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The King's Swift Rider: A Novel on Robert the Bruce
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The King's Swift Rider: A Novel on Robert the Bruce

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  155 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Robert the Bruce, King of Scots, led Scotland's rebel army in a thirty-year war against England. Now award-winning author Mollie Hunter tells the story of this legendary king, and of the young man who would become his swift rider and master of espionage. As Scotland's guerrilla campaign gathers bloody momentum, Martin Crawford finds himself deeply entrenched in a war to re ...more
Hardcover, 241 pages
Published October 1st 1998 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published September 30th 1998)
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Sarah Monsma
Jul 23, 2015 Sarah Monsma rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, ya
In 14th-century Scotland, sixteen-year-old Martin Crawford spies Robert the Bruce being hunted by the English. That day marks the start of Crawford's involvement in the fight for Scottish independence from the English, but he's not a warrior. Martin's wish is to be a cleric, and his involvement is as an observer, spy, and message bearer for the king. His mobility allows him to be privy to the king's strategic decisions as well as see the battles from a distance.

The King's Swift Rider provides a
May 06, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it
Heather Stewart
Robert the Bruce was the rightful king of Scotland and had been crowned as such but was not recognized by Edward, king of England. This story details the battles fought by Robert the Bruce against England and his own Scotsmen to gain freedom for his country. The accounts of the battles he fought with so few men and won were heartwarming you could feel in your own heart the people of Scotland rally to their king. It is told from the perspective a young boy who joined the k
Daniel Blevins
Oct 07, 2016 Daniel Blevins rated it liked it
Learning about history's past can be quite astonishing, especially when you find an event that catches your eye. "The King's Swift Rider: A novel on Robert the Bruce" is a terrific tale. Mollie Hunter tells us of the story long ago about Robert the Bruce, who did what he could to gain Scotland's freedom and to defeat England. In my opinion, the consequences and the battles that took place would not have happened if the King's swift rider, Martin Crawford, had not gone about from land to land spr ...more
Rachel Scoresby
Jan 15, 2016 Rachel Scoresby rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Preview: Sixteen year old Martin Crawford first saw the man as he was checking his rabbit traps. The man was being hunted -- hotly pursued by his own bloodhounds and a group of armed soldiers along the peat crags. In less than a minute Martin knew how to save the man's life. He distracted the hounds with the scent of his newly killed rabbits, allowing the hunted man to escape, but receiving a beating from the soldiers for his efforts. The first next day, the hunted man shows up at Martin's door ...more
Sep 04, 2007 Cindy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of historical fiction, teachers, older boys
This book opens with a manhunt. Martin is hunting rabbits for his family's dinner when he sees a man being pursued by English soldiers. He decides to help the man escape. Later the man arrives at his home to thank him for his help. The man is actually Robert the Bruce, King of the Scots. He asks Martin and his brother to help him fight for Scotland's freedom from the English. Martin is no soldier. But he agrees to go with the king and help him in other ways. Martin begins as a page, but Robert s ...more
Both typical and better than average young adult historical fiction. As with so much of the genre, this book is a first person narrative of a fictional, but probable young character who works closely with the main historical figure, Robert the Bruce. However, unlike many of the "diaries" and other YA novels, it never imposes modern sensibilities, morals, or assumptions on the character or the reader. In addition, it sticks as much as possible to historical events--mostly battles--that make it a ...more
Joseph Colony
Oct 22, 2010 Joseph Colony rated it really liked it
Overall, very good story line. I think that basis idea of it, being the retaliation of Robert the Bruce aided by a boy named Martin, is a very interesting concept. Possibly the reason that I liked this book as much to rate it four stars is that is a partial non-fiction story. The events that happened in the British invasion of Scotland are incorporated into this tale, and this is what really ties the knot for a pleased reader. If you are looking for excitement and adventure in a novel , then be ...more
Bish Denham
May 16, 2014 Bish Denham rated it really liked it
Except for a few stylistic adverbs that could have been eliminated or changed, this is an excellent novel about Robert the Bruce's unwavering quest to free Scotland from English tyranny. It is told through the eyes of Martin, a young boy who inadvertently saves the Bruce and who then becomes the king's swift rider, a person who delivers messages to the king's various friends and allies. Martin also spies for him. I got a good sense of the history that was happening during those turbulent years o ...more
Jan 16, 2008 elissa rated it really liked it
A 6th or 7th grade boy came in to the library one day and told me that this was HIS FAVORITE BOOK EVER, and I just HAD to read it. He wanted more books like it. I think he ended up with some fantasies, even though this is historical fiction. I was hoping he'd come back, so I read it myself, and got help compiling a list of more books like it. I never saw him again. Oh well, but it was worth reading. Set in Scotland in the middle ages.
Feb 28, 2009 Seth rated it liked it
Though I've never seen Braveheart (I know, weird right?) I have always cherished tales of Robert the Bruce and William Wallace. This book is one of the best. The story follows a young boy in service to the Bruce as Scotland rebels against English rule. The writing is well done, the story is excellent, and the characters have depth--what more could you ask for?
Christian Gash
Martin really has his hands full helping the King but he also does a very good job of it. The king asks many tasks of Martin and he never seems to fail. This book was definatly a good read, and a quick one. the book really caught my attention and left me wanting to read more and more. i recommend this book to everyone, u will really enjoy
Feb 02, 2011 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen, historical
Martin is hunting when he sees a man being hunted by soldiers. He discovers the man is Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, so he leads the soldiers away. While Martin refuses to fight in the King's army, he feels a duty to help free his people. He becomes a messenger and spy for the King and helps turn the final battle for freedom for his country.
May 14, 2011 Marissa rated it really liked it
An interesting historical fiction book about a boy, Martin's, experiences with Robert the Bruce and Scotland's War of Independence. It is fascinating to learn more about the war and the time period, and Martin makes for an engaging main character.
Kimberly Lord
Jul 29, 2015 Kimberly Lord rated it really liked it
Very good storytelling and admirable presentation of Robert the Bruce as he leads his men in the liberation of Scotland from the English. It appears the Bruce was a brilliant tactician in leadership and warfare.
Mar 26, 2011 Angelyn rated it really liked it
Since Robert the Bruce is in my husbands ancestry and William Wallace is in mine I thought I should read some books on him. This is the first and I loved it. It's a great story for children ages 12 and up. Action packed with lots of struggles.
Michelle Buckley
Oct 17, 2009 Michelle Buckley rated it liked it
Overall it was pretty good...there were some slower parts but I think it had a good balance of battles and less intense moments.
Apr 24, 2009 Laurie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
I loved this book about a young boy who becomes an assistant to Robert the Bruce, as they defend Scotland from the British.
Lissaleo rated it liked it
Jul 08, 2013
Andrew rated it really liked it
Feb 07, 2012
Natalie Anderson
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Sep 23, 2011
Norm Madge
Norm Madge rated it really liked it
May 01, 2013
Jessica rated it it was ok
Nov 28, 2007
Carol Buchanan
Carol Buchanan rated it liked it
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May 27, 2009
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Maureen Mollie Hunter McIlwraith writes under the name Mollie Hunter. Mollie Hunter is one of the most popular and influential twentieth-century Scottish writers of fiction for children and young adults. Her work, which includes fantasy, historical fiction, and realism, has been widely praised and has won many awards and honors, such as the Carnegie Medal, the Phoenix Award, a Boston Globe - Horn ...more
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