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I just finished re-reading your books after 2 years from finishing them the last time and they are even better. It is like enjoying a favorite meal. I appreciate your style and storytelling. Bruce lives on. I wondered if you had an updated timeline for your fourth book, so I can [start] stashing my pennies. Thank you again for your stories. I check your website about once a month to see what is new and watch the video clip. -Shawn Marchinek
I was wondering when Book Four: High King of Ireland would be available to purchase, and if I would be able to purchase it autographed as well. I have the first three books, all autographed and would like to continue with the series and be able to have the entire collection autographed.
I can not find the words to praise the work that was done on the first three, I was very sad when I came to the last page in Bannok Burn, and I am now so anxious to obtain Book Four. The saga was written with such incredible excellence! I could not put any of them down once I started, and I am in fact thinking of re-reading them all again now that I am done, until I can purchase Book Four. Simply an outstanding read, and as someone that is a descendant from Ireland and Scotland I try and read everything I can historical, and historical fiction on both countries and I must say, this is definitely one of the best written accounts of that period in Scotland. I think it did wonderful justice to Robert, who was largely misunderstood by so many. I can trace my Scottish side back to that period and they were present during Bannok Burn, so to be able to read the history of what actually unfolded, and feel the emotions of those involved, from your writing was a great gift to my heart. To be able to evoke such feelings in your readers, its just testament to how talented you both are.
Please do not stop, I so thoroughly enjoyed every minute I have had with each book, I hope that there will be many more to come!
Congratulations on producing such outstanding pieces of literature, and re-creating history as near as possible, to allow your readers to experience what their ancestors endured in order for us to gain the lives we have today. I only wish my grandmother were still here to read your works!
Just wanted to thank you for the truly OUTSTANDING work that you folks have done in writing your books on Robert the Brus and the Scottish War of Independence. I’m almost finished with Book 2 "The Har’ships", and will be lost until I receive the forthcoming title "Bannok Burn". I cannot remember reading any stories or histories of Scotland that I’ve enjoyed more... I’ll say that I cannot properly put into words my sincere thanks for the splendid job that you and your lovely wife have done in bringing Scottish history alive... I have hoped since I was in my teens... that someone would write about this period when the "Legends of Scotland" (Bruce, Wallace, Douglas, et al) lived and in a manner that was truthful and readable. You have done this in truly remarkable fashion!!! And, made the works very entertaining to boot.
Very best to you, Jerry Belew
Know that it will be one of those long nights because I can't put the book down. ... the artwork is absolutely stunning. The portraits are so lifelike.
Wish you the very best of everything and please continue to write and draw......as my daddy would say, "well done".
Rita Mckenzie Oster
Excellent book. I particularly like the extended, but necessary, historical lead-in, to put the connection between the bulk of the elite Scots and the Norman descendants into their true perspective. Too many people do not see the great disparity between the Highlanders and those in power in the lowlands/border areas of Scotland. Well done. I look forward to reading "The Har'ships".
I love the way you write. It sounds like it is as much an adventure for the writer as the reader... Robert's near-spiritual connection with Christina is not, to my mind, to be denied. It has a life of its own ... I'll be quite eager to find out how it evolves. Christina's edge of mysticism has interacted intensely with Robert's near extra-mortal sense of mission. The powerful potential chemistry boggles the mind.
I LOVE the book. Your writing style is very engaging. You've done a good job of creating tension and putting the reader 'in the picture' so that we see through the characters' eyes, hear through the characters' ears, and feel what they are feeling. I especially love the combination of factual history told in story form. It makes it so much more memorable. I'm learning a lot and having fun doing it!!
I finally spoke with my dad and he wanted you to know that he read both books back to back in 4 days. Said it was one of the most enjoyable stories he had read in some time and just couldn't put it down. Dad reads a lot and seldom has he been drawn in to this degree.
As for me, "The Rebel King" series reaches out to the hearts of those that love Scotland and the cause of freedom. With characters and events so vividly portrayed, it is easy to get swept away by the emotion and gives the reader a sense of belonging to history. It reminds us that freedom can not be won without total commitment and great sacrifice. Even those that don't claim Scottish heritage will be drawn in by these books and will start to look for ways to become part of the story.
All the best,
"What a piece of beautiful literature!! Every word jumps off the page at the reader. I can visualize the countryside.. smell the beef and gravy steaming in the bowl.. feel the pride and heart break and determination that our King feels. I am transported to the midst of it all!!
