Axletree Press will be shortly publishing my first ebook of the Dredgemarsh series called The Reluctant King. I can’t remember when or why I started this series of three books, but it was at least 12 years ago if not more. Dredgemarsh is a gothic kingdom ruled by the Greyfell dynastey. The first book covers the early history of Cesare Greyfell, the reluctant king, who through inexperience and youthful indifference has jeopardised his life, lost his kingdom and the young woman, Lucretia Beaufort, whom he loves.
His only hope of redemption lies in the most unlikely place and with the most unlikely people: the Dredgemarsh kitchen staff led by Cookmeister Lazarus Clutchbolt.
Below are my drawings of Cesare Greyfell and Lucretia Beaufort. I will be adding to them throughout the coming months.
“ … the real cause of the sadness in his heart flared painfully into consciousness. He could picture her now with startling clarity: Lucretia Beaufort, strolling along the bank of the Yayla river with her companion Celeste, while he, hidden, feeling guilty, but unable to take his eyes off her, watched from Hazel Wood where he rambled each evening with old Thunder. Her laughter, her sweet rippling laughter, tormented him. He pictured again the exquisite curve of her breasts and hips under the clinging samite caftan that she wore with such casual grace. A hot flush suffused his whole body. He felt dizzy and angry; angry that she could make him feel like that, angry at her apparent happiness that had nothing to do with him. He despised himself for that selfish impulse.”
The Reluctant King
“She knew; felt it in the deepest recesses of her heart that Cesare was hurt. She saw frantic membersof the royal party racing across the Vildpline from Grak’s forest. He was not with them. They were waving their arms and calling out long before they reached the castle or could be understood by anyone. Her heart began to beat so fast she thought it might burst. ‘No! … this cannot happen,’ She was talking out loud without knowing it. Her eyes glistened with the onset of tears and she wished time would stand still, wished that those frantic men would never reach the castle; her mind filling with an unreasonable hate for them because they were returning and he was not.”
The Reluctant King