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The Crown in the Heather (The Bruce Trilogy #1)

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  1,385 Ratings  ·  125 Reviews
In 1290, Scotland is without a king. Two families-the Bruces and the Balliols-vie for the throne.

Robert the Bruce is in love with Elizabeth de Burgh, the daughter of an adherent of the ruthless Longshanks, King of England. In order to marry her and not give up his chances of someday becoming King of Scots, Robert must abandon his rebel ways and bide his time as Longshanks'
Paperback, 298 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Cader Idris Press (first published March 23rd 2010)
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Unfortunately, Braveheart has ruined me for Scottish historical fiction.

Despite Mel Gibson taking a drunken header off my “favorite actor” list after his MANY bigoted, “I’ve got anger issues” rants that proclaimed to the world his extreme ASSholiness, Braveheart is pure gore-dripping, cinematic gold. A wonderfully delicious combo of testosterone-drenched, violent war-porn accompanied by a symphony of heartstring-tugging, tear-producing melodrama sure to warm the cockles.

All that, plus face pai
Feb 01, 2011 Barb rated it did not like it
All the positively glowing reviews I've read about this book had me eagerly awaiting its delivery and excitedly anticipating sinking my teeth into some wonderfully detailed Scottish history.

Now that I have finished the book I'm scratching my head and wondering if this can possibly be the same book? I'm sad to say that I can not offer any glowing praise for this book except to say thank goodness it wasn't any longer than it was. Could it have been worse...absolutely. Could it have been better...
Apr 29, 2015 Janine rated it did not like it
I started this book with the expectation of reading a good historical about Robert the Bruce. What I found was a story full of Mary Sues and Marty Stus with modern-day sentimentalities that have no business being in a historical novel. Apart from the incredibly slow pace, the author chose to skip over those times in history that defined these very real people and concentrated the story on the boring parts. My advice when writing a historical, don't be afraid to show your subjects for who they ...more
Paul Reid
Jun 11, 2010 Paul Reid rated it it was amazing
"The Crown in the Heather" is an exceptionally well-written novel, brought to life particularly by the stunning scenery of Scotland and the writer's wonderful talent for enacting human drama. It's a story of both triumph and despair, of courage and fear, with prose that is infused with irresistable touches of imagery and pace. Such is the writer's ability to engage the reader that I found this nigh-on impossible to put down.

The story chronicles the struggles and challenges of Robert the Bruce i
Jun 16, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
If you're expecting romance, like the sneak-peek video implies, you may be disappointed. There is a wee bit of romance, but mainly it's historical fiction, telling the story of Robert the Bruce. It's written with three narratives with the chapter title telling the reader whose voice they're listening to - Robert the Bruce, James Douglas and Edward II. I've read Sasson's 'Isabeau: A Novel of Queen Isabella and Sir Roger Mortimer and it's written in the same style. It's well done and give
Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms)
Sep 09, 2010 Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms) rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves Scotland & history
I really enjoyed this book. I would have to say that if you are not interested in Scottish history it might be a little dry for you. Since I love reading about these times I thoroughly enjoyed it. For those not familiar it is during the time period the movie Brave Heart was done although Brave Heart is not strictly historically correct. During my read I rented the History Channel documentary about Brave Heart and the real history of the late 1200's and early 1300's. This book brought life to ...more
Michelle Duncan
Complex to the point of confusion.

I liked the way the culture of the time was illuminated. But I had a terrible time sorting out the characters. Would have appreciated a link between chapters connecting them a bit more firmly. Maybe the author presumes a better understanding of history on the part of the reader.
Lisa Yarde
Aug 08, 2010 Lisa Yarde rated it it was amazing
“Whenever we want something, we must weigh the cost of getting it. A farthing is a fair price for a loaf of bread. Two shillings for a yard of wool. But what price will a man pay to be his own master?”

This question is at the heart of N. Gemini Sasson’s debut, The Crown in the Heather – The Bruce Trilogy: Book I, and it is the primary concern driving the central character of Robert the Bruce. Heir to the earldom of Carrick, Robert grows up headstrong and impulsive. Under the tutelage of his grand
May 04, 2011 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
Check out this review and others on my blog: http://historicalfictionobsession.blo...

