At the end of the thirteenth century, five hundred orphans and second sons are rounded up from villages in the Alpine countryside and sold to the Hospitaller Knights of St John. Trained to serve as Soldiers of Christ, they fight in eastern lands they know nothing about, for a cause they do not understand.
Thomas Schwyzer, released from his vows by the Grandmaster of the Hospitallers, returns to the land of his birth a stranger. Once a leader of men, and captain of the Order’s most famous war galley, he now settles into the simple life of a ferryman. He believes this new role to be God’s reward for years of faithful service fighting the Infidel in Outremer.
Seraina, considered a witch by most, a healer by some, is a young woman with a purpose. A Priestess of the Old Religion, and the last Druid disciple of the Helvetii Celts, she has been gifted by the Great Weave to see what others cannot. Her people need her guidance and protection now more than ever. For Duke Leopold of Habsburg, in his efforts to control the St. Gotthard Pass, builds a great Austrian fortress in Altdorf. Once finished, the Habsburg occupation will be complete, but the atrocities visited upon her people will have just begun.
Set in medieval Switzerland, ALTDORF, a novel of The Forest Knights, is the first book in a two-book series.
The Forest Knights Series
Re-imagining the William Tell legend—without William Tell.
A small force of peasants from Schwyz, Uri, and Unterwalden, the forest regions surrounding Lake Lucerne, rise up against their Austrian overlords in the 14th century. Outnumbered seven-to-one by the battle-hardened Habsburg army, they have little hope.
This is the era that gave birth to the legend of William Tell.
Historians agree that Tell never existed, yet something remarkable happened in the years leading up to the Battle of Morgarten in 1315. Something that would unite common men and women against the monarchy and give them the courage to form a true democracy that would last more than 700 years.
They would accept no king, but in the end they would have a country. And they would call it Schwyzer Land.
“A tale of betrayal, love, and sacrifice”Read an excerpt