Things have been insane these past days with my professional life. It seems like everyone was waiting for January to come so they could start all their new projects on a clean budget. What does that mean for me? Working through lunch and late night office hours. But, when I was able to find some free time, you would see me staring at my Kindle as I read Countenance of War by J.R. Tomlin.
Overall this was a great story and J.R. Tomlin has a gift for descriptive language that makes you feel like you’re sitting behind a tree in the Scottish forest observing the action first-hand. Below is my review.
In book 2 of this trilogy, our beloved James has been transformed from a young, naive soldier in the Scottish king’s army to a warrior of legend that is known for his surprise attacks, raiding of English supply lines and no-mercy handling of English captors.
We find him as he has just captured his hometown of Douglasdale from the English. His men camp in the woods that surround the town in order to keep trespassers and English soldiers from slipping in or gaining hold again of the town.
But the King has called, and he and his men must leave his town undefended in order to answer the call. James has the town folks leave their homes and hide in nearby caves while they burn the land so the English will not be able to reap the harvest that was beginning to show – a decision he will regret when he learns of the fate of a woman he has loved.
The war is tireless and James and his men are called to take siege on a castle, burn the Scottish lands and interrupt English supply trains. It seems that the Scottish king has decided to starve the massive English army that makes his own army appear as a small gathering of friends.
But the end is what got me. Using a militia tactic that has never been used in history, the Scottish finally meet the English army in what is called a “battle that will determine the outcome.” If the Scottish loose, there is no hope to recover. If they win, they believe the English king will loose heart for his father’s campaign and draw back.
Right at the end of the first skirmish on the first day, the book ends. WHAT??? I was so into it, I hadn’t noticed how close I was coming to the end of the book. All I can think is: “What will happen to King Hob and his Black Douglas?”
Unfortunately, book 3 has yet to be published, though Tomlin did say it was in final editing. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book and find out how it all ends. I mean, this is history so we know how it ends, but how will the story play out in this fictional rendition?
How much do you know about the Wars of Independence of Scotland? Do you think you would like to learn about it through historical fiction like J.R. Tomlin writes?