Thank you from my heart for these splendid works.
Pray tell me.... shall there be another?"
| As for the second book, loved it, really good read you get better, if that is possible, each time! I have started to read it a second time now slowly and more deliberate... the first time I was too excited. Love how you worked in Malcolm Maclaine.
|"...a great read that brings alive a crucial period in Scotland's history. The Har'ships continues the story of Robert the Bruce, enriching the reader's appreciation of the trials of life in the 14th century. Recommended for anyone interested in Scotland's fight for independence, in the Bruce, or in the details of this time period in world history"
Carolyn L. Barkley
Central Librarian, Virginia Beach, VA
|"I have already read the first book. Loved it, could not put it down. When I saw there was a second I did not hesitate to order it. Please send, I can't wait. I only hope they make a movie . It will be great!
Thanks. ROBERT BRUCE JR.
|"Having read both of your books, I found them both fascinating. My wife said that she has never seen me so engrossed in a book before. My gggggggggrandfather fought for King Robert so I couldn't put it down till I finished. My compliments to you both for fine and informative books. Now we need book 3"
|"The authors of Rebel King, Book Two, The Har'ships are a talented pair of writers. This is a continuation of the story of a small, out-manned, under-armed group of men, who willingly give life and limb to win back their freedom and their Scottish kingdom, both stolen by the dreaded King of England. What is rightfully theirs cannot be denied, and this husband and wife team has once again published a good read that you will not want to miss! The book sizzles with excitement, and you will too!"
- Frank R. Shaw, FSA Scot, The Family Tree
|"...your story telling is excellent and comparable to Mr. Nigel Tranter..."
I have sold out of the first book at a recent meeting of the Royal Order of Scotland. My description must have caught their attention. I also took a list of our members that purchased one so that I can let them know when the second and following books are available. I have received several emails from the people (especially wives) about how they loved the book and are looking forward to the next one.
You may consider this a firm order for 30 copies of the next one, as soon as it is available. As before half paperback, half hardback would be great.
|“...It must have been a daunting task to set out to compose a novel, which, by definition, must find most of its value in the entertainment it provides, about such a national hero. Carolyn and Randolph Bruce have done a very admirable job in blending fact, and admittedly some myth, into a very entertaining story that leaves the reader eager for the projected second book.”
Allen Bruce, -High Commissioner of the Chief of the Name of Bruce
-Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
|“...It is a GREAT read. I read at work during my lunch hour. On a good day I can knock off twenty plus pages. .I usually keep the book in my locker and I finish when I finish. Not your book! I took it home on the days I was off. A couple days were rainy days and any yard work cancelled so I read away my afternoon, lost in your novel. A new novel, I hate that I have to wait a year for the next volume. Mark me down now for a copy.”
|The best compliment one can pay fiction writers is that the writers take their readers to and involve them in other worlds. The Bruces have done it.
Boyd Lucas, -Review in The Wee Harp (Clan Lamont Newsletter)
"I read the book Rebel King - Hammer of the Scots - all 407 pages of it in three days. Once I got into the first chapter, I found it difficult to put the book down and go back to other required callings of the day. As a "history buff" already familiar with Scottish history, the book made the historical facts and individuals contained therein more memorable by surrounding them in a plausible and exciting fictional story. Other books on similar historical subjects such as Nigel Tranter's The Bruce Trilogy, while excellent for students of history, can contain so much historical detail that the reading can become slow and the historical facts difficult to piece together by the casual readers.
I can strongly recommend the book to all those who wish to have a better understanding of the times and the people that made Scottish history - while enjoying a good story."
From Al Ankrum, National Commander, Scottish American Military Society
"I enjoyed the book "Hammer of the Scots" very much. Being one that has to be caught within the first few sentences, I must say that this book did it. Being Scottish and not really knowing much of the history, I learned a lot and enjoyed the story that tied it all together. I am also an avid reader of the Scottish based stories in Diana Gabaldon's New York Times Bestseller books but "Hammer of the Scots" was so vivid I actually felt that I was there. The sketches at the beginning of each chapter gave me a face to put with a name. This story lives. I hope everyone interested in Scottish history gets a chance to read this book. I am looking forward to the next edition of the Rebel King."
From Sonja McCartney
"I finished your book last night; it was wonderful! When will the next one be available? I can't wait to see what happens....!"
Susan E. Hamilton (member, Clan Hamilton Society)
"I'm enjoying the book already! ...Maybe I'm just completely off my nut, or maybe a little biased, but I thought the book read like a movie: the cerebral scenery was so intense, and the way you guys welded together such a cohesive tome from so little available history was really impressive.
