Top positive review
Plots and More Plots all for a Crown
Reviewed in the United States on August 11, 2017
This book is the first book in a wonderful series about a newly created group of Highlanders -- "The Highland Bodyguard". The Bodyguards have an important assignment -- to protect the powerless against England's covert attempts to eliminate people England deems a threat. These Highlanders are to be assigned to various missions by Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland.
The Highlanders are not very thrilled by the assignments, in part, because they are being typically assigned to protect English women and children.
In this story, Ansel Sutherland is assigned the job of protecting the illegitimate son of the Earl of Lancaster, a despised Lord who has come to the Bruce attempting on the surface anyway to establish an alliance with the Scots. Ansel sets out for England and the castle of Dunstanburg, near the town of Embleton. Embleton is a newly established town that serves as the home for servants and other workers at the castle, including those masons, carpenters, and others building the castle walls, turrents, and gates.
Ansel is surprised and disappointed when he finds the castle is incomplete and largely unprotected. There is no garrison of warriors or other protections. He realizes he has a huge job to do; later taking on the repair and preparations for completing the castle as well as training people to defend the castle.
The real challenge he faces lies in the secretive and protective Lady Isolda. She refuses to tell Ansel where the child he is to protect is hidden. Only reluctantly does she later reveal that charge to be protected is her and the Earl of Lancaster's son! Later, after an attempt is made on her life by a hired worker, she shares some information with Ansel. The Earl of Lancaster has his eye on the crown of England. He sees England's Edward II as weak and he, Lancaster sees himself as better suited for the crown. However, Robert the Bruce, believing the Earl is sincere has assigned Ansel to protect, John, the Earl's son.
The story has several twists and turns including a change in how Ansel feels about his assignment, John, and Isolda in particular. Ansel learns, among other things, that the Earl is not to be trusted and that his ambitions make life very difficult for Ansel and the charges he must protect. No, I won't give away all of the plot but this is a story well worth reading. Once I started the book I could not put it down!