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The Renegade (2012)

por Jack Whyte

Séries: The Guardians of Scotland (Book 2)

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862244,762 (3.55)3
The story of the man destined to be Robert I, King of Scots.
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It pains me to have to write this as I am a huge fan of Jack Whyte's work but this book I have found extremely boring! The historical research is as always impeccable but the way he has set it down is mind numbing!! It seems to be all political intrigue and very little action!! I am so disappointed as I have been waiting for this book for ages and now I have it, I very much doubt that I will read to the end! I feel as if I am drowning in historical facts (which is OK in many ways) But to make the story interesting you need things to happen to flesh it out, and in this case there is nothing!! I am so sorry, but I don't like this book at all!! ( )
  Glorybe1 | Mar 5, 2015 |
The author's done a very good job in fulfilling his purpose he set out to do in his 'Author's Note': to explain influences on Bruce and why Bruce acted as he did at important stages of his life. This was accomplished through certain life experiences and the effect of the sound advice of others, most particularly his grandfather and great uncle. I recommend this book highly. Since it's Book 1 of a trilogy, I'm assuming the sequels will tell of military campaigns. I'd call this a Bildungsroman, since it's Bruce as boy-to-man.

The story begins when Bruce [called Rob in the novel] is ten years old; his father, the Earl of Carrick, another Robert Bruce, is hosting a meeting of King Edward of England, King Alexander of Scotland, and Angus of the Isles. A bloody fight brings home to the young Rob, as he's called, the importance of stamping out hatred, through mutually beneficial alliances. As Rob grows, through many examples given by his tutor, Great Uncle Nicol and Grandfather Bruce, he learns the importance of the definition and examples of 'manipulation', of how one can be blinded by one's wrong perceptions. As a squire he learns of the unpredictability of the English king. He learns from Grandfather that the king, a widower, only loved his wife, and something Grandfather calls 'kingship': statesmanship, but with an eye to increasing personal power and land. Rob learns of politics between England and Scotland. After the feckless Scottish king John Balliol's reign, Edward seizes control of Scotland. Rob sees for himself the brutal mistreatment of his people by English soldiers, so this decides him to fight for the people; he will be King Edward's creature no longer.

I liked reading about Bruce's psychology and the forces that may have shaped him. I felt the author did his research; there was no bibliography though. Scots dialogue used was easy to follow, although there was a short glossary. Characterization was well done. Writing flowed along smoothly. I felt the book was a bit long, however and could have been cut because of repetition. I liked his meeting William Wallace, the Scots freedom fighter [or rebel, depending upon your point of view]. I can see why the book was entitled as it was: there were three Robert Bruces in the story, each one important, although the young Rob [later Sir Robert] was the actual protagonist. ( )
  janerawoof | Mar 31, 2014 |
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