408 – Ireland
In A.D. 408, an Irish king desperate to save his clan raids the Welsh coast for slaves and plunder. But when he steals Anwyn across the sea, a Roman patrician’s son embarks on an impossible quest to bring her back.
Macrath will do anything to save his clan, a people cursed after the red wolf appeared to him three years ago. When he returns from a disastrous raid, he pleads with Athairne, an outcast druid, for help. Athairne receives a vision from the Great Light that conflicts with one from Dagda, the traditional god of their Celtic people. But Macrath rejects the vision. He breaks an age-old taboo. He raids the shores of distant Britannia.
Anwyn’s a spunky lass looking forward to her marriage with Quintus, a Roman patrician’s son. But when the men of her family’s Welsh villa leave to seek help from the departing Roman legions, Macrath’s raiders steal her into slavery across the sea. Gradually, as Macrath shows her kindness and she realizes she’ll never see home again, she develops feelings for her captor.
When a distraught Quintus discovers his love has been stolen, he sets sail with men and weapons. He’s a skilled swordsman, but no one has ever returned from Hibernia, a wild and untamed land ruled by treacherous druids, powerful kings, and warring clans. They live and they die by the sword. They kill or enslave foreigners. And they sacrifice to pagan gods. Yet he vows to bring her back.
From the shadows comes the red wolf. Half again as large as any earthly carnivore, is it a supernatural creature as some claim? Macrath blames it for cursing his clan. Having tasted the blood of men, it now stalks both Macrath and Quintus.
Against such obstacles, how can Quintus ever find his betrothed? Even then, will he have to win her back? Will the Great Light save Macrath’s clan? Or will the red wolf undo everything?
The Slaves Of Autumn is not only a love story set in history, but a tense action adventure, an epic saga that will transport the reader from wealthy Roman villas to the thatch-roofed villages of ancient Celtic Ireland, and its world of deceitful druids, sword-wielding warriors, powerful kings, and early Christians.