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Fire and Sword [Paperback]

Louise Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.95
Price: 11.64 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

27 Sep 2013
On the 11th of June in 1488, two armies meet in battle at Sauchieburn, near Stirling. One fights for King James the Third of Scotland, the other is loyal to his eldest son, Prince James, Duke of Rothesay. Soon, James the Third is dead, murdered as he flees the field. His army is routed. Among the dead is Sir Thomas Sempill of Ellestoun, Sheriff of Renfrew, whose son and heir, John, escapes with his life. Once John's career as knight and courtier seemed assured. But with the death of his king, his situation is fragile. He's the only surviving son of the Sempill line and he's unmarried. If he hopes to survive, John must try and win favour with the new king. And deal with the ruthless and powerful Lord Montgomerie. . .

Product details

  • Paperback: 454 pages
  • Publisher: Hadley Rille Books (27 Sep 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0989263134
  • ISBN-13: 978-0989263139
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 938,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fire and Sword in Medieval Scotland 6 Sep 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent first novel describing late Medieval Scotland in the wake of the battle of Sauchieburn which saw the defeat and then murder of James III by forces fronted by his son James IV. It follows the fortune of John Sempill of Renfrewshire whose family supported James III and the fate of his family after the battle. The picture it gives of late Medieval Renfrewshire is fascinating, revealing a society in which violence was very much part of the picture and where the sword rather than law was the means of settling private disputes. The characterisation of the main characters is well drawn - these are people who come alive and who you can relate to. The description of John's marriage is very interesting; and the development and maturing of his wife Margaret during the course of the novel very well depicted. I await the next part of this trilogy from Louise Turner with anticipation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tiny terrifying Scottish armies 1 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What struck me first, was how small and personal a setting this book has. It's a tiny, small-scale world, which none the less seems very real and scary - twelve men on horseback are an army, which really is a terrifying threat that destroys lives. And at the same time, communications are slow - really slow - so the same small land that can be menaced by a tiny, tiny army, is none the less days away from any authority that can help, even if they can be made to listen. Fire And Sword shows that very starkly and clearly - an excellent insight into a medieval world.

I was less won over by the love story aspect of the novel. The hero is an engaging personality, but I could not help finding his wife awfully annoying. I suppose many historical people *were* annoying - and one has to give her a certain amount of leeway, for growing up in a culture that considered young women essentially as trade counters and trapped them into marriage at a very young age. And yet... although her reasons for behaving as she did fitted with the background, I just couldn't like her, and didn't manage to bring myself to care deeply about whether her marriage would work out or not. I found myself focussing on the political machinations and the action, and less on the romance.

None the less, good readable and entertaining historical fiction, well worth a read, and deserves five stars because I did actually stay up considerably later than I should have done to find out what was going to happen next!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scottish History at it's best 15 Nov 2013
By Treena
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Scottish history never read so well. Based around the area I have grown up in and still live, this is a riveting tale. Ms Turner takes local characters and fleshes out their history to bring them to life with flowing prose. John Semple, barely a man, loses his father to battle and limps home to lick his wounds and survive against the political pressures and manipulations of the day.

This book has everything; three dimensional characters that you can either love or hate, romance, a richly described background tapestry, political intrigue and bloody battle.

My 11 year old son loves it, also and anything that can encourage him to lift a book must be worth a look!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! 25 Oct 2013
By shona
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Brilliant read, I couldn't put it down! Can't wait for the next one. I am local to the area the story is set and learnt something of a time I am unfamiliar with and have been promted to go and do some local history research for myself.

For those who like the historical nove style noval this is a wonderful Scottish historical novel
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing debut novel 7 Feb 2014
By Brianna Larsen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love historical fiction, and went into this novel by Louise Turner slightly daunted by the fact that I know so little about 15th century Scotland. I needed not fear, as the book was so engaging I found myself imagining that this book could easily be turned into a screenplay. The story was so well written that I came away feeling like I was a little bit educated on what life was truly like with the dynamics of the Scottish clans during that time. The story was quick paced and the characters so well defined I felt like I truly know them. I highly recommend this book for any fans of historical fiction, as Louise Turner rates right up there with the best known authors I have read in this genre. I anxiously await her next book!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fire and Sword by Louise Turner 23 Mar 2014
By Diane Gorman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Lovingly crafted beautifully written book.The medieval period is not one which holds a great deal of intrigue for me usually but the author creates such strong interesting characters one can not help but be drawn in.One of the best books I have read in a long time.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT READ FOR ALL HISTORICAL NOVEL BUFFS 6 Feb 2014
By Kelle Vandenberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a great book for any historical novel buff! Well researched and a well told tale of Scottish politics, developing love, and the fulfillment of friendship. Plenty of sword play, intrigue, and twists that speak true to the political climate of historical clans. Read this book and like me...wait eagerly for her next one.
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting look at Scotland in 15th century 1 July 2014
By Svetlana - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Name of Book: Fire and Sword

