Robyn Young lives in Hove, and is the author of BRETHREN, the first novel in a trilogy set in the world of the Crusades. The author of numerous poems and short stories published in magazines and anthologies, Robyn has a Masters in Creative Writing with distinction from the University of Sussex. She teaches creative writing part-time in Brighton.
BORN TO A LINE OF KINGS, HE WILL NOT BOW TO A CONQUEROR
King Edward of England marches on Scotland, his campaign to unite the British Isles under one crown inspired by an Arthurian prophecy. He has already crushed Wales; now he need only find the Staff of St Malachy, symbol of Irish nationhood, to achieve his implacable desire.
One man alone can thwart Edward’s plan. Leaving his war-torn home, Robert Bruce has sailed to Ireland, determined to find the Staff and keep it out of Edward’s hands. His veins run with the blood of kings and his destiny to fulfil his family’s claim to the throne of Scotland burns his mind.
But on the run through the wild country, hunted by a relentless assassin, Robert seems a long way from achieving his ambition. And there are other eyes on Scotland’s crown, old enemies gathering against him.
This is a game of conquest, power and treachery, and Robert finds that to survive he must first abandon everything he holds dear. He was always prepared to die on the battlefield – but what else must he sacrifice to keep his hopes alive?
RENEGADE is a dazzling story of conspiracy and divided loyalties, battle and betrayal, and a superb portrait of the medieval world
Robyn Young continues her latest series (Insurrection) with Renegade. Its an interesting choice for a series, write The Bruce wrong and alienate a chunk of Scotland, and she doesn’t, She has written his in a sympathetic but honest style. Battling against the overly ambitious grasping hands of the English Knights (who lets face it were just a bunch of Norman descendants) Im not sure who (including the king) would feel safe around these guys. Survival and improved stature was a case of who can outdo the competition, who knew who, who knew what about who. The church wasn’t exempt from this they were all at it.
As with every book I have read by this author this book is laced with great characterisation, great insight into the potential psyche of the time and a real passion for her chosen time period. That investment in her research comes across in every page, every paragraph and weaves a wonderful tale.
One of the real draws of this series is the familiarity of the names, Edward I and William Wallace being two of the most notable, but this series does not dwell on the main characters, Robyn Young instead weaves in a rich tapestry of characters and figures of the period giving a much more rounded and real story than the average wordsmith.
Even thought we know the ultimate fate of Robert the Bruce Robyn’s writing leaves you wondering if fate could be changed. Will see his ambitions fulfilled, will he remain the man he wants to be or cave to the scheming of those her despises? what compromises must he make as a man to be who he needs to be?
I’m rambling now, but there is so much depth to this book and series it makes you want to do that when you stop and think about it. Its going to be a long year waiting for book 3.
Very Highly recommended
1. Brethren (2006)
2. Crusade (2007)
3. Requiem (2008)
1. Insurrection (2010)
2. Renegade (2012)