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In the Scotia novel:

The daughter of a prominent chieftain, Ceinfryn learned at an early age that royal courts were hotbeds of duplicity and treachery. Cunning and deception were routine matters among those who served eminent members of any court’s inner circle. Even those who played no significant role had access to those who did… often becoming involved in intrigues that would advance family and friends.

As she grew, Ceinfryn became aware that such behavior had repeatedly cost her people the opportunity to drive the invading Angles from Britain’s shores. Chieftains and kings characteristically bickered over petty concerns in the same manner as those who attended them, leading to schemes that divided them against one another rather than uniting all Britons against their common enemy.

Serving Esyllt from childhood, Ceinfryn has witnessed the efforts Gwgaun and her lady have made to unify Britain against the Angles who slew Catraeth’s kings and drove its people to take refuge among the kingdoms to the west. In an effort to gain aid from Cynan Garwyn in their battle against Hussa’s men, Esyllt married the king of Powys’s younger brother. Unfortunately Cynan became involved in his own disputes and never delivered the promised support. When her husband died in battle, Gwgaun began negotiations to ally himself with Gwynedd… hoping to use Esyllt to seal their bargain.

Sadly Esyllt has lost faith in her cousin’s ability to arrange a pact that will allow him to successfully recapture Catraeth. Hearing the news that her younger sister, thought to be lost during an Angle attack, has turned up in Dunadd and hopes to use her favor with the Mac an Rothaich war leader to organize a successful coalition against the Angles, Esyllt has decided that she must flee Gwynedd and join Rhiannon in her plan to drive Hussa out their father’s kingdom. In order to accomplish this, Esyllt needs Ceinfryn to convince her brother, the commander of the princess’s bodyguard, to abandon his loyalty to Gwgaun and follow Esyllt’s guidance. Can Ceinfryn persuade Rhodri that the princess’s strategy is the only way to win Catraeth’s freedom?

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