This book was actually listed on Amazon as a suggestion for me, and the price was right so I ordered it through my Kindle. I am definitely glad that I did! It has everything I love about the historical fiction genre, and is the best novel I've read in quite awhile. There is betrayal, war, love affairs, death, and amazing descriptions of the beautiful scenery that Scotland provides.
I'm not sure how historically
Wendy Bertsch
Jul 04, 2012 Wendy Bertsch rated it really liked it
The medieval struggle of the Scots for independence from England is told through the voices of 3 narrators: James Stewart, Prince Edward (to become Edward II of England) and Robert the Bruce himself. In a time of turmoil and perfidy, Robert attempts to bring together the pugnacious Scots in a cobbled alliance against the English King Edward Longshanks. Young James Stewart develops a deep respect and loyalty toward the Bruce, while the perverse Prince Edward impatiently awaits his father’s death ...more
Jul 11, 2012 Rob rated it it was ok
I wasn't wild about this book - Sasson is a good author, but I wouldn't call her a great author. She attempts to tell the story of Robert the Bruce through the eyes of Robert and two other characters. Sections of the book are told from one character's perspective, then she switches and tells another section from another character's perspective. The only problem is that she is unsuccessful at changing the style of narrative when switching the character. To me, the voice of each section sounds ...more
Jan 17, 2012 Ambre rated it liked it
So, to start with, this is historical fiction featuring a romance, not historical romance. If your appreciation for Scottish history begins and ends with "Hot Highland Hunks," this book is not for you. The author attempted, and was successful at, DEromantacizing the Scots battle for independence and the major players therin. This book is about the painful, gritty reality of fighting an empire bent on destroying a culture.

That said, it was just a little boring. There were so many people mentione
Eric Wright
Sep 01, 2012 Eric Wright rated it really liked it
Sasson does a good job of immersing us in the conflict between England the Scots during the time of Edward the First and Robert, the Bruce. Sympathies naturally lie more with the Scots than the English whose brutal attrocities perpetrated on Scottish nobles and towns continue to resound through history. Robert, the Bruce is a heroic but tragic figure doomed to either bow to the English crown or flee through the forests. Sasson tells the tale from multiple viewpoints, some of which are English ...more
Feb 25, 2011 Jenny rated it really liked it
Read on my Kindle. Great story and I look forward to reading the next in the series.
Kathy Dyer
Jun 20, 2015 Kathy Dyer rated it liked it
interesting style where each chapter is a character speaking in first person
Ian R. Miller
Oct 02, 2016 Ian R. Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
History Brought to Life

My love of Scottish history comes from my parents. My first history book was Scott's "Tales of a Grandfather" and here is another to match it. Part story, part historical fact it brings to life the trials of Scotland as it sought freedom from the yolk of Edward 1 of England. The author ha the gift of a teller of tales combined with historical accuracy.

Feb 26, 2011 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
"Each night when I lie down, bathed in the rank sweat of a day's pressed march, I am so weary I neither stir nor dream in my sleep. For weeks, I have felt neither the cushion of a pillow beneath my cheek, nor the caress of a blanket upon my shoulders."

This is how The Crown in the Heather begins, with engrossing imagery and immediate sympathy. And for me, it never let up. With each chapter, I not only learned more of this era of Scottish history, one in which I am most interested, but I grew to k
This novel is written in first person with alternating points of view among Robert the Bruce, James Douglas, and Longshank’s son Prince Edward (Edward II). I feel like a broken record but I’m still not a fan of this - I believe that if you’re writing in first person, you should stick to one point of view. If you want multiple points of view, write in third person. But with it’s growing popularity, I’ve kind of had to put my feelings on it aside.

Even so, there were things I really liked about thi
Rae Sontheyon
Feb 24, 2015 Rae Sontheyon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Historical Fiction is not the same as Historical Romance. Yes, there is some romance in this story, but it is not the main point of the story. So if you are looking for that, then this is may not be your type of book. However, if you are looking for a book pertaining to Scotland in the 14th century about it's history and the drama that enfolded between England and Scots then this a great choice.
The story begins in a later time when Robert the Bruce is on t
Cassidy Hara
Sep 22, 2016 Cassidy Hara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very well written. Love reading about my ancestry. When Wallace showed up, albeit in the background which is fine, I still squealed to read another ancestor of mine ❤️
Oct 18, 2016 Linda rated it it was ok
A 3.5 star read for me. I was almost 50% through the book before I felt a real connection with the characters. To be honest I don't know much about Scottish history other then seeing the movie Braveheart and reading 2 books on Mary Queen of Scots and having also read all of the Outlander series. I also was somewhat confused with the political intrigue. I did like how the story was told through the POV of 3 different main characters: Robert the Bruce, James "Black" Douglas and Edward, Prince of ...more
Jun 25, 2012 Abigail rated it liked it
Robert the Bruce must balance his love of Scotland with consideration for the powerful English who can deeply affect his country's future and his chance for the crown.

