A Winter Bride
Albin and the Jouster volume 7
Didn't Brian Ladlee give it a great cover!
Edward IV revealed that he had married more than four months earlier. People were shocked! This was no foreign princess. (It has been said that Isabella of Castile never quite forgave Edward for turning her down and marrying some nobody.) The new queen's father was not even a baron when she was born.
On the other hand, this widow of a mere knight, had half a dozen single sisters. What an opportunity!
A Winter Bride includes one such marriage and announces three others. But what connection does that woman on the cover have to all of it? She is the grandmother of the Duke of Norfolk and older than the new queen's mother. Albin spends this book learning about the old duchess and what she is up to.
"What is in there?" Lord Rivers demanded. He pointed at a covered object Baldwin Green had his arms around. Tall as Baldwin was, it almost came up to his nose.
Lord Anthony smiled, "That, dear father, is a wedding present for Margaret." He whisked the linen cover off of a basket shaped like a bird cage.
Lord Rivers peered between the willow wands. He moved around and took another look. "What is tht lizard doing in there?"
Lord Anthony chuckled. "At least you didn’t ask where the bird went."
Lord Rivers sniffed. "Neither do I suppose birds turned magically into other creatures."
Baldwin set the basket under a tree as directed. "Stand back a little and watch," Lord Anthony told his father. As they did, blue chameleon turned yellow.
"Interesting," Lord Rivers said. "But it hardly seems like a wedding present."
Lord Anthony frowned in frustration. "You have a better idea? If not this—what would they like?"
With my suitcase, I took a bus into Luton. There I saw 'Medieval' people and a man in wings! Two women in trailing gowns and cloaks were sheltering in the library doorway. We had a good conversation. They were members of the mummers group about to perform in the square. I dropped my 'anchor' in a cheep hotel and hurried back to the event.
Meanwhile, the tale of St. George and the dragon was unfolding. The man in armor with dragon wings demanded ransom for Luton. The lady he had confronted, and three associates, sought a solution. That is, they spent the night in the taverns and managed to acquire only a hangover. It appeared that the dragon was a bit hung-over too.
George was a poor excuse for a knight, but a lady gave him a magical shield and performed a spell over his sword. The rest wasn’t quite obvious because we were invited to choose the victor. Maybe it was tradition that won the day for George.