Divide and Rule is a historical fantasy trilogy which traces the battle for the Queendom of Madrona. Lieutenant Hannah Rogerson, a brilliant and talented agent, is in charge of protecting ruling Queen Beatrice’s husband, Lord Consort Guillaume. But Hannah’s orderly world veers to chaos when the Queen reveals a dark family secret and a desperate plan to turn around her beleaguered reign. An unwilling accomplice to the conspiracy, Hannah must somehow fulfil her duty to the Queen while she protects the Lord Consort – and the future of the Queendom of Madrona – from the consequences of old and new lies.
‘Death to the barren Queen!’
Beatrice, alone, spun toward the sound of the cries, her smile still fixed in shock on her face. Another arrow screamed from the same direction as she turned; the shaft whistled through the air as it shot past her head.
The patients screamed and scrambled backwards, leaving the Queen even more exposed. Beatrice waved a hand by her ear, as if the arrow had been a fly, and the buzzing had irritated her.
‘Your Majesty!’ Ralph bellowed, almost to her, moving as fast as he could, but not quite there, too far away still: ‘Get down!’
But in her panic, the Queen twisted this way and that, not knowing what to do. Her indecision saved her a second time: she flailed, and another arrow meant for her head went clean through her right shoulder.
Beatrice glanced down in surprise at the wound, and then fainted.
Ralph caught her just before she hit the ground. He covered her body with his, shouting a stream of orders to the rest of his team; but they were unnecessary. Even before his command, other protection pages surged forward to form a ring around the Queen, drawing shields and knives. But the arrows no longer fell: the men had taken flight.