Review: A Kingdom’s Cost by J.R. Tomlin

    A Kingdom’s Cost
J.R. Tomlin; Kindle Edition
Published April 28th 2011
Eighteen-year-old James Douglas can only watch, helpless, as the Scottish freedom fighter, William Wallace, is hanged, drawn, and quartered. Even under the heel of a brutal English conqueror, James’s blood-drenched homeland may still have one hope for freedom, the rightful king of the Scots, Robert the Bruce. James swears fealty to the man he believes can lead the fight against English tyranny.
The Bruce is soon a fugitive, king in name and nothing more. Scotland is occupied, the Scottish resistance crushed. Only James believes their cause is not lost. With driving determination, he blazes a path in blood and violence, in cunning and ruthlessness as he wages a guerrilla war to restore Scotland’s freedom. James knows he risks sharing Wallace’s fate, but what he truly fears is that he has become as merciless as the conqueror he fights.

Well, wasn’t this a surprise! I haven’t read this sort of book since I was in 7th grade, that’s when I read books like Dumas’s The Three Musketeers and these sort of sword-fight historical fiction novels, this read had a melancholic flavor.

I loved the classic beauty of the writing, the voices of the characters, the intrigue, all awesomeness. I’m a romantic, so while I enjoy contemporary writing and love its qualities, I’m thoroughly partial to classic writing, with beautiful, rich phrasing, with that sort of antique tone of language, with antique worlds altogether.

Did I enjoy the history aspect of it in itself? Not necessarily, I’m not a history buff, but I won’t forgo a good book just because it features something I’m not necessarily crazy about. Of course, you can’t know if it’s a good book before reading it, so my advice would be don’t let preconceived ideas kill your natural curiosity, try things out and evaluate them based on their own characteristics, don’t think of things in general terms, especially when it comes to books. I mean, if you’re not a history buff, it could all just as well be total fiction to you anyways 😀

The plot had a very clean, well-built line, it made fabulous sense and the scenes flowed effortlessly, or at least that’s how they read. I felt totally carried into the events and the atmosphere the book describes, and it was more like a trivia thing to read the historical notes about the characters at the end of the book. Some history-inspired books have this sort of roundabout way of getting up to speed on what the deal is, that’s one of the things I didn’t like about studying history in school, but I didn’t get that feeling at all with this book which goes to prove it’s a beautifully done historical fiction novel.

This is a more like 3 and a half rating then a full 4, I will say, and here’s the why: as far as characters go, I encountered the same issue I’ve always had with characters from historically flavored books, I didn’t get in tune with them much. I liked them, I rooted for them, and I suffered for them, most certainly, but in a sort of non-personal way. I think that has to do with the fact that I don’t feel as much invested personally in them because their world is not fantasy, but realistic, a realistic world that I have no real connection to directly, so there’s less to identify with or daydream about then in non-historical books.

Overall, it was a very pleasant reading experience, I love getting some classic beauty in my plethora of read-genres. I say try this out, if you’re into historical novels, it’s got emotion, adventure, some romance, bravery, determination, all the good stuff, so don’t miss out.





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