Publisher and Publication Date: Skjaldmaer Publishing. December 10, 2019.
Genre: Historical fiction.
Source: NetGalley ebook copy. I received a complimentary copy, but was not required to leave a positive review.
Audience: Historical fiction readers who enjoy reading about Scottish history.
Rating: Very good.
Kindle copy is $3.99
Raedene Jeannette Melin website
True facts about the main character, Christina.
Lady Christian Bruce or Christina was born in 1273 (other sites place her birth in 1278.) She was the daughter of the 6th Lord of Annandale, Robert Bruce. Her mother was the Countess of Carrick. The Bruce family were the Lord’s of Annandale. The castle and lands were located just north of the English border. She was the older sister of Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland. She was the 2nd of ten children. She was actively involved in the Wars of Independence. She was married three times and had four children. Christian died in 1357.
For more information: Undiscovered Scotland.
Wars of Independence, from Britannica.
Edward I of England wants control of Scotland. A man named John Balliol wears the Scottish crown but not for long. Christina Bruce is a daughter of Robert Bruce. When the story begins he is in Norway with her older sister Isabel. Christina lives with her grandfather, also Robert Bruce. She’s betrothed to a man she doesn’t love. She avoids this arrangement. She is a woman of determination and rebellion. In an era when females were under the control of their fathers, Christina is not a woman who will obey.
Throughout the story, Christina seems to be in the right place at the right time to become involved with a strong historical figure involved in the Wars of Independence. For example, William Wallace. Without being said, she has a reputation as a wise person who can be counted on for planning and carrying out missions.
To Crown a King is my kind of historical fiction. I love Scottish history. I love this time period. And, to top it off, I read about an ancestral family member in the story. I’m not going to name him, because he made a history defining poor choice. I read somewhere else he later apologized.
Christina is a story hero I love. She has strength, maturity, boldness, wisdom, and insight. She’s an imperfect person and this makes her both enduring, likable, and believable. I do have a slight problem with her being in the right place at the right time so often. This seems staged. However, later in the story this “right place” ends.
I like the story, because it is a story that’s not been told until this book.
I like this story, because William Wallace is a character I enjoy reading. He is a likable fellow. He is shown not as a machismo type, but he’s shown as a thinking, observing, guileful warrior.
To Crown a King shows the Scottish noble families and who they aligned with; of course, sometimes they changed to another leader. This story told me people betray those thought to be trusted.
The story is in an era when the brutality of war and aggression is common. It’s also a time when vengeance and revenge is expected.
The Scottish people did not want their land to be controlled by the English king. They were ready to fight and lay down their lives for freedom. This is the number one theme.
The culture of women is shown. However, Christina is a remarkable character for this era.