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A Kingdom's Cost, a Historical Novel of Scotland (The Black Douglas Trilogy Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

J. R. Tomlin
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Eighteen-year-old James Douglas can only watch, helpless, as the Scottish freedom fighter, William Wallace, is hanged, drawn, and quartered. Even under the heel of a brutal English conqueror, James's blood-drenched homeland may still have one hope for freedom, the rightful king of the Scots, Robert the Bruce. James swears fealty to the man he believes can lead the fight against English tyranny.

The Bruce is soon a fugitive, king in name and nothing more. Scotland is occupied, the Scottish resistance crushed. The woman James loves is captured and imprisoned. Yet James believes their cause is not lost. With driving determination, he blazes a path in blood and violence, in cunning and ruthlessness as he wages a guerrilla war to restore Scotland's freedom. James knows he risks sharing Wallace's fate, but what he truly fears is that he has become as merciless as the conqueror he fights.

Filled with gripping action sequences and rock-solid historical research, A Kingdom's Cost plunges the reader into the desperate Scottish struggle for freedom." (A Good Book Alert)

Other Historical Novels by J. R. Tomlin:
Freedom's Sword, a Historical Novel of Scotland

Fantasies by J. R. Tomlin and C. R. Daems
Talon of the Unnamed Goddess, a Fantasy Adventure
Laying the Odds, a Fantasy Adventure
Wings of Evil, a Young Adult Fantasy

Editorial Reviews


Filled with gripping action sequences and rock-solid historical research, A Kingdom's Cost plunges the reader into the desperate Scottish struggle for freedom. -A Good Book Alert

If you're a fan of sweeping historical fiction with romantic side adventures and descriptions A Kingdom's Cost is a great book as a beginning to what should be a grand series.  - Flying with Red Haircrow

Product Details

  • File Size: 644 KB
  • Print Length: 281 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1463526792
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004YKVXR6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,888 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
A Good Book Alert review.

Filled with gripping action sequences and rock-solid historical research, A Kingdom's Cost plunges the reader into the desperate Scottish struggle for freedom.


William Wallace has been defeated and executed. The English brutally occupy Scotland. The only hope for Scotland's freedom is her rightful king, Robert the Bruce.

After seeing the execution of William Wallace, James Douglas devotes himself to the Bruce and his war of independence. James will have to face both the brutality of the English and his own conscience as the desperation of the Scottish forces grows.


A Kingdom's Cost includes several appendices discussing some of the major plot elements and their historicity, in addition to the direct sources the author used in her background research for the novel. This is something I would like to see in all historical fiction works, particularly historical fiction that focuses on actual historical personages as main characters.

The appendices are reflective of the author's excellent attitude toward historical detail and authenticity. The story helps draw the reader into the time period with great, but not overwhelming, detail. One aspect that I was particularly struck by was my ability to follow all the different nobles and factions introduced despite not being all that familiar with Scottish history. The author did a fine job of knowing just when to provide an extra bit of detail and when to pull back as to not overwhelm the reader.

Unexpectedly, the attention to historical detail may have contributed to the one of the few issues I had with the book. In the beginning, there is a heavy focus on plot with a lot of jumping from major event to major event.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine Historical Fiction May 10, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This was a very well-researched book -- the history was amazing.

That was my one problem with it, though. In the beginning of the book, it felt more like a really good history lesson than a novel. I couldn't get into the characters, because the scenes jumped times and places too quickly without much happening within the people themselves. Everything was based around historical events. Once past the first couple of chapters, though, the characters started to become more well-rounded, and the history/character balance shifted in favor of telling a great story within a historical context rather than trying to make characters fit into the given historical facts.

If you enjoy historical fiction, this is a good book. If you like your characters to feel well-rounded and multifaceted, you may have to stick through the first couple of chapters before really "feeling the love." Either way, this is a good read.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy lesson in history January 13, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Tomlin writes an easy to read historical fiction that provides an in-sight into the destruction of Scotland by a brutal king Edward and the desire for freedom by true fighters of liberty, King Robert Bruce and James Douglas. It is recommened for historical fiction readers and readers who enjoy literature featuring good characters and an easy historic summary of the trials of Scotland.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great historical fiction May 15, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a historical fiction about Scotland's struggle to regain its freedom from England. It focuses on James, who is a knight fighting for Robert the Bruce. It goes through his early childhood to when he is nineteen; which also covers the first part of Robert the Bruce's fight with England.

