Sunday, January 22, 2012

History Comes Alive

I will admit to being somewhat hesitant about the book "Freedom's Sword", by J.R. Tomlin.  I enjoy historical fiction but 13th century Scotland is a little further back than I usually venture.  Tomlin's prose and characters made it a pleasure trip.

The story begins with newly knighted Andrew de Moray in battle against the English invaders led by King Edward.  In a surreptitious rout the Scottish are defeated and Andrew is taken prisoner.

Andrew spends approximately a year locked up in a pitch black dungeon before he is able to escape.  He makes his way back to Scotland to take back his family's castle and vows to take up the fight to take back Scotland for the Scots.  He gathers together his fellow Scotsmen and trains them to be an army.  He is joined in his fight by William Wallace and Robert the Bruce among others.

The novel is engrossing and rich with detail.  Tomlin makes these historic figures approachable and lifelike in a way that makes you root for them and understand their motivation. It was certainly eye opening for me and will inspire me to learn more about the Scottish fight for independence.

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