As stated in Chapter 10 of The Crystal Crux : Betrayal, “Pero de Alava was the bastard child of Blassilo Velez.”
Truth be told, all of Blassilo’s children are bastards for “the willful knight had no wish to be domesticated, bend the knee and live quietly on any of his estates. Despite his honor and devotion to God and country, he often lived contradictory to his faith. He was a rogue and he knew it.”
Pero was a special child because his mother, Maria Alava, held a special place in Blassilo’s heart. “If any woman could have bent his knee and challenged his primitive nature, it was her. But Maria was too amiable and merciful to place the yoke upon his rugged shoulders. In her heart, deep in her heart, Maria Alava knew it was wrong to be involved in an unconsecrated relationship with this fetching devil but she was smitten.”
Blassilo treated Maria like a queen. “With a snap of her finger, she could have laid claim to any of his haciendas.” Maria, however, preferred the art and culture of the city, of Valladolid. Blassilo put her up in a fancy casa and “regularly supplied her with a generous stipend.”
Blassilo and Maria took turns raising young Pero. He spent the winter months with his mother in Valladolid, going to school and seminary. The rest of the year he spent with his father, riding ponies, fighting bulls, investigating every nook and cranny of Pinna Fidelis, Penafiel Castle. Although he learned a lot in school, Pero longed for the life his father led. “They were deeds that must be done.”
In another part of the world, Anthea Manikos was born to Nikitas Manikos, “a wholesaler of raw minerals and stone excavated from mines in Laurion.”
Anthea’s mother, Penelope, passed from a severe wasting disease.
Anthea was provided with the best educators. Nikitas, however, was a recluse, and they spent much of their time in Ilios Spiti (Sun House), a compound located on a barren open plain. It was bleak and dreary, and all Anthea could do was dream of far away places with “feasts and committees; and people, lots and lots of people… Anthea Manikos was a sociable sort unlike her father.” Occasional trips to “metropolises like nearby Athens, had opened her eyes… The older she got, the more she dared to dream.”
And then the day finally came. Her father arranged a marriage for her.
“Excited, her heart racing madly, Anthea Manikos clenched a wet rail on the starboard side of the Seppioline, a large merchant ship breasting through strange blue waters.”
Twenty-one years old, she was on her way to Parthenope to meet her intended.
“Her old life on that barren rock called Greece was far behind her. She was going forward. Italy was home. Parthenope held so much more promise.”
“And then it would finally happen. At the end of the plank, his eyes warm and welcoming, her dark-haired fiance would be standing, awaiting her open arms; the Castellan of the city, Rugerius Fabbro.”
Oh, that’s right. Anthea wasn’t originally engaged to Pero. She didn’t even come to Parthenope to meet Pero. There is much that happens between Anthea’s engagement to Rugerius, and her engagement to Pero – but you’ll have to read the books to learn about that. So please, read the books and recommend them to family, friends and acquaintances. It’s not a story for the faint of heart.