it upside down. “Uh ...
right.”

Anna took a right, and then
a left, and within three minutes they were thoroughly lost. “This
is so unlike you.”


I’m trying! But look at
this—” He held out the map.

Anna glanced at it, but one
of the reasons she’d accepted his offer to come with her was
because maps confused her under the best of
circumstances.


The roads wander at
random, and they all look the same,” he said. “Half of them don’t
even have signs.”

Anna had to agree.
Identical leafless trees and rugged terrain faced them at every
turn. She drove up one hill and down another, winding back and
forth around rocky outcroppings and spectacular, yet similar,
mansions. As the minutes ticked by, Anna clenched the wheel more
tightly. She and David sat unspeaking in their heated, all-wheel
drive cocoon, while the snow fell harder and the sky outside the
windows darkened with the waning of the day. Then, just as they
crested a small rise and were taking a downhill curve to the left,
David hissed and reached for the handhold above his
door.


What?” Anna took a quick
look at David. His mouth was open but no sound came out, and he
pointed straight ahead.

Anna returned her gaze to
the windshield. Ten feet in front of them, a wall of snow blocked
the road, like a massive, opaque picture window. She had no time to
respond, think, or press the brake before they hit it.

Whuf!

They powered through the
wall and, for a long three seconds, a vast black space surrounded
them. Then they burst through to the other side to find themselves
bouncing down a snow-covered hill, much like the one they’d been
driving on but with grass beneath their wheels instead of asphalt.
During the first few seconds as Anna fought to bring the van under
control, they rumbled into a clearing situated halfway down the
hill. She gaped through the windshield at the three men on
horseback, who’d appeared out of nowhere. They stared back at her,
frozen as if in a photograph, oblivious now to a fourth man, who’d
fallen on the ground.

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