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Lord of the Isles (Coronet Books) Paperback – October 20, 1994


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Editorial Reviews

Review

He has an amazingly broad grip of Scottish history Daily Telegraph One of Scotland's most prolific and respected writers The Times An accomplished writer of compelling and unforgettable historical novels She magazine Through his imaginative dialogue, he provides a voice for Scotland's heroes Scotland on Sunday Tranter's popularity lies in his knack of making historical events immediate and exciting Historical Novels Review An informative, entertaining read Daily Examiner He treats history with respect Financial Times

About the Author

One of Scotland's best-loved authors, Nigel Tranter wrote over ninety novels on Scottish history. He died at the age of ninety on 9 January 2000.
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Product Details

  • Series: Coronet Books
  • Paperback: 383 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd (October 20, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340368365
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340368367
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,810,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Shawn Marchinek on September 26, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Lord of the Isles is a good ol' Tranter tale. We see the Scottish Isles through the eyes of Somerled hammer of the Vikings and first true lord of the Isles. The book starts with Somerled, part Viking and part Scot using Irish mercenaries from his Father-in-Law and his Long ships to slowly reclaim his father's Thanedom of Argyll. After accomplishing this and taking a few more Islands, Somerled's father dies and he becomes Thane of Argyll. Then after becoming involved with the Isle of Man and marrying the King of Man's daughter Ragnhilde, he takes back most of the remaining Isles from the Vikings and declares himself King of Argyll and the Isles. Since his power rises he comes to the notice of David I, King of Scots. He meets David and befriends him. Seeing himself as equals but declaring fealty to David I out of respect, Somerled settles down to rule his northern Kingdom. By his new wife he father's sons who become the founders of the MacDougall, MacDonald and MacRauri clans. But unrest with rebellion against David's rule and the rise of the MacEth claimants to the throne tests his loyalty to the King of Scots. After the death of his friend David I and meeting Malcolm, the Maiden, grandson and heir to the throne Somerled chooses to support the rebellion work to put Scotland back on track. This leads to his treacherous murder at the height of his power. Lord of the Isles is a great view of who and what Somerled may have been. He is the ancestor of future great clans, the Stewart royal dynasty and impacts Scottish history as few have. Nigel Tranter has written a wonderful tale.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tristan Heberlein on January 21, 2011
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This book was a fun journey into what it might have been like to be one of Somerled's crew - fighting to restore order to 12th century Scotland - warding off Norse Raiders as well as English lords. I enjoyed it and I think it's a good semi-non-fiction work.

However, I was disappointed that there wasn't any emotional or psychological depth to the story. We never learn what motivates Somerled, or what he thinks about or why he's giving his life to his cause. Sure, we can assume and guess, but it would have added a lot to the story to have journeyed inside his heart and mind in addition to his ships.

I'm still glad I read it, though.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Varda Whitebird on March 23, 2011
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I kept hearing "descended from the great Somerled" and wondered who he was. This book answered that question in very engaging style. Having just watched the Brother Cadfael series, I was very interested when Tranter brought in the other leading players of the time: King David of Scotland, Empress Maud, and King Stephen of England. It helps to have the broader context of the time period. Sadly, the tale came to a rather abrupt tragic end.
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