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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Review: The Last Tears of Scotland by Thomas E. Greenlaw

Title: The Last Tears of Scotland
Author: Thomas E. Greenlaw
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Self-published
Publish Date: January 3, 2013
Source: I received a copy from the author; however, this didn't affect my review.


Why You're Reading This Book:
  • You're a historical fiction fan.
What's the Story?:

Synopsis: "With the Battle of Flodden in 1513, Scotland lost its King, James IV, and most of its ruling class, leading to a turmoil that lasted 90 years. Alexander (Alec) Hume, the Great Chamberlain, survived that battle. He had fallen in love with his father’s ward, Lady Katherine Nisbet (Katie), a relationship his father considered incestuous, but one that he was passionately determined to maintain. Though he once strayed into the arms of the King’s widow, Queen Margaret, sister of Henry VIII, he was largely motivated to bring stability to Scotland and the Borderland. Ultimately, he was forced to invite the French speaking John Stewart, Duke of Albany to become Regent. Unable to properly communicate, they soon fell out and Albany had him branded a rebel and deprived him of all his ancestral holdings, including Hume Castle, by an act of parliament. Though upsetting to his beloved Katie, the infuriated Alec created havoc all across the Borders to the point that Albany had to forgive him and restore his land and property. Later, invited to Edinburgh for an important meeting, Alec and his brother Willie were apprehended and thrown in prison.

But his struggled was taken up by his nephew, also called Alexander, who recaptured Hume Castle and successfully defended it against the Earl of Rutland, sent by Queen Elizabeth of England, angry that Alec provided shelter to her Catholic rebels. However, his weakness for women led to tumultuous relationships first, with a farm girl, Jennie Laidlaw, then Lady Margaret Ker, Mary Queen of Scots and finally Lady Agnes Grey who bore him a son destined to become the first Earl of Hume starting a dynasty extant to day. In addition to the chaos of government, this Alec had to contend with the Scottish Reformation, a turbulent time of intrigue, treachery and Machiavellian machinations, and a series of bloody murders, even witch burnings. While a staunch supporter of Mary Queen of Scots he was, in the end, obliged to fight against her, forcing her out of Scotland for all time."

My Two Cents: 

 "The Last Tears of Scotland" is an epic story of a very important time in Scotland's history. This is a part of history that I had really read very little about and I love diving into a new-to-me part of history. Standing at almost 500 pages, this book is a very detailed, very interesting book about a massive change in Scotland.

This book is actually the abridged version of Greenlaw's Lions of Scotland book. As an abridged version, this book works pretty well. There are a couple things that I feel were glossed over a bit but overall, I didn't feel like anything I was missing out on anything.

"The Last Tears of Scotland" can really be divided up into two sections. Alec Hume, the Great Chamberlain, has the first part. The second part belongs to his nephew, also called Alec (slightly confusing, no?). Both parts focus on their struggles and fights. The book also focuses on the love affairs of both men. I really enjoyed reading about the first Alec's relationship with Katie (aww, I really felt bad for her throughout the book).

The author did a good job with keeping this still relatively large book moving. This story was a good mix of historical detail and human story. It was interesting to see this time period from this perspective! Overall, this is a good story! 


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