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This rich literary novel follows Elen, who must live a precarious lie in order to survive among the medieval Welsh warband that killed her family.Wales, 1109. Three years ago, a warband raided Elen's home. Her baby sister could not escape the flames. Her older sister fought back and almost killed the warband's leader, Owain ap Cadwgan, before being killed herself. Despite Elen's own sexual assault at the hands of the raiders, she saw a chance to live and took it. She healed Owain's wound and spun a lie: Owain ap Cadwgan, son of the king of Powys, cannot be killed, not by blade nor blow nor poison. Owain ap Cadwgan has the protection of Saint Elen, as long as he keeps her namesake safe from harm and near him always. For three years, Elen has had plenty of food, clothes to wear, and a bed to sleep in that she shares with the man who brought that warband to her door.



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