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The Crown in the Heather (The Bruce Trilogy Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

N. Gemini Sasson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)

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Book Description


In 1290, Scotland is without a king. Two families - the Bruces and the Balliols - vie for the throne. Robert the Bruce is in love with Elizabeth de Burgh, the daughter of an adherent of the ruthless Longshanks, King of England. In order to marry her and not give up his chances of someday becoming King of Scots, Robert must abandon his rebel ways and bide his time as Longshanks' vassal. But Edward, Longshanks' heir, doesn't trust the opportunistic Scotsman and vows to one day destroy him. While quietly plotting his rebellion, Robert is betrayed by one of his own and must flee Longshanks' vengeance. Aided by the unlikely brilliance of the soft-spoken young nobleman, James Douglas, Robert battles for his throne. Victory, though, is never certain and Robert soon learns that keeping his crown may mean giving up that which he loves most-his beloved Elizabeth.

Editorial Reviews


"The author brilliantly connects the reader with the characters. The story is told from three different points of view, and it makes the history of Scotland come to life. Well researched and well written, The Crown in the Heather is breathtaking. I can't wait to read the rest of this fascinating trilogy." - Historical Novels Review Online

From the Author

Books by N. Gemini Sasson:
  • In the Time of Kings (Time Travel Romance/Adventure set in Medieval Scotland), ***release date Sept. 14th, 2013***
  • The Crown in the Heather (The Bruce Trilogy: Book I)
  • Worth Dying For (The Bruce Trilogy: Book II)
  • The Honor Due a King (The Bruce Trilogy: Book III)
  • Isabeau, A Novel of Queen Isabella and Sir Roger Mortimer
  • The King Must Die, Murder and revenge in the time of Edward III
  • Uneasy Lies the Crown, A Novel of Owain Glyndwr

Product Details

  • File Size: 446 KB
  • Print Length: 301 pages
  • Publisher: Cader Idris Press (July 4, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003V5X9N6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,078 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
85 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful Storytelling June 10, 2010
"The Crown in the Heather" is an exceptionally well-written novel, brought to life particularly by the stunning scenery of Scotland and the writer's wonderful talent for enacting human drama. It's a story of both triumph and despair, of courage and fear, with prose that is infused with irresistable touches of imagery and pace. Such is the writer's ability to engage the reader that I found this nigh-on impossible to put down.

The story chronicles the struggles and challenges of Robert the Bruce in an increasingly unstable Scotland with the brutal Longshanks, King of England, shadowing everything. Robert aims to secure the crown of Scotland but he faces many enemies in his quest, and his problems are only compounded by his love for Elizabeth, daughter of one of Longshanks's allies. The English king is callous and untrustworthy, and Robert is forced into flight by a cruel betrayal. Torn from his wife and daughter, he must make a stand against a ruthless foe if he is to achieve all that his heart desires.

The central character, Robert the Bruce, is a very strong individual who can both fight and love with equally passionate intensity. The unfolding of Scotland's history in the 13/14th centuries is delivered with an expert hand, allowing us to meet all the pivotal players in a way that is both informative and superbly entertaining. The style is absorbing, the tension is ever-mounting. A truly unforgettable novel, I can't recommend nor praise this highly enough.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical fiction at its finest June 12, 2010
"The autumn wind was murderous cold. Small gray clouds raced like mountain hares above a drab and muddy billowing of land. Leafless limbs clattered in complaint against the onslaught of wind."

The wonderful use of evocative language is just one of the things that sets Gemini Sasson's novel `The Crown in the Heather' apart. The first book of a trilogy about the life of Robert the Bruce, this novel covers the years from 1290 to 1306. The author takes the reader on a journey that encompasses the length and breadth of England and Scotland and as far as Paris, chronicling the complex politics, back-stabbing and double-dealing as men fought for the Scottish Crown. It is a dark and raw story, written of a turbulent, violent time. What impressed me most was that Sasson chose the difficult path of writing her story from the different view points of three people - all in first person. And it works. Robert the Bruce, James Douglas and Edward, crown prince of England all come across as distinct individuals, each with his own voice, each with his own motivations. The secondary characters - people like Edward's brutal father, Edward I also known as Longshanks, Robert's wife Elizabeth and the towering William Wallace are clearly drawn. Sasson has done her homework and the settings and the details are vivid. This is a marvellous book. I look forward to the second volume.
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72 of 82 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Did I Read the Same Book? February 1, 2011
All the positively glowing reviews I've read about this book had me eagerly awaiting its delivery and excitedly anticipating sinking my teeth into some wonderfully detailed Scottish history.

