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The Lion Wakes (The Kingdom Series) Hardcover – 14 Apr 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (14 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007337914
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007337910
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.8 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 552,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

‘In The Lion Wakes Robert Low has created an enthralling, complete world: profoundly researched, brilliantly imagined. The novel is intensely exciting, enjoyable and satisfying: a novel of honour, duty, chivalry, desperation, self-interest and fear – more sophisticated than almost any recent novel with an historical setting.
Crackling with original descriptive prose – sudden, arresting images combined with dialogue and accents caught to perfection – there is something deeply lyrical about its use of language.
Robert Low writes too well for this novel to be contained by the label of “historical fiction” The Lion Wakes deserves to be read by all fans of historical fiction, but also by many, many more – by all those who enjoy classic storytelling in wonderful prose’
Harry Sidebottom

‘An outstanding novel. The Lion Wakes is a fantastic read, written by a real master of historical fiction. Low has painted a most compelling picture of 13th century Scotland. I cannot wait for the next book in the series’
Ben Kane

‘With excellent characters and an engaging plot that reeks of authenticity, The Lion Wakes is powerful stuff. Robert Low is on my “to read” list from now on’
Anthony Riches, author of the Empire series

About the Author

Robert Low has been a journalist and writer since the age of 17. He covered the wars in Vietnam, Sarajevo, Romania and Kosovo until common-sense and the concerns of his wife and daughter prevailed.

To satisfy his craving for action, having moved to an area rich in Viking tradition, he took up re-enactment, joining The Vikings. He now spends summers fighting furiously in helmet and mail in shieldwalls all over Britain and winters training hard.

He lives in Scotland with his wife.


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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J.R.Hartley VINE VOICE on 18 Jun 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As an avid reader of historical fiction and knowing a bit about the subject matter and what a sirring tale it is I was really looking forward to this book. However, once I got started I felt that I wasn't really taking in what was happening due to far too many characters so early in the book, the slow moving plot and, I hate to say this, the use of very dense Scots dialect. In short, I judged I had too much going on to do it justice and decided to put it to one side and try again another day. I have read books in modern Scots dialect before having got through several Irvine Welch books and I figured I'd settle in to it when I picked it up several months later but it still took enormous effort to read and it really did spoil the book for me. What should have been a rousing tale became a real chore but I saw it through to the end and now wonder why I bothered. Did I enjoy it? Not really, but feel I would have done with a bit of judicious editing. Will I read the next book in the saga? No, life is too short and there are more accessible books out there.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dinah85 VINE VOICE on 20 Jun 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Having just finished Robyn Young's Insurrection I was looking for more books in the same vein i.e. historical fiction based around Wallace and the Bruce. The Lion Wakes is a book in that vein but it has done the genre no favours in my eyes. As others have said I found the start really hard going with lots of characters being introduced in a very short space of time. I'd seen some commentary about the use of Scots Gaelic in the book and I thought I would be able to handle it, I couldn't. I felt I needed to get out a dictionary every time I came across it. Regardless of the inclusion of explanations in the book this made it virtually impossible to get fully immersed in the story, which was the biggest failing.

That all being said the story is well written and comes from quite a different point of view to Insurrection. I liked seeing the conflict through the eyes of a, relative, commoner. The main character being an effective no-body is the saving grace of this book and without it I don't think I could have finished it. Its fine if you want something to drop in and out of, but if you really want immersive story telling then look elsewhere.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By V. Nicholl VINE VOICE on 15 April 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Having loved Robert Low's Viking series, I was eager to read The Lion Wakes, the first novel in his new series, Kingdom, about Scotland's fight for freedom from England in the late 13th, early 14th centuries. I found it quite confusing and hard to get into, initially - so many names and uncertainty as to who was important or going to be, and fairly difficult language to decipher. I hear from the author that a list of characters and their place in history and a dictionary of Scottish words will be present in the book, so I've amended my review to a 5 star. However, once I got through the first twenty pages it was all beginning to fall into place and it then became impossible to put down! Briefly - I hate reviews that give away too much - the character at the centre of the action is Sir Hal Sientcler, a minor noble with lands in Lothian, who gets caught up in the fighting and treachery as William Wallace, the main rebel leader, fights against the tyranny of Edward 1 of England. Wallace is not much liked by the Scottish nobles - William wasn't noble enough - and the question is will Robert the Bruce, Earl of Carrick, with a strong claim to the throne, throw his lot in with Wallace, and should Hal throw his lot in with Bruce? Lots of intrigue, lots of fighting, and lots of engaging characters - who are clearly going to go on for a few more books, given that this one ends in 1298, the Bruce didn't become king until 1306, and Bannockburn didn't happen until 1314. I can't wait for the next one!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Arynth VINE VOICE on 31 July 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
We are positively drowning in historical novels covering various Roman dynasties, the Vikings, the Saxons, the Ancient Greeks, Ancient Egyptians and some more enterprising authors are looking east to the Muslim world and China for narrative inspiration. As a part-Scot, it's great to see something being written about the Scots by a Scot but I was a little disappointed by the Bruce family being the focus of events. Wouldn't it be great to read a story about the Picts or even Bonnie Prince Charlie? Why always the Rabbies of Bruce?

Well, storyline aside, the book was disappointingly ho-hum. The language is impenetrable in some places and the book has the usual battle scenes with blood here, body parts there. The vignettes of daily life the author paints are sometimes interesting but become repetitive as if to say "Hey, I've done my homework, honest!".

I can't boast to be an avid fan of Scottish history which is probably why I'm less able to overlook the flaws. If you're a fan, then this will probably be a better read for you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By teddownsouth on 11 Jun 2012
Format: Paperback
I found Low's style of prose so confusing and difficult to follow that I gave up on trying to fathom out the story at page 40. Rarely would I offer a review but this book was so disappointing and a total waste of money.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 16 Mar 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have to start by saying that I absolutely loved the Oathsworn series and struggled to put the books down and bought this book off the back of that series. However with this book it is the complete opposite; I am struggling to motivate myself to pick it up because it is such heavy going.

A number of people writing reviews on here have picked on the over-use of dialect and Scottish slang, but although I would agree with those sentiments, that is not the main problem with this book. There is far too much focus on introducing historical characters at the start of the book instead of getting on with the story; none of the characters introduced are really developed so I find myself not particularly empathising or caring what happens to them. There's also a tangled web of relationships between the characters which whilst it may be historically accurate, makes it very difficult to read. Those two problems compound each other and make the book far too complicated to follow.

Usually I finish a book within a few days of starting it, or at most a week. I've been reading this book for a month and I'm only a third of the way through. I've tried hard to persevere in the forlorn hope that the story may pick up but I'm sure I can find the motivation to read it through to the end. If I hadn't already read the Oathsworn series I would already have given up on it.
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