The stubborn and rebellious Scots have resisted Edward 1st of England’s attempts to add the Crown of Scotland to that of England. With furious determination, Edward sets about bringing Scotland under his control. As one failed campaign follows another, he risks financial ruin, open rebellion amongst his own nobles, the condemnation of the Pope and the enmity of powerful European kings. His determination to be remembered as the ‘Hammer of the Scots’ condemns Scotland to ten long years of slaughter, burning, rape and pillage.
Through intrigue, cunning and cruelty, he slowly but surely extinguishes the flames of rebellion until only embers of patriotism remain amongst the peasantry. How can commoners like the men of Scotstoun stand against proud Edward’s might, when their superiors are crushed or lose courage and bend the knee?
The First War of Scottish Independence rumbles on and brings more slaughter, suffering and brutality to a country which has done nothing to invite such savagery across its border. Once again, John Edward and his men of Scotstoun are caught up in the power struggles of Edward Plantagenet, King Philip of France, Pope Boniface and the noble families of England and Scotland. The fight for Scotland’s freedom takes them on a perilous journey encompassing the rape of Northern England, the Battle of Falkirk, the Battle of Roslin, the Battle of Courtrai, the court of Philip the Fair of France and the court of Pope Boniface in Rome. These ordinary men find themselves mired in intrigue, betrayal and mortal danger as King Edward struggles to defeat William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and John Comyn in an epic attempt to forge Britain into a single, united kingdom. As one friend after another falls victim to Edward’s insatiable appetite for power, the men of Scotstoun must fight on alone and keep the flame of freedom alive.
History has seldom seen such a spirited and resolute defence of liberty in the face of powerful, barbaric tyranny.