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Blog Tour and Book Excerpt for "The Agincourt King"

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Book Title:  The Agincourt King

Series: The Plantagenet Legacy

Author: Mercedes Rochelle

Publication Date: April 8, 2024

Publisher: Sergeant Press

Pages: 260 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

The Agincourt King book cover

The Agincourt King

By Mercedes Rochelle




From the day he was crowned, Henry V was determined to prove the legitimacy of his house. His father's usurpation weighed heavily on his mind. Only a grand gesture would capture the respect of his own countrymen and the rest of Europe. He would follow in his great-grandfather Edward III's footsteps, and recover lost territory in France.


Better yet, why not go for the crown? Poor, deranged Charles VI couldn't manage his own barons. The civil war between the Burgundians and Armagnacs was more of a threat to his country than the English, even after Henry laid siege to Harfleur. But once Harfleur had fallen, the French came to their senses and determined to block his path to Calais and destroy him.


By the time the English reached Agincourt, they were starving, exhausted, and easy pickings. Or so the French thought. Little did they reckon on Henry's leadership and the stout-hearted English archers who proved, once again, that numbers didn't matter when God was on their side.


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Author Bio:

Mercedes Rochelle author photo


Mercedes Rochelle is an ardent lover of medieval history, and has channeled this interest into fiction writing. Her first four books cover eleventh-century Britain and events surrounding the Norman Conquest of England. The next series is called “The Plantagenet Legacy” and begins with the reign of Richard II.


She also writes a blog: to explore the history behind the story. Born in St. Louis, MO, she received by BA in Literature at the Univ. of Missouri St.Louis in 1979 then moved to New York in 1982 while in her mid-20s to "see the world". The search hasn't ended!


Today she lives in Sergeantsville, NJ with her husband in a log home they had built themselves.


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Book Excerpt:



About a thousand yards away, the French abruptly stopped what they were doing and stared, dumbfounded, at the enemy. Many of them were convinced that the English would run away or simply surrender. Some were in the middle of a quick breakfast. Others sat on the ground, relaxing. This sudden burst of audacity was totally unexpected. Up until this point, the leaders had been content to block the way to Calais. And wait. They were still expecting reinforcements, and all knew the English were out of food. The longer they waited, the more desperate the bedraggled army was bound to become.  


All of a sudden, the English had roused themselves to attack. What were they thinking? Hindered by the muddy field, their movement was slow and lumbering. The French watched in fascination, trying to determine whether this was truly an attack in earnest. But Boucicaut quickly plunged into action. "Prepare yourselves," he shouted. "Be ready to move forward!"


He had his horse brought up and he rode back and forth. "Advance on my order—not before," he shouted repeatedly. The men slowly got in line once again, pushing their way into a good position. But there were so many banners fluttering that they blocked the view.


"It's too many!" the marshal shouted. "Remove some of those banners. They are in the way!" Needless to say, nobody wanted their standard taken down so Boucicaut was obliged to exhort the lesser nobility, who grudgingly obliged. 


Finding the Duke of Orléans near the centre, the marshal pointed to the rear. "We cannot move forward without the cavalry. The archers will slaughter us!"


Nodding in agreement, the duke shouted instructions. "Bring the cavalry forward! Where are our horses?" His captains jumped into action, relaying messages down through the ranks to the back of the army. That's where the horses were—far away from the front. The knights had no idea what was happening. With an army so large it was impossible to efficiently communicate; after three hours of waiting men had lost interest. They were beginning to think they were facing another useless day. Restless mounts were led around to keep them warm and occupied. Some of the horses had their muzzles deep inside of a grain bucket. Many of the riders had wandered off to find a warm place to wait and eat. The cavalry leaders, Clinget de Brabant and William de Saveuse, shared a carafe of mulled wine when a valet ran into their tent.


"They are attacking!" he cried. "You are ordered to send the cavalry forward!"


Brabant leapt to his feet, spitting out a mouthful of wine. "Sacré Dieu!" he bellowed. "Why didn't they warn me?" Grabbing his helmet, he ran out of the tent, shouting orders. Sauvese was right behind him. Because they were assigned to both flanks, the captains headed in opposite directions. But neither of them had any luck regrouping their men. Very few could be found at their stations, though some were close enough to respond, bringing up their horses and mounting while their squires held their lances. Brabant sent valets running, looking for missing horsemen. Only a few knights came quickly, struggling with their gauntlets or pulling their mounts by the reins. 


"Where are they all?" Brabant shouted, pacing back and forth. "Find them!" 


While the cavalry were regrouping, the men in the front line shuffled impatiently. The English had settled into a solid force and came on determinedly, the archers preceding the main body. This would take a while; they started from a thousand yards away and had to keep stopping to maintain their line. Why not attack them now? The French watched them in frustration, waiting for orders to advance, while the terribly reduced cavalry force prepared to charge.


Brabant took much more time than he should have, but finally he had no choice and ordered the trumpets to blast. Out of his original six hundred, he led his pitiful one hundred twenty men forward, while on the other side Sauvese had rounded up three hundred. 


Once again, Boucicaut's battle plan failed to materialize. But there was more: the original plan was for the cavalry to outflank the English army on both sides. The woods negated all that. Now they were obliged to charge straight forward, aiming for the archers.


Even so, four hundred twenty of France's most skilled champions, fully armoured on barded horses proved a frightening sight. Coming out from behind the men-at-arms, they started on both sides of the field and spread out. Knee to knee, practically standing in their high-backed saddles, legs straight, toes down, lances held under their right arm, they were a grand spectacle—that is, until the thousand-pound horses and riders slid into a quagmire of mud and foundered, slipping and stumbling. In seconds, the grand charge turned into a scramble. It was a charge no more.


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Mercedes Hayes
Mercedes Hayes
3 days ago

Thanks so much for hosting me today!


3 days ago

Thanks very much for hosting Mercedes Rochelle today, with a fabulous excerpt from The Agincourt King.

Take care,

Cathie xo

The Coffee Pot Book Club

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