Across the river and not far from the great oak forest P’s slayer also wept. He had brought H’s body to the princess and the duke. H. of U., the noble hostage and brave fighter, had been a romantic figure to the young F. of V. They both intended to be brothers in glory, fighting for the princess and Fjorn. They had sworn eternal friendship and sealed it in blood, promising to tell their children and grandchildren about each other’s exploits. But H. would have no wife, no children, no grandchildren. F. had lost his friend.
While F., the muscle-bound younger brother of a character in the first two books, is four years into his manhood he is still only nineteen years old. To him this journey to fight with and for friends is a grand adventure. He formed a bond with a somewhat older but still young man who shared his romantic view of the glory of fighting. They were united in a cause and eager to make names for themselves.
We come to the day when harsh reality intrudes, when the former hostage and son of the late Lord Marshall of the principality engages a key player in the tale and is slain. F. avenges the friend he looks up to by killing his hero's killer. With a sword thrust through the back. Hardly the "honorable" way to kill, though immediately effective. F. takes his fallen oath-brother back to the camp, overcome with grief and shame.
Yes, I got soppy writing this scene. Fran can testify I was soppy writing an earlier scene between the princess and H. (back when we were at Doxy's wedding weekend).
Still, three events in one day have turned the tide in the battle for the throne. A lot of twists and turns to pursue before a new Black Lion sits on that throne and is acclaimed.
Of course it's an anti-war story, sillies.
Sweet dreams, my winsome wolverines!