Series: Warrior Saga by Violette Dubrinsky , Book 1.0
By: Violette Dubrinsky | Other books by Violette Dubrinsky
Published By: Violette Dubrinsky's Writings
Published: Feb 21, 2014
ISBN # B005DPMFHI
By: Violette Dubrinsky | Other books by Violette Dubrinsky
Published By: Violette Dubrinsky's Writings
Published: Feb 21, 2014
ISBN # B005DPMFHI
Word Count: 150,000
Available in: Epub, Mobipocket (.mobi), Adobe Acrobat
DescriptionOutspoken, loyal, and skilled with the sword, Princess Jaisyn St. Ives of Lytheria is no princess of fairytales. After the unexpected death of her father, Jaisyn takes control of the kingdom, expecting to be called upon to defend her claim to a throne previously held by men. What she does not expect is the arrival of Vulcan Mor’an, the High King of the Northlands and the one man she despises above all, who seems to believe he is now the rightful ruler of her kingdom. Even as he provides support for his claim, Jaisyn refuses to listen. She will meet Vulcan Mor’an on the battlefield before willingly handing her kingdom to a barbarian she blames for the death of a loved one!
Born to a ruthless warlord of a father, Vulcan Mor’an is powerful, fierce and quite deadly. His prowess is legendary, and those who don’t fear the Northern Wolf, respect his skill on the battlefield and his reach beyond it. Vulcan prides himself on his strength, and with it, his lack of weakness. That is, until he encounters a spitfire princess intent on murdering him in his sleep. Jaisyn of Lytheria is unlike any lady Vulcan has encountered. In her golden body is a fierce adversary, a woman who does not cower in his presence like most but fights his every step with a stubbornness that both irritates and captivates him. This princess may become the one person capable of bringing him to his knees.
Warrior is the tale of two feuding royals, their attraction despite their differences, and the consequences that come as a result of their union. With various obstacles threatening to tear them apart, Jaisyn St. Ives and Vulcan Mor’an struggle to keep their relationship afloat, and with it, their very lives.
Reader Rating: (11 Ratings)
Excerpt:“I am Vulcan of Morden, High King of the Northlands. Does Lytheria accept me as her liege?” His voice was loud, intended for everyone gathered to hear.
Silence greeted his question and then as if she had to force herself, the princess in the Lytherian colors stepped forward and curtsied low, dipping her crowned head as she did so.
“I am Princess Jaisyn St. Ives of Lytheria. Lytheria accepts Vulcan of Morden as her liege.” The words were not offered freely. In fact, he was sure that she’d said them from between clenched teeth.
Varian turned his stallion to face the approaching soldiers of Morden and the Lytherian soldiers who had not heard that declaration. “Lytheria accepts King Vulcan of Morden as her liege!”
“Will you release my sisters, now…my lord king?” Jaisyn of Lytheria posed what sounded more like a statement than a question.
Vulcan wished the veil gone to see her eyes. He was sure she wasn’t smiling but her eyes would tell him if it was defiance he heard in her voice, or fear. He had a feeling that it was the former.
“Lytheria is now a subject of Morden. As such, all Lytherians are free of harm from any of the subjects or allies of Morden.”
Vulcan threw the words back at her, but he swung his leg over Shadowfax and slid from the horse, lifting the Thorn—that was a better name anyway—down with him. Her feet had barely touched the ground before she tore from his arms and ran to her sister. Varian had dismounted as well and the timid one followed suit. Obviously, she was the eldest, this Jaisyn of Lytheria. Vulcan had always thought her name interesting for a girl. All of the Jaisyns he’d known were male: warriors, landowners, clergymen. She was the first woman that he knew of with such a name.
After hugs and assurances, she finally placed her sisters behind her. They remained near as she addressed him once more. He stood many inches taller than she and had to look down.
“Will you join us for our first meal together?”
Again, she asked her questions as if they were statements. Vulcan clenched his jaw, annoyed with this princess who stared in defiance instead of cowering, and who held herself as regal as any queen, as if she’d permitted him to be overlord to her kingdom and he hadn’t wrestled it from her dainty fingers.
