9 Jul 2013



SOURCE:  Received from the author.

With the Battle of Flodden in 1513, Scotland lost its King, James IV, and most of its ruling class, leading to confusion and turmoil that lasts 90 years. Alexander (Alec) Hume, the Great Chamberlain, survived that battle. He had fallen in love with his father's ward, Lady Katherine Nisbet (Katie), a relationship his father considered incestuous, but one that he is passionately determined to maintain. Though he once strayed into the arms of the King's widow, Queen Margaret, sister of Henry VIII, he is largely motivated to bring stability to Scotland and the Borderland. Ultimately, he invites the French speaking John Stewart, Duke of Albany to become Regent. Unable to properly communicate, they soon fall out and Albany has him branded a rebel and deprives him of all his ancestral holdings, including Hume Castle, by an act of parliament. Though upsetting to his beloved Katie, the infuriated Alec creates havoc all across the Borders to the point that Albany is obliged to forgive him and restore his land and property. But the truce is tenuous, does not end well, and once more his fortresses are...

.... Amazon book description.

FIRST SENTENCE (Prologue): September 9, 1513.The King was slain: the battle lost.

MEMORABLE MOMENT(Page 336): The curses of decrepit widows are treated with trepidation and reverence, yet they are the accursed ones. Without a father, brother or husband, or other visible means of support, they live, and that in itself seems like witchery.

MY THOUGHTS: Based on actual historical events, this novel is an abridged version of the author's The Lions of Scotland: Lords of Hume.

An epic story covering a period in history I knew little about. As interesting as it is informative, I have to commend the author in that this is very readable and not at all text book like which, given its almost 500 pages, could make it rather daunting.

The story of two Alec's, Alexander 'Alec' Hume, the third Lord of Hume and, his nephew, Alexander 'Alec' Hume, the fifth Lord of Hume -  can be confusing I know but hey that's historical characters for you - The Last Tears Of Scotland  gives a fascinating glimpse into 90 years of Scottish history.

Alas, a story that didn't always flow as well as it might - perhaps because of the fact it is an abridged version. However the overall story telling and well depicted characters, both real and fictional, more than made up for this small matter.

Expecting a novel of politics, of sieges, of treachery, of battles fought both on and off the battle ground (all of which I got). What I wasn't expecting were the minute details to dress, to food, to daily life and the wonderful romance between Alec (third Lord of Hume) and Lady Katherine 'Kate' Nisbet in what is a very real story about people and the events that shaped their lives and thus  history.

Disclaimer: Read and reviewed on behalf of the author, I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.
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Brian Joseph said...

Though I do not know much about these specific events this was a really fascinating period of time.

I do often go into a story looking forward to the battles and politics and end up interested in the everyday details.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

I think it sounds pretty good!

Kelly said...

I don't usually opt for abridged versions of books, but this sounds like one I'd really enjoy. I haven't read enough historical fiction lately.

Brandi Kosiner said...

Sorry it didn't flow as well as it could have.

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I always loved history at school and from time to time will read historical fiction, but I have to say that this book sounds a little heavy going for me!

I think the problem might be the lack of quality reading time I seem to have lately and this kind of story usually demands quite intensive levels of concentration to full appreciate it.

Let's face it, if I had unlimited time, I would read just about anything and everything there was going, but my efforts are concentrated on slightly shorter, more concise stories these days.

I am glad that on the whole you seemed to enjoy the book and the author's style of writing.


Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I'm not into these books, but I do know someone who is! I do think I'll recommend it. Btw, I swear I'm more interested in that cover painting. :)

Suko said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this overall, Tracy. Very nice review, as usual.

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

This is a time period I don't know much about. Glad to hear this book was such an interesting read. I will add it to my list!

Gina R said...

Alas , not a read for me...but it does sound like it'll have wider appeal than simply history fans despite the flow not being the smoothest. Thanks for the share!