A Kingdom’s Cost by J.R. Tomlin


Title: A Kingdom’s Cost
Series: The Black Douglas Trilogy
Author: J.R. Tomlin
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: 2011
Format Read: Kindle
Pages: 262


“Back of Book” Summary:

Scotland is occupied; Scottish resistance is crushed. Eighteen-year-old James Douglas can only watch as the Scottish freedom fighter, William Wallace, is hanged, drawn, and quartered. But even under the heel of a brutal English conqueror, the Scots may still have one hope for freedom: the rightful King of the Scots, Robert the Bruce. James swears fealty to the man he believes can lead the fight against English tyranny.

The Bruce is soon a fugitive, king only in name. The woman James loves is captured and imprisoned. Yet James believes their cause is not lost. He blazes a path in blood and violence, cunning and ruthlessness as he leads a guerrilla war to restore Scotland’s freedom. James knows if he is captured he will share Wallace’s fate, but what he truly fears is that he has become as merciless as the conqueror he fights.

My Review:

A nation that fights for its very existence doesn’t have the luxury of chivalry.

This turbulent period of time in Scotland’s history has been used for some great historical fiction. A Kingdom’s Cost had potential to be really great. The story of James Douglas and Robert de Bruce is attention-grabbing and entertaining. There are many scenes in which I cringed from the depictions of blood and guts in battle. There are horribly tragic and upsetting scenes such as the death of James’ dog in France and having to kill the imprisoned Isabella that pulled on my heart-strings. However, ignoring the formatting problems on the edition, the book was in desperate need of an editor. Misspellings, grammar errors, and the repetition of certain words again and again should be corrected.

I understand that this book fits within a trilogy. However, the ending was very unsatisfying. Sometimes books leave off on cliff-hangers, but within a series this would be acceptable and encouraging to the reader to continue onto the next book in the series. This book did not leave off on a cliff-hanger. It built up to a grand battle, and not following with the flow of how the book had been written, ended within a few pages leaving the reader wanting more of a closure. A few more pages, or even just a few more paragraphs, may have made a huge difference in a reader’s overall satisfaction of the book.

The book could be edited, and the ending elaborated a bit, but this is an entertaining book that I would recommend to those interested in this period of history. I am undecided if I will read the remaining books in the series.


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