Thursday, June 23, 2011

Freedom's Sword by J.R. Tomlin

Before William Wallace... before Robert the Bruce... there was another Scottish hero...

In 1296, newly knighted by the King of the Scots, Andrew de Moray fights to defend his country against the forces of the ruthless invader, King Edward Longshanks of England. After a bloody defeat in battle, he is dragged in chains to an English dungeon. Soon the young knight escapes. He returns to find Scotland under the heel of a conqueror and his betrothed sheltering in the hills of the Black Isle. Seizing his own castle, he raises the banner of Scottish freedom. Now he must lead the north of Scotland to rebellion in hope of defeating the English army sent to crush them.

Andrew de Moray is a man trapped between battles between Scotland and England. Captured by the English, he is held prisoner, but manages to escape. Free at last, he pledges his fealty to Scotland’s King John, and sets out to rid Scotland of the English. He teams up with William Wallace, and together amass an army succeed in winning some major battles.

The novel focuses heavily on the military and political aspects of this period and dwells only lightly on his personal life. The story also includes a subplot about Caitrina, the youngest daughter of a lord, who was being pushed to become a nun against her wishes, which I found quite appealing. Freedom’s Sword is a great introductory novel into Scotland’s early and turbulent history.

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