Author: Louise Turner

ISBN: 9780989263139

Publisher: Hadley Rille Books

Type of book: Scotland, politics, John Sempill, marriage, 1488-1489, war, siege, career, growing up, history

Year it was published: 2013

Summary:

On the 11th of June in 1488, two armies meet in battle at Sauchieburn, near Stirling. One fights for King James the Third of Scotland, the other is loyal to his eldest son, Prince James, Duke of Rothesay. Soon, James the Third is dead, murdered as he flees the field. His army is routed. Among the dead is Sir Thomas Sempill of Ellestoun, Sheriff of Renfrew, whose son and heir, John, escapes with his life. Once John's career as knight and courtier seemed assured. But with the death of his king, his situation is fragile. He's the only surviving son of the Sempill line and he's unmarried. If he hopes to survive, John must try and win favour with the new king. And deal with the ruthless and powerful Lord Montgomerie. . .

Characters:

The characters are the strongest part of this book. John Sempill is painted as human, almost a saint I believe, for he's caring, giving, talented and obstinate in relationships, although he is a bit naive and kind of does have a wandering eye. Margaret Colville is his wife. At first, due to some beliefs, she's very rude, angry and scornful towards John Sempill, but as time marches on, she becomes a likable heroine. John's mistress, Mary, is a widow who is older than John and who seems to have a deep understanding of men and their desires. Hugh, from what I understood, is quick tempered and ambitious at the cost of those who would remain loyal to him.

Theme:

Don't underestimate or overestimate people

Plot:

The book is written in third person narrative from John Sempill's point of view as well as Margaret Colville and Hugh. Along with those there is also John's mistress, Mary, I think. I feel that a lot of research was done towards the story and the book and there is knowledge and expertise. The strong point of the book include the characters who are memorable and aren't forgettable. I also liked the small details that the author includes such as clothing and expenditures as well as how shortages were handled.

Author Information:
(From Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour)

Born in Glasgow, Louise Turner spent her early years in the west of Scotland where she attended the University of Glasgow. After graduating with an MA in Archaeology, she went on to complete a PhD on the Bronze Age metalwork hoards of Essex and Kent. She has since enjoyed a varied career in archaeology and cultural resource management. Writing has always been a major aspect of her life and in 1988, she won the Glasgow Herald/Albacon New Writing in SF competition with her short story Busman’s Holiday. Louise lives with her husband in west Renfrewshire.

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Opinion:

I don't know much or at all about Scottish history, besides the fact that England took over Scotland and that the men wear kilts, thus it was an interesting read and very richly detailed, although I had some trouble and frustration because I read the digital version of it. Right away, the author warns the reader that different characters have the same names, and while she does provide a character sheet in beginning, I kind of found it annoying to be doing more motions just to check who's who, and some of the characters are indeed confusing by names. I think I also had some trouble figuring out what's going on in the story, besides the fact that John Sempill's father has passed away and now he has to figure out who the enemies and others are. I guess I had some difficulty figuring out the political maneuvering.

This is for Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour
4.0 out of 5 stars Great-heroic adventure 23 Jun 2014
By booknerd - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Copy received from Historical Fiction Virtual Tours for an honest review

I really enjoyed reading Fire& Sword by Louise Turner. Because I didn’t know too much about Scottish history there were some parts of the story that were a little overwhelming. I thought it was interesting that the author alluded to many characters having the same first name, yes, this was also a little confusing.
Overall, I really enjoyed the story. It picks up right away in the beginning. Although Thomas is the hero he is very real. He is a Knight in Shining Armor but with some issues and personality traits to work out. This made him seem more real and relatable. Although Thomas is the main character, Hugh Montgomery was the most fascinating to me. The author really developed him into a very complex, multi-dimensional and fascinating character. I highly enjoyed and recommend this fun adventure.
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