I enjoyed the book, but found the first part of the book jumped to quickly from time period to time period as the author goes through James early childhood. I would like to have seen the author give us more in depth detail of the early years of James. Once you got through the first couple of chapters it flows better and you get into the story. The only annoying thing I found with the book is his over use of the word "mayhap".

If you like historical fiction and Scotland you will enjoy this book. I look forward to reading the sequels.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars History Brought to life May 1, 2012
A Kingdom's Cost is a historical fiction of the reign of Edward I of England and the wars in Scotland of the 14th century. The description of the countryside, characters, and gory details of battle gave you an insight to the struggle for freedom and independence. The language was not to difficult to understand, while not exactly accurate, it did allow you to place yourself in the time period without struggling to decipher the translation.
I also enjoyed the depiction of the personalities of the characters.
Overall I did enjoy this book and will look for other works from J.R. Tomlin. I would definitely recommend this to historical fiction buffs.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Decent book but not great. April 2, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The historical information in the book was entertaining. The novel itself was only adequate in terms of character development, understandability and editing. There were a few grammatical errors, dropped letters and misuse of words that were distracting. I would recommend a better editor if this is not a case of "spell check running wild". The worst was the use of the world "slithered" in reference to feet. "His feet slithered" is not exactly correct word usage--too much thesaurus?

This is a farly decent book with some gaffes in editing that need to be corrected. I enjoyed it somewhat but found that I have no interest in sequels. It was well researched but I could have read a history book on the same subject and enjoyed it as much since the novel is rather dry.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars History alive
A great tale of a time almost lost in the years past. Speaks of a time when the people of a small started to build history's great nations. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Brian R Curtis
4.0 out of 5 stars Scotland
Pretty good, engaging and entertaining. I would recommend it to my friends. Makes you want to go to Scotland and see where all this happened.
Published 5 days ago by Constance W Jenkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
I really loved this book and all the history that it has in it. that's what a joy to read. ready for the next one.
Published 16 days ago by James Arthur Frazier
4.0 out of 5 stars first of a trilogy.
The book was excellent. We kept going from one exciting event to another. Sequentially correct a straight line
Of events Very enjoyable. Well done
Published 26 days ago by Jerry Frank
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading for the historical
Enjoyed reading this tome because I think it stayed pretty close to reality as it is known. Always good to learn a bit of history while being entertained!
Published 1 month ago by Dennis Rice
5.0 out of 5 stars WHAT A GREAT READ.
IMPOSSIBLE to put down, Action on every page, you are there in each and every battle,
Published 1 month ago by DexterDon
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
Reviews and descriptions of characters, accuracy, plot,etc. I enjoy well researched history from this historical period. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lani
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This book is about the Scottish people trying to gain their freedom from the English tyrants. I love Scottish history so I really liked and would recommend this book for anyone... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Billye Newcomb
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down
Well written and historically informative. I appreciated the links relating to the vocabulary of that era. I am looking forward to reading Tomlin's works.
Published 2 months ago by sue1u
5.0 out of 5 stars Will buy second
Great book. I like this whole era of history and the author does a really good job of taking this epic struggle a d bringing it to life
Published 2 months ago by Tyler T.
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More About the Author

Sign up to J. R. Tomlin's New Release Mailing List here: (Simply copy and paste that address into your browser. Your email will never be shred and you will only be contacted when a new book is out.)

J. R. Tomlin is the author of five historical novels: A King Ensnared, Freedom's Sword, A Kingdom's Cost, Countenance of War, and Not for Glory. She has also co-authored several fantasies with C. R. Daems: Blood Duty, Talon of the Unnamed Goddess, The Shadow Ryana, The Shadow Gypsy, and Women of Power.

She has close ties with Scotland since her father was a native Scot, and she spent substantial time in Edinburgh whilst growing up. Her historical novels are set in Scotland. You can trace her love of that nation to the stories of the Bruce and the Good Sir James her grandmother read her when she was small and to her hillwalking through the Cairngorms where the granite hills have a gorgeous red glow under the setting sun. Later, her writing was influenced by the work of authors such as Alexander Dumas, Victor Hugo and of G.R.R. Tolkien.

In addition to spending time in Scotland, she has traveled in the US, Europe and the Pacific Rim. She now lives in Oregon.


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