There are 5 books in this series. Reading them in order does make a difference. I've found them all to be "hard to put down." Here is the order of the series:
Come the Morning
Conquer the Night
Seize the Dawn
The Lion in Glory
The hero in "The Lion in Glory", Jamie, is first introduced in "Knight Triumphant." He is the much loved cousin of "Knight" hero, Eric. I loved Jamie's character in that story, so I was excited to read his entire story in "The Lion in Glory." I have to admit, I liked him better in "Knight Triumphant." He was friendly, easy- going, smart, and fun in "Knight." In "Lion", he becomes bitter and angry. The story is still a great page- turner, and a must after reading the rest of the series, but I would have liked to see his character reflect the personality I came to love in "Knight."
Several important characters from "Knight Triumphant" are again very important in "Lion in Glory." Be sure to read "Knight" first.
You will find that after reading the first few books in this series, you will want to skim through some parts of "Lion" that repeat the history of the war and certain parts of the Graham family history. These parts are, of course, included in the story for readers whom have not read the first four books in the series.
The Lion in Glory:
The English king is dead! Edward I has terrorized Scotland for nearly two decades. Over the past few years, Scotland has united under their chosen king, Robert Bruce. Bruce makes every effort to create a lasting unity and freedom for his country. There are still a few major Scottish castles sitting in the hands of the English. Bruce's most loyal knights make heroic raids to reclaim Scottish land in the name of their king.
One of Bruce's great knights is Jamie Graham. Like his cousins, he fights for the freedom of his beloved country. With his friends and his closest cousin Eric, he raids English holdings on the border lands between England and Scotland. In his kings name, Jamie collects money from the English land holders as an exchange for peace... Pay Bruce, and the Scottish will not destroy your land. However, Edward II, who is now ruling England, condemns anyone who pays the Scots off. In Edward's point of view, those who pay are traitors. England is on the brink of a civil war. Edward is too weak to protect his people, but punishes them for buying peace with Bruce.
Christina knows that the Scottish are coming to collect their "peace money." She doesn't have the funds, and is desperate to stop the Scots from raiding her home and taking everything they have for payment. She decides the only thing she can do is drug the Scots, then turn them over to the English king. Jamie is not fooled by her offer of food and wine. He trades glasses with Christina, then waits as she passes out. When Christina awakens, she is terrified that the English king will believe that she gave the Scots her families valuables as a trade for peace. Her brother, Steven, is already being held prisoner for paying the year before. Christina begs Jamie to take her hostage. It is the only way Edward will believe that she didn't hand the valuables over by choice.
The last thing Jamie wants is hostages. However, when the beautiful Christina offers to give him anything.. yes anything... in exchange for taking her, he can't resist.
Christina has one purpose in life: free her brother. She will give anything and anyone, even her own life, to save him. Jamie now finds himself stuck with the challenge of saving her from her own foolish sacrifices. He realizes the best way to save Christina, is to free her brother.
Again, the story is very good. It kept me interested from the beginning to the end. However, I liked the other 4 of the series more. Christina is a bit too foolish for me. She even challenges a knight to a sword battle while she is pregnant. Then she can't understand why Jamie is so angry about it.
I do miss Jamie's kind spirit from the last book, but having Christina to contend with I can't blame him for being hard at times.
Shannon Drake has written a 6th Graham novel, "When We Touch", but it is not truly connected with this Scottish series. It takes place years later, in the Victorian era, in London. It is the story of a female Graham descendant. I believe I will wait a while before reading it. I'm still basking in the glow of Scottish Graham men.