Pierre ‘Le Fils’ Charron was seventeen when his father died from a head wound inflicted upon him by the parish priest, Dominick Hugeot. He was seventeen when he was acclaimed to the office of Reeve of his village of Meaux, the position held by his father and his father before him, passed down as a King might pass his crown to a Prince. He had become their young leader. He was only seventeen when he met Jacques Lefevre, who now returned to Meaux, with the hope of crafting change with his compatriots, The Cenacle. But there was another camp within Meaux seeking change as well, dramatic and historic, though they didn’t realize it at the time. Called a radical terrorist group by their King, The Gospellers sought only to follow their truth. The Cenacle, The Gospellers, the King of France and his Inquisitor. On the 7th of October 1546, the outcome of their clash was witnessed by the people of Meaux and the course of history was changed.
Pierre Charron and Catherine Pillard needed to escape the lives they were facing in France. He longed for a different life, she for a better one. When the opportunity arose for him to become a colonist in New France, he leapt at the chance, not knowing what kind of life awaited him. She was presented with a once in a lifetime proposition, through a chance encounter with a matron benefactor. Pierre and Catherine met briefly, in an ale house in La Rochelle; something sparked between them and when they met again two years later, on a cold muddy river bank in New France, the spark re-ignited, and they began their life journey together in the new world. They began young and naïve, they faced the hostile Haudenosaunee, insidious bureaucrats, scheming miscreants, plague, poverty and the unforgiving country, but together they grew wise through their struggle to survive and thrive in a harsh land.
Agnes was an innocent. A young peasant girl from Meaux, a village of early 16th century France, just a days ride from Paris. She was not special or gifted in anyway. By day she cleaned the Chapter House and the Deanery, in the service of her church. At night she worked at Le Poulet Gras, the ale house where her father and mother scratched out their living. She was a happy girl, in her unassuming innocence, but she fell victim to a common savagery and became the catalyst that sparked a confrontation between Church and its supplicants, between aristocracy and the peasantry, between the rich and poor of Meaux, and added fuel to the fire of reformation that changed the lives of millions that followed.
The tale begins in Dark Age Britain, a land where Arthur has been banished and Merlin has disappeared, where a child-king sits unprotected on the throne, where religion vies with magic for the souls of the people. It is to this desperate land that Arthur returns, a man at once utterly human and truly heroic: a man of honor, loyalty, and amazing valor; a man who loves Guinevere more passionately than he should; a man whose life is at once tragic and triumphant.
As Arthur fights to keep a flicker of civilization alive in a barbaric world, Bernard Cornwell makes a familiar tale into a legend all over again.