A cruel Courtship is as usual with Candace Robb a meticulously researched novel about the plotting and counter plotting that surrounds the claims for the throne of Scotland. Edward Longshanks has returned to England and left Scotland in turmoil.
These are the times of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. The book picks up the story in the year 1297. It is the time leading up to the battle of Stirling bridge. Margaret Kerr has moved to Stirling, primarily to discover why the person who has been providing details of the English plans has suddenly become unreliable.
Margaret's own loyalty is tested to the limit when her one time husband Roger is killed. She suspects James Comyn of the murder, a kinsman of the deposed King and the man who asked her to set up residence in Stirling. Her own position is becoming ever more precarious and a battle is imminent, as whoever holds Stirling Castle, holds the key to Scotland.
An excellent read, along with the Owen Archer books, the Margaret Kerr Mysteries are some of the best books I have read. The historical content is very good and precise, I can only wait for further Candace Robb books in a similar vain to the ones mentioned.
I always liked the writing of Candace Robb, but to be honest this time I was rather disappointed.
The story never really gets going. It stops, then goes forward, then backwards. There is no coherent development. The historical setting remains "misty" and the characters never come to life. It is a struggle to get through this book and it is quite easy to put it down. Everything seems to drag on and on. No, not my cup of tea!