Sisters of The Bruce
“In this fictional narrative, the five sisters of Robert the Bruce speak to us from the past. Their remarkable story deserves to be told….” So opens the preface of this thoroughly absorbing novel – and probably sums up the story well.
Scotland in the late 13th century. As Scotland descends into war, with England, Robert’s sisters face Edward I of England’s cruel and wicked vengeance.
The Bruce’s sisters tell their story in their own words through various letters. The account of their life includes love, loss, hope danger and terror. Isa leaves Scotland to become Queen of Norway; Kirsty, is Countess of Mar, while the younger sisters, Mathilda and Margaret, escape to safety on Orkney with Kirsty’s children. Kirsty is incarcerated in an English nunnery, and Mary endures years of misery within a cage suspended from the walls of Roxburgh Castle. Only after their brother’s victory at Bannockburn are the women released.
Knowing very little of this period historically, I cannot bear witness to how accurate this novel is factually. Nevertheless, as a story I found it a captivating novel, particularly as it is from the female point of view. A nice change from the usually male-dominated fiction of this era.
One comment, I think the Kindle edition is too high a price (over £9 on Amazon.) Few readers take a chances on new indie authors. In my opinion, the author or publisher would be well advised to lower this to a more inviting introduction to a worthwhile read. The author seems to have thoroughly researched the period, as the detail is evident within the powerful story and the believable, likable characters, although I did find that in a few passages the story flagged a little where the occasional ‘text-book’ element crept in. The whole, though, amounts to a good read that highlights the lust for power and the terror and cruelties of that time. I look forward to any future novels by J.M. Harvey.