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Set in Scotland and Northumbria in the late 7th century AD, A Fierce Reaping tells the story of some of the men who took part in an ill-fated attempt to drive the invading Saxons back. Cynfal, down on his luck and with nothing to lose, joins Troop Three of the cavalry, aka the Misbegotten, made up from volunteers the other commanders don’t want. Cynfal knows that they will get all the dirtiest jobs but in the meantime he is pleased to catch up with old friends and see to the education of the promising youngsters:
“New girls – where?” Pup demanded.
The guard shrugged. “I dunno – it’s just what I heard.”
“And what do you think you’re going to do with girls, Pup?” Cynfal asked as they hurried on up the track.
Pup flushed, the pink showing clearly even through the wispy whiskers he was cultivating. “I’m not sure,” he admitted with a sheepish grin, “but I’d dearly love the chance to find out.”