The Bastard of Glastonbury
Thirty years before Henry VIII destroyed all of the English monasteries, the wealthiest religious community in the country is under attack from a greedy Italian Cardinal and a Spanish assassin charged with eliminating one of the young monks whose very existence threatens to undermine the fragile alliance between England and Spain. More
THOMAS has lived at Glastonbury Abbey for all of his short life, and it’s the only life he knows. Abandoned by his parents when he was very young, Thomas quickly became the favorite of ABBOT RICHARD, who made him a staff member of his manor. Outcast from the other minors due to his preferential treatment, Thomas finds companionship with the abbot’s lazy dog CLAUDIUS and solace in the warmth of the manor kitchen. But someone is trying to kill Thomas.
QUINN DUNCAN and his wife work for the abbey, but their loyalties do not lie with the community living there. They have been instructed by their master in London to watch after the boy, and protect him at all costs. Behind the mission to save Thomas is an influential member of the new king’s court, who is one of a small group of people that knows the identity of the child and his influential parents. The revelation of the boy’s existence could jeopardize the lives of several key members of the king’s staff as well as the newly cemented alliance between England and the Spanish kingdom of Aragon.
SABARICUS is the Spanish assassin charged with the killing of the young boy and destroying any evidence of the boy’s pedigree. Driven by his tormented past and anxious to earn the respect and money of his monarch, the Spaniard attempts to successfully achieve his objective without drawing attention to his goal.
The hierarchy of the abbey is dealing with larger issues: an Italian Cardinal has been given ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the abbey, and he plans to use the holdings of the community to help fund his opulent lifestyle. The ranking members of the community will need to act decisively in order to save the monastery from financial ruin.
Part of Thomas’s responsibilities for the abbot is to deliver packages into the town. By giving him this task, Abbot Richard has unintentionally placed the boy dangerously close to Sabaricus. But the assassin still does not recognize the child. On one of his visits to town, Thomas runs into Glastonbury’s newest resident: MALINA – a fourteen year old girl who used to work in the kitchen of Westminster Palace in London. Haunted by nightmares of a thwarted assault, she is taken from her bed before another attempt can be carried out. Soon, she realizes that she is not an innocent bystander in the scheme to eliminate the boy.
The mysterious disappearance of one of the students and an older monk is quickly dismissed as a pair of dissatisfied monks who have left the community. Quinn starts to realize that he may not be able to protect the boy by himself. Despite doubling his efforts to watch Thomas, the boy continues to slip out undetected through the walls of the abbey.
In a strange turn of events, Quinn befriends Sabaricus while in London to speak with his master. Quinn hires the Spaniard to help protect the boy, and the two men set out for Glastonbury the following day. Upon returning from London, the two discover that Thomas is no longer at the abbey. Quinn quickly guesses that his wife has left town, taking the boy and Malina with her. By leaving with the children, Mrs. Duncan has inadvertently revealed the identity of the boy. Quinn realizes his error in judgment and presses to have the children taken to safety as quickly as possible.
While the children prepare to escape to France, Quinn and Sabaricus face off on the abandoned wharfs of the Thames River. As they continue to fight, another of the king’s servants arrives and attempts to kill the boy himself. Quinn utilizes the distraction to knock Sabaricus unconscious before dealing with the new threat. Malina realizes that the new threat is the very man who attempted to attack her, and she steps into the fight. The man is killed, and she returns to the boat to join Thomas.
The day the two of them arrive in France, Henry VIII – his alliance with Spain intact – launches an army into Europe, resuming an ancient feud between England and France.
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