Rebellion’s Fire (Last Flame of Alba #1) Read Online Mary Lancaster

Categories Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Tags Authors: Series: Last Flame of Alba Series by Mary Lancaster

Total pages in book: 110
Estimated words: 101697 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 508(@200wpm)___ 407(@250wpm)___ 339(@300wpm)

“The MacHeths are coming!”

By 1156, Malcolm MacHeth, one time Earl of Ross, languishes a prisoner in Roxburgh Castle while his rampaging sons raise rebellion in his name. Optimistically, the King of Scots promises the earldom of Ross to landless Norman knight, Sir William de Lanson, if he can somehow defeat the infamous MacHeths.
It wasn’t quite how William’s disgraced wife Christian dreamed of coming home. Capture by the strange and ferocious Adam MacHeth was hardly part of her plan either, although she and William quickly become pawns in his.
Adam, warrior and seer, fights for his father’s freedom and for his family’s right to claim the kingdom of the Scots. Plagued by waking dreams which threaten his sanity and his life, he’s learned to use his prophecies to further his family’s goals. But when he abducts his enemy’s lady, his dreams and his desires are suddenly more personal.



Summer 1145

The flames of the campfire crackled, drawing the boy reluctantly closer.

Recently, he had been wary of fire because it nearly always brought the visions with such force that he couldn’t hide his trance. And a noble boy already handicapped by waking dreams, an irrational fear of horses, and a dislike of fighting, should not betray any more weaknesses.

But tonight, he was under the stars, with only his brother and Findlaech for company, both asleep. And they knew anyway. The pull was irresistible.

He sat up, wrapped still in the blanket like a big, curling caterpillar, and gazed directly into the terrible, tempting beauty of the flames. They leapt and died, chattering and mercurial as they enfolded him, fascinated him, telling their stories in quick, flashing glimpses that almost hurt. Everything that had ever been, everything that would be. If only he was quick enough to see. Which he wasn’t.

The flames would not be still, and he could only stare, trying to focus, until without warning the fire blazed, consuming him. Not just him, but the whole country. People ran from burning houses, crops flamed in the fields, swords clashed and horses screamed, and he was there, riding one of those huge, wild horses, wielding one of those massive swords with bloody effect. And men were following him—his father’s men.

He rode free of the battle. The scorched country around him was not his own, not Ross. And then, in the way of most dreams, the landscape changed and he was home, galloping towards the hall at Brecka. A man strode out of the doorway, and his heart soared because he knew who the man was. The earl, his father.

But the figure was misty, so unclear he was afraid the dream was fading too soon. Through the haze, he saw a different hall, close to the sea, and a woman was there. The fire, or perhaps the sun, blinded him. He could not see her face, yet somehow, she stood in the center, the tree behind her stretching into the mists of past and future. And for him, the man on the horse, it didn’t matter that her face was hidden, for his happiness was so profound. And for his people, as for him, so…necessary.

He threw himself off the horse to reach her, a wild, joyful anticipation flooding his heart.

Only hands were pulling him back, grasping his shoulders as the dream faded into the flames. Someone was dragging him back from the fire, away from his visions. His brother’s worried face peered into his, frightened and anxious as he held his head between his hands, claiming his attention.

For a moment, the boy was furious, as the strands of the dream faded behind his eyes. Faded but didn’t vanish, as in reality he recognized the huge, vital importance of what he had just seen.

He grasped his brother’s wrists, anchoring himself in the present. “If he strode out of the hall,” he said in wonder, “he must first have walked in. Malcolm mac Aed, Malcolm MacHeth, will live.”

Chapter One

Spring 1156


All day, the sharp east wind had seemed to hiss that strange name as it sped past Christian’s ears—reminding her that in this country, the elements themselves, the very ground she stood on, belonged to him, Malcolm MacHeth, more properly Malcolm mac Aed, the one-time Earl of Ross. Imprisoning him far south in Roxburgh didn’t change that. And she still harbored the suspicion that every man, woman, and child in Ross, especially the turbulent sons of Malcolm MacHeth, knew that her husband was here to take at least some of it from him.

Christian lifted her face into the wind, letting it blow her hair and veil out behind her in a long stream. With one hand, she held on to the embroidered linen mask that covered the left side of her face and closed her eyes because, just for a moment, she didn’t want to see the land William had come to take. She couldn’t quite rid herself of the idea that she was betraying someone or something, that a hundred unseen eyes watched her with accusation.