A Winter of Har'ships, A Summer of Blood!


Rebel King - The Har'ships is based closely on historical fact. This is how the story unfolds...

The powerful Earl of Buchan amasses an army of many factions in the north of Scotland to stem the success of King Robert as he moves, castle by castle, northward through the great glen toward the earl's vast lands.

Robert the Brus, the newly made King of Scots, has far more than half of his countrymen actively fighting against him. Even so, he continues the struggle against all odds, knowing that his determination to free Scotland is in the right.

King Robert's top lieutenants find themselves faced with overwhelming odds when the king is suddenly struck down. One among them must pose as the king to keep his enemies from discerning their fearful secret.

Christina of Carrick, the king's kinswoman, is summoned to his side as nurse when it seems he, and thus the rebellion, is lost. Two honorable people, they must try and keep their strong emotional ties from overpowering them and the struggle to free Scotland.

Buchan's amassing of power includes the young Earl of Strathbogie, who blames Robert for the death of his father; Baron John de Mowbray, commander of a great English force aimed at eradicating the Brus rebellion; and Sir Reginald Cheyne, a wiser warrior than Buchan, but constrained to do his bidding, nonetheless. Then there is the Earl of Ross, who betrayed the Brus' wife, daughter, and sister to Edward I of England resulting in their imprisonment. Fearful of The Brus' revenge, he accepts a short term treaty to get King Robert from his door. Now, he returns.

The king's sole surviving brother, Edward, suffers from devastating falls into black spells of despair that threaten the whole of the rebellion, yet his opposite moods and grandiose actions pose, perhaps, the greater danger.

Andrew Stewart, the king's valiant young squire and faithful standard bearer, is a constant companion to his king and father figure, even through the times of their greatest peril.

Edward II, King of England, holds the Sword of Damocles over the entirety of Scotland, but his own deepest passions are his worst enemies. 

Robert wages his war in the harshness of winter because he knows that, come spring, Edward will be urged to send against him the mightiest army in their world. Until then, he has only his small army and his ally, winter, to determine the fate of Scotland.

The arranged marriage of King Edward to Isabella of France, daughter of the French King, is supposed to strengthen the often strained relationship between the two countries. Instead, she is publicly ignored and embarrassed by her royal husband, and swears revenge for her ill treatment from almost the first moment they meet.

King Edward's great love is his childhood companion, Piers Gaveston. He makes him Earl of Cornwall and bestows properties upon him over the objections of the powerful English magnates, who swear a revenge of their own. Sir Piers regularly bests all of the knights who contest against him in tourney, and boasts about it loudly to everyone within earshot. He is a man with many enemies.

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