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The Lion at Bay (The Kingdom Series) by [Low, Robert]
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The Lion at Bay (The Kingdom Series) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in The Kingdom Series (3 Book Series)

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Length: 434 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

Praise for The Oathsworn Series:

‘Robert Low’s Oathsworn series is historical writing at its best and most full-blooded, with its tremendous pacing, black comedy, a wonderfully vivid and rough-hewn prose style like runes hacked into granite, and most appealingly of all, its doomy, pagan sense of comradeship-unto-death between Orm Rurikson and his band of Viking brothers’
WILLIAM NAPIER

'A company of warriors, desperate battles, an enthralling read'
BERNARD CORNWELL

'A fantastic book, one of the best I have read for years. There's a wonderful earthiness to proceedings and he creates a tangible sense of being there. There's a sturdy, lyrical and epic quality about the writing which makes it feel like the kind of saga a Viking would recount in his old age.'
SIMON SCARROW

About the Author

RRobert Low has been a journalist and writer since the age of seventeen. 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 his summers fighting furiously in helmet and mail in shieldwalls all over Britain and winters training hard. He lives in Largs, Scotland.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1054 KB
  • Print Length: 434 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (16 Feb. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0061RRMTS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #111,266 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first episode about Robert Bruce (The Lion Wakes) was good. This one is even better. This is partly because the "brogue", which was responsible for very mixed reviews of the previous episode, has been significantly toned down, although still present, and a glossary has even been provided for some terms. It also may have something to do with the gore, smells, squalor, poor hygiene and diseases, which are also still present, but also toned down. The result of this fine tuning is a much better balanced book where form does not distract from substance.

As usual with the author's books, the story is well told, engaging and "sounds and feels" real. One thing that I found particularly interesting was the author's descriptions of fights and battles, with fighters becoming quickly exhausted after half an hour (or less) of fighting and combattants being able to survive most blows, at least when armoured. Another interesting feature is that even "experienced" fighters such as our hero Hal seem to miss as often as they hit their target in fights. In other words, no "super-hero" and the author has clarly emphasized everything that may make the story feel "real". Another element which I very much appreciated was Law's description of "Longshanks" (aka Edward the First) and of his relationship with his much less capable and much weaker son, Edward II. It also felt very much "real", with the author having done some in-depth research and coming up with fully fleshed historical characters.

As to who betrayed William Wallace to the English, we will probably never know for sure. The author chose to have Bruce's henchman do it. This is plausible since Robert Bruce would clearly be one of the prime beneficiaries of Wallace's removal, a point that is well made in the book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Read this after reading the excellent Whale Road series. An interesting period of Scottish history. Well researched and intelligent writing. Superb.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gripping series. Thoroughly enjoying.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Following on from The Lion Wakes, this book continues the story of Hal, laird of Herdmanston, caught up in the Bruce rebellion against Edward Longshanks.

Though fictionalised, the story is based on the actual events of the times and with a good degree of historical accuracy. Low relishes describing the horror of combat and in this bloody period of history he can and does give full rein to his imagination - each death, and there are many of them, is more gruesome than the last. Low is also a master at conveying the barbaric conditions of the time: the filth, the smells, the disease. As was true of the time, the lives of the fighting men are hard and often short, while the women are almost entirely subservient to their fathers or husbands. Mixed in with the fighting and politics is the continued story of Hal's love, Countess Isabel, who is based on a true character. Strong and wilful, Isabel has defied her powerful husband and he is now seeking revenge on both her and Hal.

Low writes well and powerfully and, while the book is laced with Scottish dialect, I feel this has been toned down quite a bit since the first book and should be more easily accessible to non-Scots. There is a glossary of Scots terms, though, if needed, and also a list of characters telling which are real and which fictional. I would suggest reading this after the book since it includes a potted history of some of the real characters which could be plot spoilers for anyone who doesn't know the ins and outs of the history of this period.
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Format: Hardcover
What could be better than sitting back and letting long gone names and fictional ones come alive? How about letting those same names roar and rage in your mind while a world of plots, counterplots and ambitions build to later battle scenes so stunning you can’t turn the pages fast enough or finding yourself in a back drop where you swear you can hear the metal clang of swords or smell the wood smoke, dampened earth and cold stones. That’s exactly what I experience when I enter into the captivating world that Mr. Low has created and with his masterful no quarter storytelling, night easily turns to daylight outside this reader’s window. It’s that good and I can't stop recommending it to anyone who will listen. First and foremost though I am honest and share that Mr. Low doesn’t shy away from realistic ruthless scenes of brutal history that may not be for everyone but if it suits those- they’re in for a rollicking ride where cunning and betrayals reign and it is easy to say chivalry is dying but a few remain that uphold the ancient traditions of love, honor and loyalty (it is up to you to look deeper into certain characters and I strongly recommend starting at the beginning with The Lion Wakes (Kingdom #1)).

Of course there is much more to these books than graphic depictions of the past, in The Lion at Bay (Kingdom #2) more chapters of mystery, olden relics, madness and poignant passages of revelations are showcased between galloping action scenes that only adds to the overall different facets of this saga and brilliantly sets it apart from so many other familiar retellings of the tempestuous affairs between Scotland and England during the late 13th to early 14th centuries.
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