First published on the 700th anniversary of the pivotal event in Scottish history, the epic story of Robert Bruce comes to a climax at the Battle of Bannockburn.
Robert has achieved his great ambition to be crowned King of Scotland, but in doing so has provoked the wrath of the new king of England, Edward II. Raising the feared dragon banner, Edward marches north, determined to recapture the kingdom.
But the English are not Robert's only enemies, and he is forced to flee after murdering his great rival John Comyn, splitting the kingdom apart. Robert has a crown, but no country, the will to lead, but no real authority.
Fighting from hidden strongholds and the Western Isles, with the support of a few brave men and the alluring noblewoman, Christiana, Robert drives towards Bannockburn where an epic confrontation with Edward will decide the future of Scotland.
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I was very sceptical when I started reading this trilogy, especially with the storyline of the relics of Britain and Edward's round table, having been a great fan of Nigel Tranter and his Bruce Trilogy for over twenty years. However, I have been won over by Robyn Young's novels of the hero king. In this novel I was engrossed with her description of the battle at the Bannock Burn which was on a par with the greatest of the modern fictional historical writer of the day, Bernard Cornwell. I was slightly disappointed that the novel ends at this battle. As Robyn points out in her historical notes, the war continued almost to the death of Bruce, before the English could be brought to acknowledge him as King and Scotland's independence. He fought another battle of note. In 1322 he fought the battle at Byland Moor, in Yorkshire. It was on a much smaller scale than at the Bannock Burn, but also ended with Edward fleeing the scene, and again, almost being captured by Sir James. I do not believe that Robert died of Leprosy, as the English would have made much of this. In medieval times a person with this disease was deemed to be dead. He could not hold land, never mind a kingdom, and his Wife declared to be a widow.