- File Size: 4838 KB
- Print Length: 282 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Albannach Publishing; 2 edition (April 7, 2016)
- Publication Date: April 7, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01E0LZ18A
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,751 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$12.99|
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Countenance of War: A Historical Novel of Scotland (The Black Douglas Trilogy Book 2) Kindle Edition
|Length: 282 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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The story itself is solid and well told, but if you're writing about Scotland's history, you should know a few things. Namely the difference between "rude" and "rood". They may sound the same, but they are vastly different words. R-U-D-E has to do with attitude toward another. R-O-O-D is a cross or crucifix like something you'd find in a church. When someone says, "By the Holy Rood," it's not the same as someone saying, "By the Holy Rude." Things like that annoy me to no end and took away some of the gloss of this being a glossy follow up to book one of the Black Douglas series.
The Scots are surviving by using guerilla style warfare. This is so different from that of the Chivalric Knights on open fields of battle and to many of the Scots a bitter pill. Tomlin truly paints the picture of survival. Douglas is appointed the Warden of the Marches by Bruce and as he struggles to protect the border against English invasion, it sometimes causes him to destroy and burn the same thing to prevent any benefit and detour the English. Castle by castle they take back Scotland, but not to hold but to destroy those castles and continue the battle from the brush.
Douglas meets his nemesis or counterpart in war, in Sir Thomas Randolph, which is interesting and we see that he and Sir Edward are all that remains of the King Robert's family, and yet the Douglas struggles to deal with them as he serves his beloved King.
The book culminates on the field of battle at Bannockburn. Sir James is a great warrior on the field but he is haunted and struggles with battle, loss of loved ones, as well as doing his duty to his King. This includes a loveless marriage in hopes of a future heir and more so a future Kingdom of Scotland.
The book does not have the flair and excitement that the first book has until the end with the battle of Bannockburn. The reader does get deeper into the emotional mind and turmoil of Sir James and his struggles with Sir Edward Bruce and Thomas Randolph. The mechanics of taking a castle by stealth rather than siege is interesting and Douglas perfects it to the chagrin of Edward Bruce and Randolph. A good book overall with more character development for Sir Douglas. It does have some minor spelling and word editing errors that is at times annoying, but the story is sound. I look forward to the third book and closure as the ending of this one leaves us wanting more.