When Robert the Bruce died, in 1329, he left a free and independent Scotland as hard-won legacy - but also he left only a five year old son David the Second, as monarch. Moreover, most of the hero-king's gallant band of lieutenants had died or were aged, and the nation was suddenly lacking in leadership. Edward the Third of England saw his opportunity, and despite the recently signed treaty of peace, within three year's renewed the war against Scotland and sent up Edward Balliol, son of the former and sorry King John Balliol, to be puppet-king in subservience to himself.
So, thus suddenly, it was almost as though the Bruce had never been, and the northern kingdom was once again fighting to retain her precious independence and identity. In the years of struggle which followed, two names stand out heroically as leaders, Sir William Douglas, the Knight of Liddesdale, known as the Flower of Chivalry, son of Bruce's greatest friend the Good Sir James Douglas; and Sir Alexander Ramsey of Dalwolsey,
These two, friends and comrades-in-arms, did more than any others, in daring, gallantry and initiative, to save their country. And yet something went wrong between them, which was to cause one of the most dire and desperate happenings in even Scotland's violent and dramatic story - the flowering of chivalry cankered in the heart.
In this exciting and sometimes terrible story of love and hate, victory and defeat, heroism and treachery, Nigel Tranter once again brings Scottish history vibrantly and passionately to life.