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Sisters of the Bruce 1292-1314 by [Harvey, J.M.]
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Sisters of the Bruce 1292-1314 Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Length: 496 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"Sisters of the Bruce is an exceptional epic novel... by an author with an original voice" --Karenlee Thompson

About the Author

J. M. Harvey lives in Australia with her husband, their cattle dog and two goats, in the cool high country on the southern border of Queensland - the area where her Scottish grandmother and family resided from early last century. Her passions are wide and varied; Scottish medieval history, research and writing top the list.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1172 KB
  • Print Length: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Matador (30 Sept. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FK2872G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #672,998 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an unusual book being in essence historical fiction but tipping frequently into straightforward history. The epistolary style works very well in the context of the lives of the sisters of Robert the Bruce and the awful way in which some of them were treated in captivity. These letters exchanged over a period of years tell the story of the Bruce family seen very much from the female perspective in an era when women were pawns in war and politics. This is the era of William Wallace when Scotland fought England and fought itself internally with Robert the Bruce eventually triumphing as King.

One sister is married overseas and becomes Queen of Norway: she is dubious about this fate initially, but it turns out to be her salvation as those of her sisters who cannot escape to safety and the Bruce's wife are captured by Edward the First and subjected to indignity and imprisonment of the harshest kind. Their various stories become clear through the medium of the letters which shed light on the cruelty of the age itself, Edward of England in particular, and the endless power struggles within Scotland itself. Not a great time to be a woman!!

The author's research has been thorough and this shadowy period of history is brought to vivid life. The story is not rushed and you do get a sense of events playing out over long periods of time as they did in real life. I liked it very much and will read more by this author.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read several books relating The Bruce's story, but never before from the women's point of view. Most of the histories run along the same storylines. There are deviations, obviously. One author has Mary married to Neil Campbell before she was imprisoned and Colin was her son and that she died in captivity. I am of the belief she did come home to Scotland. This book actually made you think about how any human being could survive four years in a cage attached to the outside wall of a castle. But Mary Bruce and, possibly, Isabella of Buchan, did survive the harshest of punishments metered out by a king who apparently was a man who believed in chivalry!! I never really thought about Christian having a really hard time of it in a nunnery. How wrong! I am glad Miss Harvey brought Gladwys into the story. It was a shame that Ellen de Monfort's daughter could not be mentioned at the end even though she was at another nunnery and she and Gladwys probably never knew of the existence of each other. Another atrocious act of evil by Edward I. I knew Matilda existed and married Hugh of Ross but I never knew why she was not with the other Bruce women or that she had a younger sister, Margaret. Again it was interesting to, at least have a theory of what happened to Christian's daughters. I have often wondered. It was interesting to also learn that Elen was named for her grandmother, Elen of Wales, an illegitimate daughter of Llewellyn Fawr, as opposed to his and Joanna of England's Elen, Countess of Huntingdon. I enjoyed this story. I love The Bruce story, but this one was different.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I normaly read historical novels mostly fact and some fiction and the Wars of Independence are my favourite period of history.History is normaly written from the mans perspective and rarely do we hear about history from the womans point of view. The most recent was Phillipa Gregorys books about Elizabeth Woodville and Anne Neville which I admit I did not read the books but watched the tv series. This caught my attention because I had never considered how women were used as pawns by their families and no matter how high their status they were still chattels to be used and discarded. So when I got "The Sisters of the Bruce" I was hoping to get a different insight into a period I know well. I was not dispointed the characters were believable and I felt the closeness between the younger Bruce siblings and their relationship with their parents facinating. This is a well researched book and a dammed good read. Thanks to the author for extending my knowledge of the Bruces.
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By Great Historicals TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 8 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback
Sisters of the Bruce recounts history through the eyes of Robert the Bruce's sisters as told through letters they sent among each other recounting their own personal experiences. It is evident the author has done a great deal of research into the era and working hard at getting the timeline of events as accurately as possible. The story is powerful and gave me a very strong feel for the desperation and perils of war as experienced by the people. It was an era of hardship and misery and this was clearly portrayed throughout the book.

The fact that this was an expository novel, really appealed to me. And when the sisters wrote history through their own personal experiences and surroundings, I truly enjoyed the story. Sometimes, however, the novel turned dry when the character's point of view diminished into a textbook-like prose, and I struggled to keep interested. I think this novel would be better classified as "creative non-fiction" rather than "historical fiction". Nevertheless, this work is a very worthy read if only to understand the horrible treatment the women suffered as a result of the political climate and the harsh period in which they lived.
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