- File Size: 2185 KB
- Print Length: 244 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Albannach Publishing (April 6, 2016)
- Publication Date: April 6, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01DYH6JRS
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,725 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
A King Ensnared: A Historical Novel of Scotland (The Stewart Chronicle Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Loyal Scottish Lords to James, since he will be king of Scotland when his father dies, attempt to get him to safety in France, who is at war with England. But James is captured by the English and placed in the Tower of London by King Henry IV and spends many years there for one day King Henry IV intends to make Scotland part of England. James does find a boy companion also imprisoned in the Tower, who is an heir to the throne of Wales. But he isn't treated as well as James. Through the years James learns to wrestle, use the sword, build his body so that he is strong and muscular, as he never forgets that one day, although he doesn't know how, he will be King of Scotland. But King Henry IV dies and although he had his son and heir to the throne swear that he would free James, his son King Henry V did not do so. Instead he told James he would allow him to go home for a year as a probationer if he swore fealty to Henry V. James wouldn't do this but as time passed, Henry V, intent one way or another to have James and Scotland under his control kept James at his side to teach him about how to win a war as Henry V fought France. Eventually Henry conquered enough of France that he made a pact with them that he would quit fighting if Catherine, a princess of France married him and Henry V would be ruler of both England and France.
The author followed historical events as closely as she could and attempted to create the characters of her story to be as close to who they were, based on the little she could find out about them. She gave a bibliography and is writing a sequel to this book. This story reads fast, is a page turner and fascinating.
This e-book was gifted to me for an honest review.
The story begins with young James Stewart - the future James I, King of Scots - learning that his older brother and heir to their father's throne has been starved to death while being detained by his Uncle, the Duke of Albany, who wants to rule Scotland himself. James, now in danger as the heir, is spirited off by men loyal to the crown in the hopes of getting him to France where he can stay until he is older and it is safe for him to come back to Scotland and fight for his rightful place. However, on the way to France they are taken prisoner by English pirates and given over to the English king as prisoner. And so begins James's 18 year imprisonment, 16 years of which are discussed in this book.
A lot of time passes in this relatively short book and I found the first part to be somewhat slow going. So much of it deals with James in prison, trying to find something to occupy his time and energy while he awaits his release or, if it presents itself, his escape. What I did find interesting during this part was the way JR Tomlin described James's loneliness, isolation and disgraceful and humiliating treatment, far below what a rightful King should experience. He literally grows up behind bars, with no parents, siblings and only a few men loyal to him as companions or advisors. He is given a decent education by the English and doesn't seem to have been physically harmed in any way, but the mental anguish is a lot for a young man to deal with while also trying to find a way to get out of his imprisonment and, once he does, bring down his uncle and put his country to rights. It was very interesting to get an in depth look at how a noble captive of the English would have been treated during this time and that kept me turning the pages while I waited for something exciting to happen.
The real action and progress started when James and Henry V, King of England, begin their mental battle, each trying to outwit the other to get what they want, and when James fights under Henry in England's battles against France. At this point James is older and fully capable of ruling Scotland if he could get Henry to release him. But what Henry asks for is not only James's help in defeating the French but complete fealty to him. That is something James cannot agree to and therefore each continue to negotiate. While James isn't released in this book (I believe this is meant to be a series so hopefully that will happen in the next book) he does learn much from the brutal and vicious Henry V on the battlefield that he could definitely use in the future as King. The descriptions of war were very vivid and exciting and, much to my surprise, my favorite aspect of the book.
Another aspect I enjoyed, although it was somewhat brief and interspersed through the second half of the book, was the growing romance between James and Lady Joan Beaufort, an English noblewoman who I believe will become his wife. It showed a tenderness and softness that was a nice contrast to the hardened, cunning aspects of James that he had to present most of the time. The traditional Scottish words thrown in also helped the story flow for me, making the dialogue seem more genuine and intriguing.
The one thing I don't feel I got with this book was the in depth history of Scotland I was looking for. While I got to learn about James I and some of the political machinations between Scotland, England and France I just wanted more about Scotland. I am hoping that this will be accomplished with the future books in the series as I really came to like James and would love to see how he integrates back into his native country and how Scotland fares until his rule.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This novel covers the time just prior to his being taken captive by Henry IV of England through the death...Read more
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