36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
The start of another classic trilogy,
This review is from: Insurrection: Insurrection Trilogy Book 1 (Hardcover)
"It was the voice of God. And God was furious."
Insurrection is the first in a new trilogy, centering on the adventures of Robert the Bruce, and it follows on from the same author's outstanding Templar series The Brethren trilogy. And on the evidence of this first book in the new series, it might even be going to outdo Brethren. It's that good.
The story is massive, with a large cast of characters, both Scottish and English (and French and Norwegian, come to think of it) - one of the strengths of this novel is that it tells the story from both sides, so we read almost as much of Edward I and his court, as we do of the Scots. The times were brutal for Scotland, especially for any who didn't fancy being subjects for the English. What Bruce offered his people was a sense of unity, purpose and pride. William Wallace appears, but it's Robert who is the true leader and the genius of the Scottish rebel cause.
The story is handled with immense skill, the battlescenes breathtakingly vivid (Stirling Bridge, to name but one, and Falkirk) and I thought the characters all rich and involving. Robert is at this stage in his life still quite young - he's only 23 at the end of Insurrection, and we'll no doubt see him growing more mature and experienced in the next two books, much as Will did in the Brethren trilogy. Edward I is a rich, nuanced 'villain' if villain is quite the right word. There are various intriguing subplots including an Arthurian prophecy, and more than a dash of romance - personally I prefer the more adventurous side of the story, and I can't stress it enough: this novel delivers in spades. There are also some nice touches of humour. I particularly enjoyed a rather blackly comic incident involving some solders attacked by wasps. You'll have to read it yourself to see what I mean!
All in all: five stars. I only wish I hadn't read it so fast, and now I am going to have to wait ages for the next novel in the series. Maybe I'll go back and read the Brethren books all over again in the meantime!