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Here's the set-up for Worth Dying For:
The rise of Robert the Bruce.
The vengefulness of James Douglas.
And the ruin of Edward II.
Robert the Bruce has known nothing but hardship since seizing Scotland’s crown. Parted from his wife and daughter and forced to flee through the Highland wilderness, he struggles to unite a kingdom divided by centuries old blood feuds. The price, however, must be paid in lives and honor.
Falling to temptation, Robert’s only means of redemption―and to one day win his wife Elizabeth back―is to forgive those who have wronged him. One by one, Robert must win back Scotland’s clans and castles. The one man who can help him purge the land of English tyranny is the cunning young nobleman, James ‘the Black’ Douglas, who seeks vengeance on those who took both his inheritance and his father’s life.
With the death of Longshanks, Edward II ascends to the throne of England. His first act as king is to recall the banished Piers Gaveston. Too soon, Edward learns that he cannot protect the one he loves most and still preserve his own life and crown. To those who demand the ultimate sacrifice, he must relinquish all power. To have his revenge, he must do what his father never believed him capable of―defeat Robert the Bruce on the field of battle.
Editor's note. Frequently, a reviewer does such an extraordinary job of summarizing a book that we feel duty bound to step aside and present their review.
N. Gemini Sasson's new book, "Worth Dying For" is a fitting successor to the first book of her seminal series on the life of Robert the Bruce, "The Crown in the Heather".
The book opens with a vivid, brutal, no-holds-barred account of the Battle of Bannockburn, just outside Stirling in Scotland, where King Robert and his motley army of Scots overcame the vastly superior army of King Edward the Second. Written in present tense using the voice of King Edward, the prologue is at once harrowing and terrifying as the King of England sees his invincible army swept away, leaving him in mortal danger of capture. And thus is set the scene for the rest of the book as the author leads us from Robert's greatest defeat to this shining pinnacle of his success.
We join Robert where we left him at the end of `The Crown in the Heather', bowed and battered, penniless, without an army and with very little hope after his crushing defeat at Balqhidder. If he is to succeed, he needs money and a strategy to unite the warring families of Scotland. His stoutest ally, James Douglas, has his own demons to fight. To Robert's strategic leadership he adds his skill as a tactician. Sasson shows these two threads as the two men claw their way back to a position where they can once again tackle the Eternal Enemy - England.
Meanwhile, Longshanks, scourge of the Scots, loses his final battle and is succeeded by his petulant, self-centred son, Edward II. While the Scots scrabble to rebuild, Edward brawls with his Lords. The author draws a sensitive portrait of Edward and his love for Piers Gaveston as well as his strained relationship with his beautiful French wife, Isabella. As in `The Crown in the Heather', the story is told in the first person from the points of view of these three, very different, men.
Once again, Sasson takes the reader there, to the wind-swept hills of Scotland where Robert runs for his life, to the islands of the Irish Sea, to London where Edward I, in one of his last acts of malicious cruelty, commits his outrageous act against Robert's women. The description is vivid, the attention to detail meticulous.
This is a first class book. I look forward to reading the final chapter.--Greta van der Rol
About the Author
N. Gemini Sasson writes historical fiction set in 14th-15th century Scotland, England and Wales. Her research has explored the lives of Owain Glyndwr, Robert the Bruce, James Douglas, Edward I, Edward II, Roger Mortimer and Queen Isabella. Her fascination with the genre began with Alexandre Dumas's The Three Musketeers and Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe. When her imagination began to run rampant, she wrote to gain control over it.
Sasson is the author of The Crown in the Heather (The Bruce Trilogy: Book I), Worth Dying For (The Bruce Trilogy: Book II). The Honor Due A King: Book III, is expected this summer. Her other historical fiction novel, Isabeau, A Novel of Queen Isabella and Sir Roger Mortimer, is in the Kindle Store.
Sasson holds an M.S. in Biology from Wright State University, where she ran cross country on athletic scholarship. She has worked as an aquatic toxicologist, an environmental engineer, a teacher and a track and cross country coach. A longtime breeder of Australian Shepherds, her articles on bobtail genetics have been translated into seven languages.
Since truth is relative to one's perspective, she firmly believes there are two (or more) sides to every story and she has every intention of redeeming some rather infamous historical figures.
'What if...?' is a very powerful question.
Sasson Contributes to the blog, Historical Novel Review.
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