It was almost inevitable that, in the 15th century, the new Scots royal House of Stewart would have come to conclusions with the great and puissant House of Douglas. When the subject is mightier and more princely than his monarch, however loyal, trouble looms. Young Will Douglas, 8th Earl, greatest and most illustrious of his famous line, was born to almost unbelievable power, influence - and trouble. With a boy-king on an uneasy throne, and scoundrels ruling Scotland, the death of Will's curious father pitchforked him into destiny. An unwilling paladin, he was nevertheless cast in the heroic mould, a quiertly decisive young man of action, with a conscience, in an age when might was very much right, and the end justified the means.
Foremost noble of Scotland, and military commander of the realm while still in his teens, Will Douglas fought his strange and lonely battle. For though the Black Douglas could call on thousands of men at the merest crook of his finger, and moreover had five brothers close at his back, he was a lonely man. And when he wed the greatest heiress and most famed beauty of the land, the Fair Maid of Galloway, his loneliness was hardly lessened.
His struggle was complicated by the demands of vengeance. His cousin, the 6th Earl, had been decoyed and shamefully murdered in the presence of the young monarch, by no less than Crichton, Chancellor, or Prime Minister, and Livingstone, the King's Guardian. Douglas, for centuries, had been a name to tremble at, in Scotland and well down into England. Douglas blood and the Douglas name cried out to be avenged, and in a day when the sword ruled. Yet Will was not a vengeful man. Moreover, his ancestors, generation after generation, had served Scotland - and Scotland was badly in need of serving.
Read here, in Nigel Tranter's exciting and zestful novel, how the Black Douglas compounded conscience and vengeance with loyalty and love. Read how it all ended in one of the great mysteries of Scotland's story - why James the Second made fantastic history by turning personal assassin at Stirling in 1452.
This is the stuff of high drama.
Hush ye, hush ye, little pet ye
Hush ye, hush ye, do not fret ye,
The Black Douglas shall not get ye.