Monday, August 15, 2011

Review - Freedom's Sword

By: J.R. Tomlin

Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords

Originally reviewed for A Cozy Reader's Corner

Before William Wallace... before Robert the Bruce... there was another Scottish hero...

In 1296, newly knighted by the King of the Scots, Andrew de Moray fights to defend his country against the forces of the ruthless invader, King Edward Longshanks of England. After a bloody defeat in battle, he is dragged in chains to an English dungeon.

Soon the young knight escapes. He returns to find Scotland under the heel of a conqueror and his betrothed sheltering in the hills of the Black Isle.

Seizing his own castle, he raises the banner of Scottish freedom. Now he must lead the north of Scotland to rebellion in hope of defeating the English army sent to crush them.


The title Freedom's Sword and the cover let's you know this book is about war. It takes place back in the late 1200s when the Scottish and English disagreed on who Scotland belonged to.

The story is based on a true historic event, about which little is actually known. So it gave the author freedom to develop characters and aid the plot a bit. Andrew de Moray, the main character spends much of the book in battle with the English. He does find time to get married to Caitlin - and saves her from a Nunnery.

The characters were likable, the story itself being largely true was of course believable. However, there is a lot of room for improvement to the story. Caitlin was introduced early in the book with a chapter from her perspective...then she isn't talked about again for half the story. I found it distracting because I didn't know who she was in connection with Andrew...I thought she was his sister. Well that does get cleared up, but with a couple more chapters from her side, it left me wanting more. It just wasn't enough information and felt shoved into the story. I think either adding more about her or cutting her out entirely would work.

The other part that was distracting was the amount of typos and changes in line spacing. It really left an unprofessional feel to the book. I was reading an e-book on my Nook, I changed it back to the "Publisher Defaults" and it was still an issue. Also the pace felt slow to me, even though there was so much battling and planning going on, after awhile it was predictable.

That all being said, it wasn't a bad story. There are lots of battle scenes, and the author is great with descriptions and making you feel you are really there. I think if you like books about war, you will enjoy this book. It wasn't really my cup of tea, and the other issues really kept me from wanting to finish. But I don't regret reading it, and I'm happy I made it through. I'm giving this 2 1/2 stars.

1 comment:

  1. I tend to stay away from books that have anything to do with war; it's kind of depressing. I read The Return of the Soldier and Mrs. Holloway and wasn't disappointed because the penmanship was impressive.

    I have a difficult time reading a book that offers too many stylistic distractions...

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