Read Rise of the Defender Online

Authors: Kathryn Le Veque

Rise of the Defender




Epic three-part Medieval Romance


Kathryn Le Veque



bloody Medieval Soap Opera!


what the author thought after she read this novel recently after having not
read it in many years. Along the lines of The Dark One: Dark Knight, Rise of
the Defender is another million-page epic that narrates the adventures and
trials of Christopher de Lohr and his wife, the Lady Dustin.  It was written a
very long time ago when the author believed that bigger – and longer - was
better.  The same agent who told her to cut down The Dark One: Dark Knight told
her to cut this one down as well, but she refused.  Now, it is presented to you
in its full glory.


not only epic, it’s mega-epic. It’s not only an adventure, it’s a bloody soap
opera of love, loss, deceit, betrayal, infidelity, politics, passion, and
crime.  This is ‘Game of Thrones’ drama before there ever was such a thing.
Although edited for some content and grammar, the author refrained from any
serious re-writing, instead choosing to present it as it was originally
written.  It is a truly emotional story, the good and the bad of it, that is
different from anything you have ever read.  You are going to yell at it,
laugh, cheer, cry and applaud.   It’s drama from start to finish.


to note – you will see several characters you already recognize from other Le
Veque novels, most notably, the character of Marcus Burton.  Marcus alternates
between good and evil in this novel and is an extremely strong presence.
However, he is not the ‘hero’ of the novel but the author liked him so much
that she brought him into modern times and made him the hero of the Kathlyn
Trent/Marcus Burton action-adventure series.  Finally, Marcus was able to


all of that said, settle in for a good,
read (three times the size
of a normal four hundred page novel), brought to you in three parts. 




1:  The Lion’s Claw

2:  Birth of the Legend

3:  Long Live the King



















Year of Our Lord 1192

The twelfth day of the month of July

of Jerusalem



     War was a terrible thing.

     So much death, destruction, misery, all for
a bloody bit of sand in the middle of hell. Yet, ‘twas the Holy Land he was
thinking such vile thoughts of. God was particularly fond of this strip of hell,
this bit of golden grit he had spent three years of his life quarreling over.

     Sir Christopher de Lohr stood upon the
battlements of the city of Acre, gazing at the carnage below. He shifted his
weight on his thick legs, from one to the other, sweating rivers underneath his
plate armor. It was always so goddam hot here and he missed the cold winters of
England like a stab to his heart. Thank God that he was finally going home, and
going home a new baron, no less.   At least there had been some reward to all
of this madness.

     The siege to the city of Acre had finally
come full circle.  Today, July the twelfth, Saladin had surrendered the city
and her garrisons. Christopher had been beside Richard when Saladin turned over
his sword and never had he been more proud of the glory that was England. Years
of vicious fighting had finally come to a complete end and at this very moment,
the surrender terms were being drawn up and the Muslim rebels were discovering
their place in the grand scheme of Christianity.

     Yet Richard had had a tough time of it, a
fact that didn’t surprise Christopher. Although he dearly loved his king, the
man was getting old for this kind of thing, even if he was only thirty-five. In
fact, several of Richard’s knights were older men and far too ancient for this
sort of mess when they should have left the fighting to younger knights,
stronger knights. But it was the order of the knights that truly bore the
spirit of God, muttering that the younger knights were more interested in the booty
to be secured than the glory of Christendom.

     Which was probably true. Christopher didn’t
particularly care anymore. True, he had spent a good deal of those first two
years collecting anything of value and sending it home via caravans to trusted
servants, but his heart wasn’t in looting anymore. He simply wanted to go home
and at nearly the very moment Acre was secured, Richard granted him his deepest

     With Richard indisposed at the moment,
Christopher had command of the camp. At his age, some considered him old. He
was worth his considerable weight in gold, and Richard had become extremely
dependent upon him, his brother, and their tight group of knights. His uncle,
Sir Philip de Lohr, was one of Richard’s closest advisors and had been with
Richard from the inception of the quest.  The House of de Lohr was a strong
ally of the king.

Richard was known as
Lion Heart for his fierceness and bravery, yet it was Christopher who actually
resembled a lion with his golden mane and massive frame. And the fact that he
was Richard’s fiercest and most powerful knight had earned him the nickname
among ally and foe alike of Lion’s Claw because even a lion, or lion heart as
it were, was only as powerful as its claws.

     Christopher was a well-known sight to his
men as well as his enemy. He was exceedingly tall with a glorious crown of golden-blond
hair. His body was perfectly formed from the endless hours of fighting and
strenuous work, and his strength was unequaled.  His face was ruggedly
beautiful, his eyes the deepest sky-blue under a heavy brow and his jaw as hard
and square as granite. But his smile was his most outstanding feature; it was
bright and distinctive, and showed nearly every perfect tooth in his head, but
it was a rare sight indeed.

