Thursday, September 5, 2013

{Review} Lions of Scotland: Lords of Hume Castle by Thomas E. Greenlaw

ISBN #: 978-1475155815
Page Count: 712
Copyright: May 2, 2013
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Book Summary:
(Taken from back cover)

Since the beginning of recorded history few people have fought longer and harder for their freedom and independence than the inhabitants of the diminutive nation of Scotland. From their earliest history they fought; Scots with the Picts; Scots with the Romans; and Scots with the English.

Though outnumbered ten to one, for three centuries they fought against the English enduring many massacres, including King Edward I's annihilation, in 1296 A.D., of all the men, women and children of the town of Berwick, then held by Scotland.

By the start of the sixteenth century, the Cheviot Hills provided a clear line between the two countries, a line repeatedly crossed by raiders (reivers) on both sides, and many a skirmish escalated to a bloody battle. This relentless fighting continued until the Union of the Crowns, in 1603.

Scottish ability to resisted their numerically superior enemy was enabled by the powerful families of the Borderland, like the Scotts, the Kerrs and especially the family of Humes led by the Lords of Hume Castle.

This is the story of the Humes' interminable struggle; their victories and defeats, their loves and hates; their joy and despair during a bitter time of indecisive rulers, a decadent Catholic Church, witchcraft and unthinkable treason, treachery and murder.

Mandy's Review:

I've never heard of the Humes before reading this novel. Their story, while historically accurate concerning dates and who was reigning, is depicted fictionally in Lions of Scotland. Despite its length, the Humes' story was very engaging and easy to read.

There were a couple things that could have been changed to take this book from good to great. The first is the dialect. The Humes were a Scottish clan. I would have loved to see the Scottish dialect depicted in this novel. Even though it can be a little difficult to read and understand, it would have lent an authenticity to the Humes' story. As it stands, the book changes back and forth between the Scottish dialect and the English dialect, which can be slightly confusing when you're really into the story and the dialect changes all of a sudden. The second change is the length of the novel. Not many people are willing to read a novel that is over 700 pages. It's a little intimidating. Perhaps if the novel were split into two books it would have greater success. Part One would be the perfect amount for the first book leaving Part Two as the second book. That would make the Humes' story much more manageable to consume. I think an editor could easily make these corrections.

If you're looking for a novel that makes history come alive, Lions of Scotland is for you. With all of the battles, intrigues, complicated love stories, and deceits, this novel is sure to appeal to many people.

*A physical copy of this novel was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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