The 5th Century A.D. The Dark Age.

Abandoned by the Romans, facing slaughter by raiding Picts and Saxons, Britain stands on the brink of catastrophe. Only one man can save the nation: VORTIGERN.

His adopted name means High King, but he is an outsider from the far west, despised by the establishment and opposed by jealous rivals who will block his path to power. Vortigern’s greatest ally is young warrior Kerin Brightspear, famed for his quick wits and fighting skills.

Kerin is bound by oath and love to Vortigern, who saved him from death as an abandoned child and raised him with his own sons. He yearns to prove his worth to the man he idolises, but time is running out. Beyond the borders, enemies are growing stronger by the day. Can Kerin seize the chance to repay his debt as Vortigern bids to become all that his name proclaims: lord of the Britons, the High King?

Shortlisted for the Adult Fiction prize at the 2023 Selfies Book Awards, founded by Book Brunch to recognise the best independently published books of the year in the UK.


The wheel of power has turned. Rome is a memory, and Britain stands alone. Now VORTIGERN wears the crown; High King at last. At his side is a young warrior who has earned a new name – ‘The King’s Right Arm’. Kerin Brightspear, the king-maker, Vortigern’s greatest ally, has proved himself to the man who saved his life. But as they confront the Picts at Hadrian’s Wall, enemies within are already plotting Vortigern’s  downfall. Mercenary captain Hengist and his Jute warriors have sworn allegiance, but will they betray him too?

Amidst chaos and bloodshed, Kerin faces his greatest test. The woman he loves is Gael, daughter of his nemesis, Bertil Redknife; niece to bitter rival, Eldof of Glevum. A family hungry for Vortigern’s power. For Kerin, an impossible choice between loyalty and love. But something else is about to happen – an event which even Kerin has not foreseen. It will rock the foundations of his life and reveal his true purpose, as the kingdom lurches towards civil war.


The Foundling is a short story about the savage winter’s night, many years earlier, when Vortigern saved the infant Kerin from certain death. Get it as a free, no-obligation download when you join the High King Readers Club.