“At the negotiations in Irvine, it became clear to me that there was no side I could stand on. The English despise me and my countrymen don’t trust me. Wallace and the others are rebelling in the name of Balliol. I cannot fight with them. It would be as much a betrayal of my oath as when I was fighting for England. I know what I must do. What I should have done months ago.’
Robert felt embarrassed, about to say the words. Inside, his father’s voice berated him, but he silenced it. ‘I want you to weave my destiny,’ he finished. ‘As you did for my grandfather.’
When she spoke, her voice was low. ‘And what is your destiny?’
He met her eyes now, all hesitation and embarrassment gone. ‘To be King of Scotland.’
A smile appeared at the corners of her mouth. It wasn’t a soft smile. It was hard and dangerous. ‘I will need something of yours,’ she said, rising.”
The first one in a trilogy, this is the beginning of the story of Robert Bruce, the man who would unite Scotland against the English invaders and take the throne.
"Insurrection" tells the story of Robert's youth, from his days as 11 years old boy, training to become a knight, to his time in King Edward's court, where he befriends a group of young men known as The Knights of the Dragon, to the choice he makes to break with his English friends and patrons, to go against his father and take part in the rebellion led by a young warrior, a son of a knight, named William Wallace.
This is also the story of Edward, exiled in his youth, he returns to England to become a king, but his ambitions are far greater - following the prophecies of Merlin, translated by Geoffrey of Monmouth, he wishes to unite all the British kingdoms under one king - himself. To do that, he needs 4 relics, belonging to Brutus, the founder of Britain - the staff of St. Malachy from Ireland, the Stone of Destiny from Scotland, the Crown of Artur from Wales and the Sword of Mercy from England.
This is a brilliant book, very well written, with a well defined plot and a sense of time and place, telling the age-old story of growing up and making one's own path in the world.