Best of luck with the remaining volumes!"
Mark Selkirk, Scottish history enthusiast
"I was going to clean my closets, but I started to read your book... the closets can wait."
Nellie Graham Lowry, Clan Graham genealogist and historian
"As a former SEAL team platoon commander with several combat tours in Vietnam, I found I was reliving the actions and emotions of my past while reading the vivid battle scenes in your manuscript. Congratulations on an exciting read."
Fred Kochey LCDR, USN ret
"...You’re hooked from the first... the pace is intense with no lulls. It has everything in it that you would want in a novel. My wife wants to know when the next book is going to be out."
"... I don’t know where you got your information from but it has a real sense of being there."
Robert Friedman, President, Hampton Roads Publishing
"... This would make a great, great film."
Albert Locatelli, Art Director, Star Wars
"Best book that I've read since 'Gone with the Wind"...I love it."
A Review by T. A. Bruce for the Blue Lion (Bruce International Society
Robert the Bruce, King Robert I of the Scots, who
lived 700 years ago, was the monarch of a small country on the fringes of Medieval Europe,
and never commanded large armies, but his fame is still very much alive here in the
Twenty-first century, as one of the two Scottish national heroes. His life has been the subject of much myth-making
as one of the greatest lights of a country that has provided many great lights to the
world, far beyond what might have been expected given its size and population. His most influential biographer, Archdeacon John
Barbour, in his epic poem The Bruce, tells of his great bravery, his
magnanimity, and his brilliance at the art of warfare.
It can be said that Robert the Bruce invented what is today known as guerilla
With all of the above in mind, it must have been a
daunting task to set out to compose a novel, which, by definition, must find most of its
value in the entertainment it provides, about such a national hero. Charles Randolph Bruce and Carolyn Hale Bruce have
done a very admirable job in blending fact, and admittedly some myth, into a very
entertaining story that leaves the reader eager for the projected next part.
The title may require a little explanation. The term Hammer of the Scots refers to
King Edward I of England, who had the Latin phrase Malleus Scottorum posted on
his tomb in Westminster Abbey. Before long
the reader finds out the reason for the inclusion of the phrase in the title, though;
Edward I is the main obstacle in Robert Bruces quest to become King of Scots and to
restore an independent Kingdom of Scotland. The
book commences at the beginning of 1306; Edward has set himself up as ruler of Scotland,
and his ruthlessness and military power will fall like a hammer upon anyone who opposes
As the story progresses it becomes apparent, in the
novel as it did in fact, that Robert Bruce is the only person who can hope to restore the
old Scotland of David I and William the Lion. Historical
novels often have difficulty in capturing this kind of political truth and at the same
time making the story interesting, but the Bruces do it quite well.
Their description of Robert Bruces murder of
his chief rival for the Scottish crown, which was a tremendous setback that would have
been the end of any other claimants ambitions, is especially vivid.
Another highlight is a very fine explanation and
description of the chain of events that led to Robert the Bruces coronation being
repeated, upon the arrival the day after the first ceremony, of a representative of the
family that possessed the ancient right of placing the crown upon the head of the Scottish
As always, the devil is in the details. There are several anachronisms and inaccurate uses
of terminology. For example, mention is made
of the ancient Pictish practice of warriors painting with blue woad before going into
battle, but this practice was long abandoned by the 14th century. These anachronisms will for the most part concern
only the specialist, and do not seriously detract from the story.
This book, which is planned as the first of four,
ends in July, 1307. There is much more to
look forward to in future installments, including the Scots great victory at the
Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.
R.W. Munroe: How through toil
and weariness, hunger and peril (in the words of the Arbroath declaration of 1320)
he won the independence of his country as well as his own right to the throne is a story
and an achievement which has made the name of Bruce dear to the Scottish people.
(Munroe: 9) With Rebel King, Book
One: The Hammer of the Scots my kinsman Charles Randolph Bruce and his co-author
Carolyn Hale Bruce have proven themselves storytellers worthy of this awesome story.
Quotation from: Munroe, R.W. Kinsmen and Clansmen.
Edinburgh: Geoffrey Chapman Ltd., 1971.
Reviewed by Thomas Allen Bruce
High Commissioner of the Chief of the Name of Bruce
Commander of the Most Venerable Order of St. John
Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
Life Member of Bruce International and served as National President from 1994-2000