Varian, no doubt sensing his brother might have had enough of diplomacy, spoke calmly. “As a sign of goodwill, we are returning one of your soldiers.”
Varian snapped his fingers and two soldiers brought forth Malcolm, dirty and bloodied. Jaisyn and one of the soldiers around her released involuntary cries at seeing the man. From the close resemblance and the fact that the man rushed over to him, Vulcan recognized him as his father.
Vulcan’s eyes narrowed on the princess, taking in her reaction. Who was this man to her? His curiosity was piqued.
Vulcan sat at one head of the long, draped table with Jaisyn perched regally at the other. There was an obvious divide. On his side sat Varian, Akos, Hector, and Chevan. On Jaisyn’s sat the Thorn, the Timid, and two more of her trusted soldiers, possibly even generals.
The servants brought out the food—meats, cheeses, bread, and ale—and laid them out attractively. It was a handsome selection for both sides as the Lytherians had been rationing food while the Morden soldiers survived on only meats.
Despite the come-hither call of the food, Vulcan wasn’t stupid. He certainly did not train stupid men. They would wait until the Lytherians took bites of every food item before they ate. He wouldn’t put it past the veiled princess to have the food laced with poison.
The servants returned with carving knives and began to cut chunks of the meat and place it onto their platters. Varian was the epitome of relaxation as he smiled down the table at the princesses. Vulcan’s scowl never faded.
When everyone had their ale and food before them, Vulcan directed his gaze to the princess on the other side of the table.
“Is something wrong with your food, my liege?” she asked, again between clenched teeth.
“I do not know, Princess. Is there?” he countered, making no move to pick up the utensils beside him.
He still couldn’t see her through that veil and wondered how she intended to eat with it on. He soon found out when she brushed it aside, exposing full, pink lips, and lifted the tankard to them. Immediately, her men did the same. She lowered the tankard and took a small taste of the meat. When she was through with that, the veil slipped back into place and she said bitingly, “There is nothing wrong with the food, my lord king.”
Vulcan picked up his knife and cut into the meat, using the fork to bring it to his mouth. His men followed suit and soon they were all eating. Tension still reigned, but they ate. Together.
“My men and I will need lodgings.”
Jaisyn tilted her head slightly but didn’t answer.
Varian added, “And there is still the matter of the betrothal.”
She started and turned to him before returning her gaze to Vulcan, whose eyes were narrowing. “I beg your pardon, liege. I thought that was forgotten.”
“The betrothal was witnessed by our Seer and your High Priestess. It is sacred and cannot be easily broken,” Varian continued, passing a look to his brother before returning his gaze to her. Vulcan remained silent. Exactly where was Varian going with this? “That is—unless our king renounces it.”
Someone dropped a utensil and it crashed to the floor. It was the Timid One. She looked pasty, as if she were going to be sick at any moment.
“Jassy,” he heard her say in a whiny voice. Her lip trembled as if she were about to cry.
‘Jassy’ addressed her. “It is all right, Matty.”
Vulcan and Varian exchanged knowing looks. ‘Matty’, which sounded like Mathilda, was the Timid One?
“Princess Mathilda?” Vulcan called, his eyes on her. Startled, she immediately looked to him, and he flashed her a wolfish grin. Her eyes widened and she seemed to draw closer to Jaisyn.
He turned to the Thorn. “And you are?”
She tilted her chin defiantly, although her lips trembled slightly. “I am Princess Isolde of Lytheria.”
Varian clucked his tongue, and lifted his goblet. “Princess Isolde, it is a pleasure to meet you.”
Isolde sent a withering glare his way but Jaisyn nudged her under the table. Instead of allowing her mouth to voice what her eyes were saying, she replied demurely. “And I you, Prince Varian.”
Vulcan pushed his chair back and stood. His men did the same. “Princess Jaisyn, I am ready to be acquainted with my new castle. I will start with the solar.”
Jaisyn knew she’d heard him correctly but the solar? It wasn’t ready to be occupied as yet. She wanted to tell him to go to Pantalus, but she refrained.
Instead, her lips moved and she found herself saying, “Yes, liege.”
Vulcan waited until she’d moved to his side before speaking to his brother. “Varian, find that High Priestess. We may need her copy of the betrothal.”
