With the heir to the throne murdered, King Robert the Third a sick weakling, and his remaining son a child, Scotland and the Stewarts who ruled her were in a bad way three generations on from the great Bruce. But two young men stood out, Alex Stewart, bastard son of the notorious Wolf of Badenoch, and his cousin, brave John of Coull, a son of the hated Regent.
With their fortunes are entwined those of Sir Jamie Douglas, through whose eyes the story is told. A landless fugitive disgraced after the Battle of Homildon, Jamie was to travel far before his fortunes or Scotland's were repaired. Nigel Tranter's stirring retelling of this turbid period of Scottish history takes events from the Borders to the Highlands, west to the wild coast of MacLeod pirates and Donald of the Isles, and east to the careful council chambers of the Aberdonian merchants.
It tells of an embassage to London to sue for an heir to the Scottish throne kept prisoner by Henry the Fourth in the Tower of London and of further diplomatic travels to the Low Countries and France beside; of the formal pomp and violence of a tournament, the dash of privateering off the Thames Estuary in rakish Islesmen's galleys, and the grief of battle when too great a price is paid where the story ends at Red Harlaw.
Nigel Tranter deals with some of the most extraordinary and even bizarre events in Scottish history in this concluding book of his great trilogy of novels which chart the rise against all odds of the Royal House of Stewart.