Ravaged by a new outbreak of the Black Death, France is ripe for civil unrest and rebellion. When Louis XIII's younger brother marches on the palace at the head of an army backed by the country's enemies, the king and his wife, Anne of Austria, are driven into exile and hiding.
Four years later a young man from Gascony flees north after losing his entire family to the plague and his land to armed peasants. Hungry and desperate, he finds himself falling in with three most unusual men and their even more unusual friends.
All is not as it seems, however. What sort of intrigue has young Charles d'Artagnan stumbled upon?
Author's note: This book contains graphic depictions of sex and violence and includes descriptions of self-injury with religious connotations. It is intended for adult listeners.
We Feared to Fly contains bonus content in the form of an excerpt from the next book in the series, No Haven Beckons.
Based on the D'Artagnan romances by Alexandre Dumas.
It's good to find Steffan's Musketeers series make it here. (It's the sort of book where there's a bit of swashbuckling, and a lot of historical detail on horse-shoing or medical treatments and whatnot, and a bit of fairly graphic smut.) This entry is on the short side, and sets the stage and the players, with a minor emotional arc from d'Artagnan's point of view (he's not dealing at all well, emotionally, with the loss of his family and land. Later books get more involved with strategic manoevring and character development.
As an alternate retelling of Dumas' book - the historical detail, re: the effects of the plague on the country, is really solidly worked out; the characters come across as a little nicer (but that happens in most adaptations).
One precious, glorious element is that in this universe Milady and Athos remained married, and seeing their relationship play out - a little stormy but basically happy - is really fun. And Milady gets some nice showboat moments as well, let's not forget that.