Mathilda whimpered again as Varian nodded and turned to Isolde. “I’m sure Princess Isolde can show me to the Temple.”
Vulcan hadn’t needed to be shown to the solar. He’d seized castles and fortresses enough to know a terrified servant would have hastily given direction. What he wanted was to remove the veil from Jaisyn St. Ives’s face and see if she was the one who’d attempted to murder him.
They walked up a stone staircase, followed by a shorter staircase, before they came to the solar. Jaisyn stopped before the door, just ahead of the matronly woman who chaperoned them from a few feet away.
“This is the solar, King Vulcan.”
With that, she prepared to leave but Vulcan’s voice, and the arm that reached out and grabbed her, kept her still.
“Will you not show me around, Princess?” he told her, his voice low and firm.
Jaisyn tugged her arm free and pushed past him, grabbing the brass handle and pushing inward. No fire had been lit in that hearth in the days since her father’s death. Just thinking about that made her want to cry. Her father was dead, the kingdom was no longer theirs and a large, evil wretch of a king now occupied Wilhelm’s chambers. What had her father been thinking, giving Mathilda to someone like him? Of all his daughters, he betrothed the one who would run screaming from this giant of a man?
As she’d sat across from Vulcan, Jaisyn had critically assessed him. She knew that many would find him handsome, with his thick head of silky black hair that cascaded past his shoulders, and stern yet sensual face, but he was in no way approachable. She had no idea how to reach him. She had to do something to get her kingdom back, but she didn’t know what. The people of Lytheria didn’t live for war, and this man did.
So lost was she in her thoughts that she didn’t recognize Vulcan was pushing the door in until she heard an audible snap of the latch. She spun immediately, recognizing that the door was closed and his tall body was against it.
His eyes looked dangerous and that scowl still loomed on his lips. What was he doing?
“Remove your veil,” he said in that pompous voice of his. Was he serious? She was a princess, a daughter of Lyria!
“King Vulcan,” she began stiffly, her hands clasped tightly at her midriff. “You are in my castle because I wish it. Do not think to disrespect me in such a manner.”
Vulcan could have laughed at how she phrased that statement. He was not here because she wished it; he was in his castle because he had conquered it. Twice. He took a step forward and with her fighter’s instincts, Jaisyn took one backwards.
“Take off the veil, Princess.”
Did he suspect it was she who’d tried to kill him on that horrid night? She’d tried her best to put that night from her mind but she’d still had dreams—nightmares—about it.
“My liege, you are being disrespectful. I am a princess of Lytheria—”
Two quick strides brought him directly before her and in the next instant, he was plucking the crown from her head, pulling the veil off and tossing it aside.
Jaisyn let out a startled cry and spun away from him, moving over to the fireless hearth. Vulcan’s voice came from somewhere behind her.
“Turn and face me, Princess. Or are you afraid your face will bring back memories of a night not so far gone?”
He did suspect her. How? It didn’t matter, but he did. Which probably meant that he wanted revenge. And he had promised to continue where he’d left off if he ever saw her again. Her eyes darted to the broadsword above the hearth.
Her father’s sword rested there as a reminder of the great king who had once occupied the place. She sent up a quick prayer to Lyria, and one to her deceased father, praying she would not soon be joining him soon.
Quick as a fox, she reached for the heavy weapon, unsheathed it, spread her legs wide, and spun to face him.
Vulcan was accustomed to the unusual. He prided himself on not being shocked easily, but this...girl—not just any girl, but a princess—wielding a sword? It was almost comical, with her flowing dress and brandishing a man’s sword. The he remembered that this same woman had almost killed him as he slept. There was nothing funny about that.
He lifted his eyes to her face. Her skin was lovingly kissed with the sun’s rays—a dark bronze. Her mass of golden curls was pinned intricately atop her head, and her eyes, cat’s eyes—almost yellow in their vivid brightness—flashed angrily at him.
This was his princess. This had to be his princess, or else she wouldn’t be gripping a warrior’s sword, looking like she was ready to decapitate him.
“Put the sword down, lady,” Vulcan said as calmly as he, known for his bouts of temper, could manage.