     He was golden brown from three years under
the harsh Middle-Eastern sun, an incredible golden glow that most of the
knights had because in this hot climate, they took off their armor and
protective clothing at every turn. Christopher in particular would go for days
half-naked until called to battle once again. Richard often teased him about
forgoing the armor and simply fighting nude, the enemy would think they were up
against a Roman statue come-to-life. As superstitious as they were, they’d turn
tail and run.

     He knew he was damn good on the
battlefield, in fact, there were few who could keep up with him. He was, in a
manner of speaking, the most arrogant man on the quest and didn’t consider his
pride a sin, as God did. Had God not meant for him to be so prideful, he would
not have made him so perfect.


       A shout roused him from his thoughts. He
turned to see his brother, David, and another knight, Edward de Wolfe, jogging
towards him.  They were both sweating profusely. David was three years younger,
several inches shorter, but broad and muscular. His short blond hair was
standing straight up with perspiration as his sea-blue eyes sought out his

has summoned you,” he said breathlessly as he came to a halt.

What’s wrong?” Christopher asked.

     Edward’s dark-gold eyes were serious. “’Tis
old Baron Barringdon, Chris,” he replied. “He is dying from that wound to his

     Christopher let out a hiss. “Damn,” he
muttered. Barringdon was one of the most intelligent men in their army, a
distant cousin of Richard’s. But he was very old, at least 12 years older than
Christopher. He was too old to fight and should have never come, but he did for
Richard’s sake. And Richard, who should now be seeing to terms of surrender,
was distracted with a dying cousin.

     “And another thing,” Edward said in a low
voice, “Duke Leopold is demanding that his banners be unfurled when we ride
into the city. Richard is in a mood because of it, so take heed and do not
mention the Duke in Richard's presence.”

     Christopher grunted in disapproval. “Leopold
lost many men when he made his initial attempt to take the garrison but
retreated like the coward he is so in that respect I do not blame Richard in
the least,” he said, securing his sword. “The man wishes to share in glory that
he does not deserve. Well, who's tending to the treaty, then?”

     “Philip Augustus and Lusignan,” David replied. 
“The French have their hands all over the vellum, hoping to inject then own
wording and stipulation and leave the English out of it.”

     Christopher raised an intolerant eyebrow at
the suggestion when they all knew it was Richard that brought the city to its knees.
“Take the watch for me, then,” he said, forcing aside his frustrating thoughts
of the politics of the conquest. “Richard and Arthur await.”

     Leaving his men on watch, Christopher made
his way across the burning sand to a large, leaning tent that he knew to be
Barringdon’s. When he passed through the tent flap, it was like a steam bath
inside and smelled rotten and moldy. He controlled his urge to rip off every
stitch of clothing as he moved toward the men huddled by the worn and collapsible
cot. Richard's weathered face was the first to look up.

Richard the Lion Heart, King of England, looked older than his years.  His
features were weathered, the dark eyes weary. There was such sorrow on his
face, as if the weight of the world had somehow come down to this one man who
lay dying on the cot.  His human side was seeping through.

here, Chris” he said hoarsely, extending a hand. “Arthur, Christopher has come.
Here he is.”

     Christopher let the king guide him next to
the cot where he had to kneel in his heavy armor. Sir Arthur Barringdon lay
sweating atop the linens, the wound to the middle-left portion of his chest
seeping through the linen bandages. The wound stank something fierce and
Christopher resisted the urge to back away.

Arthur’s voice was scratchy and faint.

my lord, next to you,” Christopher replied softly.

     Arthur coughed violently before turning his
head and opening his eyes. His gray eyes focused and he smiled faintly.

friend,” he murmured, “The greatest warrior in all of England. And you are
going home, lad?”

Christopher smiled back, taking the old man's offered hand.

you remember I told you of my daughter and my wife?” the baron rambled on.

I do,” Christopher replied knowingly. “Your wife is Mary, and your daughter is,

Arthur supplied, “Dustin Mary Catherine. She is nineteen years old now.”

     “Of course, Dustin, how could I forget?”
Christopher chided himself on his forgetfulness. “Nineteen, did you say? She is
a woman grown.”

     “Aye, she is,” Arthur coughed again,
bringing up blood. “But I will never see her again, Christopher, and I must beg
you a favor from the heart of a dying man.”

     His voice was urgent and Christopher hated
to see him like this. Arthur had been a good friend.

     “Anything, my lord, simply ask it,” he
replied soothingly. “I am your loyal vassal.”

s eyes sought out his king, standing over Christopher's shoulder. Christopher
should have been suspicious when the king began to bring forth Arthur's
request, but it didn’t occur to him to be wary. It was his undoing. When the
king began to speak, Christopher’s guard was down completely.

Other books

To Rescue Tanelorn by Michael Moorcock
Come Back by Sky Gilbert
Goddess of Death by Roy Lewis
I'll Get You For This by James Hadley Chase
Broken Angel: A Zombie Love Story by Joely Sue Burkhart
En el camino by Jack Kerouac Copyright 2016 - 2024