Set aside Shakespeare's portrait: read instead of his struggle to make
and save a united Scotland.
In this impressively researched and vivid portrayal, Tranter belies the
popular perception of a savage, murderous ambitious king. Instead, he
tells of MacBeth's struggle to make and save a united Scotland; his
devotion to his great love, the young Queen Gruoch; the humane laws they
fought for; the great battle they were forced to fight. And the terrible
price they paid.
And Alexander needed such a friend in those turbulent times, with the
ever-present threat of King John of England lurking; not to mention the
warlike Norsemen under King Hakon; the Lords of the Isles in revolt, and
the Isle of Man and Ireland also causing trouble.
This steadfast royal friendship was to withstand both treachery and
danger, rivalry and heartache during a highly significant period in
A story of drama and enduring friendship by Nigel Tranter, master of
Scottish historical fiction.
Young John Maxwell, Warden of the West March, did his best to control a motley crew of dalesmen and mosstroopers from Liddesdale, Eskdale and Dryfesdale among others, and keep some sort of balance with the unruly West March English.
As the turbulent reign of King Henry VIII gave way to the rule of Elizabeth Tudor, John Maxwell - a loyal supporter of Mary, Queen of Scots - inevitably found himself drawn into the wider sphere of the kingdom's affairs.
How he fared with Mary's suitors, courtiers and enemies, and his courtship of the beautiful Agnes Herries, forms the fascinating subject of Nigel Tranter's captivating novel.
Yet his vision was wider still. He dreamed of a great coming together of
all the Celtic people, Scots, Irish, Welsh, Cornish and Manx, united
against the Norse and the Anglo-Saxon invaders.
Fighting not only his country's enemies but also the fractious,
obstinate wilfulness of his own people, his legacy was a nation, with
its own patron saint, the apostle Andrew, that would endure from the
ninth century to the present day.
A gripping historical novel about the origins of Scotland by Nigel
Tranter, master of Scottish historical fiction.