Jaisyn lifted it higher as her soft lips curled into a snarl. “So that you can rip off more than my veil? I do not think so! Lytherians are not as barbaric as your people, my liege!”
“Put the sword down before I am tempted to take you over my knee!” Vulcan bit the words out angrily, and took a menacing step forward.
She moved to the left, and the grace with which she did so made Vulcan recognize something: she was at ease with the sword. If it wasn’t completely unheard of, he might even say that she was a swordswoman.
He began to tread more carefully. More than likely she wasn’t skilled at using the weapon, but he was taking no chances. Stupidity did not a High King make.
“I am giving you to the count of three. If that sword is still in your hand after that, you cannot hold me accountable for what I do,” Vulcan threatened.
She held onto the sword. Vulcan had had enough. He took a few steps forward, intent on twisting her arm, as he’d done a few nights ago, and pulling the weapon away from her. He didn’t even get close. As soon as he was in range, she flicked her wrist so the flat of the broadsword faced him, and swung. A resounding crash reverberated in the room as the sword caught his breastplate, pushing him back a step and making his ears ring.
“I will not warn you again! Do not come any closer!” she hissed out, her hands aching slightly.
Vulcan recovered from his state of shock as anger took him by full force. Steel screeched as he pulled his broadsword from its sheath and advanced on her.
Whatever Jaisyn had expected, it hadn’t been this.
Knowing there was nowhere to run, especially clothed as she was in full skirts, Jaisyn attacked. He easily blocked and pushed her back, showing her just how strong he was. She attacked once more, lunging at him and hoping to at least throw him off guard to escape. He sidestepped easily and brought his sword crashing down against hers. The force knocked it out of her hands and it clattered to the floor. His sword was still in his hand as he advanced on her. Jaisyn pressed her body to the wall. She wanted to close her eyes but she didn’t. Instead, she tilted her head and faced him bravely.
Vulcan stopped only a hair’s breadth away from her. His dark eyes penetrated hers in their intensity.
“Don’t ever—ever—pull a weapon on me again. I have never had cause to strangle a woman but by the Gods, I will.” Just to show her that he wasn’t joking, he lifted his left hand to her throat—his right still had his sword—and let it rest there.
Her lips quivered slightly and his eyes dropped to them. Slightly parted, quivering lips. His eyes lifted to hers—her yellow gaze seemed to dare him, defiant to the end—and back to her lips.
In the next instant, he crushed his lips to hers. She released a muffled squeak, which parted her lips beneath his, but he didn’t do as he would have done on other occasions. He still remembered that she bit. But he traced the fullness of her lips with his tongue, sucking them into his mouth as he braced her between the wall and his body.
Shock held Jaisyn still for a moment before she remembered that infamous night and kicked up a struggle. She turned her face to the side, feeling distaste, and something that she refused to acknowledge, as his lips caressed her cheek.
“You—you—savage,” she hissed. “Barbarian! You honorless man! You call yourself a king. You’re not—you—you—wolf!”
He glared at her, even as she unknowingly confirmed that she was the one who’d slipped into his tent nights ago. She tasted the same and referred to him by names that seemed to compliment rather than insult.
“I may be all of that,” Vulcan said roughly as his head lowered once more and her eyes grew round and wide. “But this time, Princess, no biting...”
Reader Reviews (4)
Submitted By: nverde6 on Jan 8, 2014A fabulously original tale that captivates from page 1. With excellent world building, plot, and action. Strong familial dynamics, character and relationship development. Also smoking hot love scenes. Everything you could ask for in a novel. I am anxiously awaiting the sequel
Submitted By: willieone on Jun 16, 2013Awesome read need more of this wonderful world V and created!
Submitted By: lisaj64 on Sep 18, 2011This is one of the best stories I've read in a really long time. A Keeper!
Submitted By: crys1 on Aug 6, 2011Vi! You did it AGAIN!! I LOVE this book. It's definitely a must read. Jaiyson and Vulcun's journey to love is so addicting. You can't put the book down. They're both very strong and stubbon personalities that reluctantly fell in love. This book has humor, danger, hot sex, (lol) you name it and it's in here. I cannot WAIT for book 2 and 3!!