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Customer Review

135 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A novel of high quality, 18 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Insurrection: Insurrection Trilogy Book 1 (Hardcover)
This is a novel about politics, successions within the nobility and the bid for Royal thrones. These central themes are woven into the period of time broadly labelled as the `Wars of Scottish Independence' and involve famous historical people including William Wallace, Robert Bruce and Edward Longshanks.

You may be wondering at this point one of two things; one, `well that sounds like all the ingredients for an interesting non-fiction historical study' or two, `I hope this is not a cheap rendition of "Braveheart" in the form of a book'. In response to the first point, I can definitely say that this is first and foremost a fictional novel set within the historical fiction genre. Robyn Young's writing style is compelling and fully dimensional. For example, she gently leads you into the story before unleashing the required history and knowledge of the local alliances and enmities necessary for a complete understanding of the background to the novel. In this way, you are fully immersed within the story and hardly notice the gradual inclusion of history which would probably put off a new reader if listed in its entirety at the beginning. In answer to the second point, this is certainly not a rehashed rendition of the famously historically inaccurate "Braveheart". Wallace, Bruce and Edward are completely different people within `Insurrection'. To me they appeared to be more balanced, grounded and possess a full range of human emotions in comparison to their relatively one sided cinematic counterparts. In addition to this statement, you will get the sense from reading the novel and then seeing the select bibliography at the end of the book that `Insurrection' is thoroughly well researched.

One of Robyn Young's main attractions to the historical fiction fan is her ability to create a cast of unique, engaging characters combined with the way she draws the reader into the tale. Certain events and passages within this book can be related to personal experiences within the reader's own life which makes the book appear relevant and creates a desire to continue reading in order to discover what happened to their adopted character. This is a difficult skill to hone and you will see many other authors within this field who have tried and failed to capture this essence of relevance and reader/character comparison, leaving books which are emotionless and sterile.

I can certainly state that the historical fiction fan will devour this book at a rapid rate of knots within a couple of sittings, it's that good. Robyn Young to me is an exciting relatively new author who is a breath of fresh air in a crowded genre. Her writing is simplistic and therefore engrossing, but well researched and consequently highly interesting. This is a fabulous new novel and I cannot recommend it highly enough to those of you who like me, love a dam good historical adventure.

Whether you are English, Scottish or Welsh, `Insurrection' is a book which can be read and enjoyed by all and which I believe portrays the interests of each country at this period of time in a balanced manner (as far as the history and known facts will allow!).
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Oct 2010 16:31:11 BDT
Je Salter says:
Thanks for a good review J. Cooper. You have convinced me to give it a go!

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Oct 2010 17:16:00 BDT
J. Cooper says:
Hi Je Salter,

Yes if you love historical fiction then this one is a must.

Its size appears a tad daunting at first, but don't let that put you off!

Its great.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Oct 2010 11:31:36 BDT
Je Salter says:
Thanks and I wont. Being a CJ Sansom fan I'm used to more substantial stories.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Oct 2010 14:48:20 BDT
J. Cooper says:
Ah yes, Sansom's last book `Heartstone' was a real wrist breaker!

I'm in the process of reading Ken Follett's `Fall of Giants'; now that is a tome and a half!

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Oct 2010 16:28:10 BDT
SJC no 1 fan says:
LOVE C J Sansom's books about Shardlake. Nearly finished Insurrection already _ Robyn Young was intereviewed on Radio 2 on Monday and sais she is starting to write next instalment now so at least 9 months until it will be finished unfortunately for fans.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Oct 2010 17:05:50 BDT
Last edited by the author on 27 Oct 2010 17:06:30 BDT
J. Cooper says:
Hi SJC,

Yes me too, I loved Heartstone. It was a break from the norm, but brilliant all the same.

Thanks for the update on the author's interview, wish I'd heard it. 9 Months eh!! Well hopefully that will fly by. Insurrection was definitely one of those books where you could have picked up its sequel straight away and continued reading!

You'll have to let me know what you though about it when you've finished.

Regards

Posted on 20 Aug 2011 12:22:08 BDT
Have read and completely agree read it in 2days

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2012 23:11:31 BDT
Eileen Shaw says:
This sounds great - I am looking for something along the lines of Dorothy Dunnett's two wonderful series' the Lymond saga which was 6 books, and the Niccolo saga which was 8 books. I have never come across anyone with the passion and accuracy of Dunnett. I may try this book and see if it lives up to the levels of scholarship and adventure I'm used to.
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