- Age Range: 8 - 14 years
- Grade Level: 3 - 8
- Series: Dover Children's Classics
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Dover Publications; First Thus edition (October 22, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 048642362X
- ISBN-13: 978-0486423623
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 38 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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In Freedom's Cause: A Story of Wallace and Bruce (Dover Children's Classics) Paperback – October 22, 2002
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This book is the best I have read both of Henty's work and of Scotland under the Hammer. Think Kipling's book Kim, set in Scotland, where Kim winds up a mighty warrior and then a wealthy lord. Be sure to read Henty's work next to a computer where you can pop up maps of the various unfamiliar locals of the story.
This book covers Scotland's resistance to the reign of Edward I of England. From the Scottish perspective Edward I, the greatest of the Plantagenets, the creator of the nation of England, the Hammer of Scotland was not a nice person.
The greatness of this Edward is undeniable. He created the empire that came to rule the world. The cruelty of Edward is beyond the imagining of most modern minds. He really did hang Wallace for a while, then take the still living man down and have him disemboweled, then cut into four pieces and sent to the four largest cities in Scotland. Five pieces actually, he kept the head and put it on a pike outside the gate of some castle. A Scottish noble's wife who aided in the crowning of Bruce was then suspended alive in a cage over the gate of another castle...for years. And that was standard treatment for resistance to Edward's plans.
Henty covers this history through the life of a young man who serves the fabulous Wallace and the unwilling nationalist hero Bruce. And through it all, as in all Henty's books, the young hero remains good of heart, powerful of arm, and loyal to all he loves. How is that for a refreshing twist in historical fiction?
As historical fiction goes...this one is right up there.
It was written in the 19th century & thus the language is a bit stilted but notwithstanding it is an enjoyable book.
The action scenes are well described & entertaining as well as informative.
These guys had some serious stones to go up against the English like they did & Henty does a great job of capturing the era!
If the language is too difficult for you & you'd like something from a more modern author then try J.R. Tomlin's 2 book series.
It's easier to read & although it's been fleshed out with more fictional characters (to make the action a bit better) the history still rings true.