on February 4, 2008
Book 3 of the historical fiction Rebel King series chronicling the life of the Bruce was incredible. After reading the first 2 books this one packs the knock out punch. Charles and Carolyn Bruce keep the bar set high and continue to surpass it.
The character development of both the English noble and Scots is wonderful. You feel what they feel, you see and hear what they see and hear. They are real. Book 3 picks up in 1310 as Bruce recollects himself and tries to firm up his place over the English supporting Scottish lords. He has all but mastered Scotland except for the English garrisoned castles in the interregnum left by the death of Edward I and the face off between the English nobles against Edward II and his favorite Piers Gaveston. We see this resolved over the course of a few years then the last half of the book is taken up by the few weeks leading up to and including the battle of Bannock Burn in which the last English garrisoned castle of Stirling and ultimately the freedom of Scotland hangs in the balance.
Charles and Carolyn Bruce present their amazing ancestor and most of the famous Scottish and English historical figures in vivid detail. Even Sir John Comyn, the son of the slain Red Comyn is portrayed and given more attention than the usual footnote in history books. The battle, emotion and drama were intense and kept me up until the wee hours of the morning. I just can't say enough. I really enjoyed this book. It has enough historical base to be believable and enjoyed by a student of Scottish history yet the detail brings it all to life and provides true entertainment. A pleasure to read. The only thing I do not like is that I have to wait a while for them to write the next book.