As historical fiction goes, this covers a section of history and historical figures that I would love to see more of, medieval Scotland, Robert the Bruce, William Wallace, etc. We see so much fiction set in England and the English monarchy, it's refreshing to read a book where the English are more or less the villans. Don't get me
Autumn Shelley
**Copied from my original review on Amazon**
Disclosure: Purchased from Book Bub or Pixel-Scroll. I am in no way affiliated with this author.
With that being said, I WANTED to like this book, A+ for a beautiful, eye-catching cover. I read this book through to the end despite having a lot of trouble keeping up with the author changing from one character's point of view to another. Since there is more than one Robert, the reader must work hard to keep them straight. I didn't care for this aspect as
When King Alexander of Scotland dies in 1290 without an heir, the Scots regret their mistake of asking Edward I of England to make the choice for them between Robert the Bruce and John Balliol, both of whom are descended distantly from King David of Scotland. Edward does nothing without seeing what’s in it for him, and after siding with Balliol, it isn’t long before he is nothing more than a puppet master for King Edward. The Scots desire freedom and soon know there is going to be a huge price ...more
The Crown in the Heather is the first book in a trilogy about Robert the Bruce. This book covers the period from 1290 - 1306 and details the politics surrounding the fight for Scottish independence and the Bruce's fight for the crown. The story was told from the viewpoints of Robert the Bruce, James Douglas, and Prince Edward of England, and while the changing perspective should have kept the story from getting stale, I think it interfered with character development and pacing. All the narrators ...more
Oct 01, 2012 Sallie rated it liked it
Another book downloaded to my Nook for free. I decided I needed something besides cozy mysteries and classics on my Nook. Plus anything to do with Scotland, I'm ready to read.

10/1/12 - I finished this book while sitting on a deck overlooking the Feather River while visiting a friend last weekend. I had some trouble at the change of POV of characters from Robert the Bruce to James Douglas or other characters, but otherwise I did enjoy this book. Since it was free to my Nook, and is only #1 of the
Sheila Carsins
May 09, 2015 Sheila Carsins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well Written and Well told.

One of the most interesting things about this book is the absence of any women of much note. The story is dominated by men, and their struggles and intrigues. I would have liked to have learned a lot more about the part that William Wallace had in this historical fight for freedom from the English, and why the English considered him such a threat that his death was dealt so cruelly, and with such vengeance, and anger by Longshanks. Why was it so significant to catch Wa
Mar 21, 2015 Miranda rated it liked it
I am neither an expert nor even proficient in this prolific period of time. That being said, I am relatively certain modern liberties were taken when composing this manuscript, and though I can understand the want to humanize in relation to the 20/21 century a person, I found, especially in the case of the Bruce, it forced de-masculinization. Based solely on his success, this man was driven beyond any but the most hardened of today's warriors' comprehension. Stopping before I slip in any ...more
Aug 24, 2010 Steven rated it really liked it
This book was surprising to me in many ways. First, it was refreshing to read a historical novel where events and characters were portrayed with reasonable accuracy. Second, it was a real delight to read a book written by a woman who didn't imbue her female characters with anachronistic attitudes and behaviors. Sasson's characters were not only well rounded but were true to their time. Third, the descriptions of battle and personal combat were surprisingly good. This has not been my experience ...more
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Former teacher and track coach. Runner, gardener, dog lover and sometimes farmer. Author of medieval historical fiction: The Crown in the Heather (The Bruce Trilogy: Book I), Worth Dying For (The Bruce Trilogy: Book II) and Isabeau, A Novel of Queen Isabella and Sir Roger Mortimer.
More about N. Gemini Sasson...

Other Books in the Series

The Bruce Trilogy (3 books)
  • Worth Dying For (The Bruce Trilogy, #2)
  • The Honor Due a King (The Bruce Trilogy, #3)

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“Of Scotland, I cherished both the sprawling days of summer, when dusk and dawn were one, and the witching darkness of winter, when I would warm my hands by the hearth while song and company wrapped themselves around me like a cloak against the cold. I loved the height and breadth of the mountains and the mysterious depth of the lochs.” 1 likes
“What irony that in these months since I've been king, not for a day have I lived like one.” 0 likes
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