Now that I have finished the book I'm scratching my head and wondering if this can possibly be the same book? I'm sad to say that I can not offer any glowing praise for this book except to say thank goodness it wasn't any longer than it was. Could it have been worse...absolutely. Could it have been better...much.

The author attempts to tell the story of Robert the Bruce but in my honest opinion does not succeed very well in her attempt. One of many problems I had with this novel was the narration. I know it's all the rage to have multiple narrators these days and I have read many books that employ that technique and I can see the benefits to using it. Unfortunately here it serves only to detract from the story and the fluidness of the narration itself. There is very little character development and far too much telling the reader rather than showing the reader.

Never did I feel Robert the Bruce's burning desire to lead Scotland. In fact it seems he more often speaks of being a coward and feeling sorrow for the hard choices he's had to make. He doesn't feel authentic to me, nor do the other characters. At one point Robert makes it know how important it is to him to tuck his daughter into bed at night. That is such a contemporary measure of fatherhood that it felt completely out of place in this medieval novel.

There were a few scenes that I enjoyed but generally they were immediately followed by a shift in narration or setting so that I was left wanting more. I did not find this to be a satisfying read and I will not be looking for the next book in this series.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A riveting read for fans of medieval intrigue fiction October 9, 2010
To be the ruler of the land was the ultimate prize of nobility. "The Crown in the Heather" is the first book of the Bruce trilogy, following the Bruce family as they are embroiled in the British Isles noble affairs at the end of the thirteenth century. Robert the Bruce is split between the crown and love, as must compete with not only his family's rivals in Scotland, but the clan of the King of England. "The Crown in the Heather" is a riveting read for fans of medieval intrigue fiction.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars long winded but good.
Lots of back and forth between narrators. Need a map of the places mentioned so you can follow up later.
Published 21 days ago by KL
5.0 out of 5 stars The Crown in the Heather
Ms. Sasson has written a trilogy (just finished the first one) about a fascinating man, Robert the Bruce. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Beth L. Bristow
3.0 out of 5 stars History
I read all three of these books and it kept my interest enough that I wanted to read the next. I would recommend this book.
Published 1 month ago by logan16
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
I thoroughly enjoyed the time i spent reading this great novel. Character development was well executed and the author stays true to the history and time line of the actual events. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Peter Seyfried
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of The Crown in the Heather by N. Gemini Sasson
This is quite a well written historical novel however I was not tempted to purchase other books in the trilogy. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Helen TAYLOR
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting historical fiction
Enjoyed the political intrigue. Living in that era was NOT romantic. Good read to make the political and personal backgrounds of the royal Scots more understandable.
Published 1 month ago by Patricia Mitts
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome story
Accurate, entertaining, and educational...everything a historical novel should be!
I will read the remaining two books of the trilogy with rapt attention.
Published 1 month ago by Blake Wright
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting Scottish background
I enjoyed reading this although at first I was a bit confused because I wasn't familiar with the lineage of the kings of Scotland. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Marian D. Rogers
4.0 out of 5 stars The Crown in the Heather by N. Gemini Sasson
An interesting perspective on Scotland's early history. I truly enjoyed the use of the first person narrative on three important individuals in history. Read more
Published 3 months ago by mickitaz
4.0 out of 5 stars Good reading
I enjoyed this book so much I immediately read the next two in the series. This book offered a refreshing change from all the writings about the Tudors, a mad lot if you ask me,... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Davina MacLeod
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More About the Author

N. Gemini Sasson is the author of the contemporary novel, Say No More, and seven historical novels set in 14th and 15th century Scotland, England and Wales, including The Bruce Trilogy and Isabeau, A Novel of Queen Isabella and Sir Roger Mortimer (2011 IPPY Silver Medalist in Historical Fiction). Long after writing about Robert the Bruce and Queen Isabella, Sasson learned she is a descendant of both.

Sasson is also a lifelong runner, serial remodeler, intrepid gardener, and longtime dog owner. Her articles on the genetics of the natural bobtail in Australian Shepherds have been translated into seven languages.

If you'd like to learn more about N. Gemini Sasson's books or how to stalk her on Facebook, Twitter or via her blog, just go to

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