Book Jacket

 

rank 3376
word count 18062
date submitted 19.01.2011
date updated 05.05.2012
genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
classification: moderate
incomplete

Clansman

Linton Wood

1689, the Scottish crown is turmoil. Catholic King James is usurped by his protestant son-in-law, William. Rebellion flares and two young Highlanders join the fray.

 

When they unwittingly foil an assassination attempt on a prominent Jacobite Earl, James and Angus MacGregor, two young Highland clansmen, are thrust into a vipers nest of murder and political intrigue for which they are wholly unprepared. A mission to Edinburgh to warn leaders of the Jacobite cause goes badly wrong and they are forced to fight for their lives within the city walls. Beset by enemies the chase continues into the glens until this small spark ignites of flames of rebellion, beginning a conflict that will drench The Highlands in blood for generations.

Clansman is a traditional 17th century tale of heroic adventure with a cast of colourful characters and historical battles that aim to thrill the reader and inspire interest in British history.

 
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tags

battle, clan, clansman, claymore, edinburgh, england, flintlock, highland, highlander, jacobite, killiecrankie, musket, pistol, scotland, sword, war

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43 comments

 

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R.E. Ader wrote 653 days ago

Very impressed, well written. I rated it highly.

AudreyB wrote 694 days ago

I stumbled upon your book while thanking Egon Tausch for backing mine. What a marvelous romp! I was attracted by the fact that it's about Scotland but am not normally a reader of historical fiction. Perhaps I should take it up. I began reading and didn't take a breath until I reached the end of the sixth chapter. Pacing, characterization, dialog, they're all flawless. I would have liked a few more ye's instead of you's, and I thought it odd that James and Angus couldn't imagine a large house after having climbed four stories, but otherwise I read along in happy anticipation. Well done!

~AudreyB
Forgiveness Fits

Please don't feel like you need to do a return read. I have a feeling you don't read much YA Christian fiction.

Tarzan For Real wrote 711 days ago

Linton this is well written and detailed in it's research. I was drawn in from the pitch through the first couple of chapters. I will read further, review, and give more thorough comments. Once I get some room this will go on the WL and shelfR.--JL

fledglingowl wrote 712 days ago

Linton, loving this. I love a story full of action and strong characters and the Clansman has all that. Only made it through the first three chapters, but love your vivid characterization and twisted plot. The pace is perfect. Only found a few head-scratchers (maybe the only one confused), but if youre like me, its good to have help finding them.
Ch1. typo -- four storey structure -- four story
after checking the he moved -- what did he check?
Ch. 2.Tam returns the weapons the highlanders had on them - but what about Angus' sword and plaid that were abandoned below the daughter's window. I'm sure if someone in the castle found them - it would have been awkward. But with the door unlocked, I expected Angus or James to sneak out and retrieve them. Can't imagine a warrior leaving his sword. If Tam returned them to Angus, would have expected some reaction from him.
Near the end of the chapter you write lyrically, 'any rebellion will be like dust on the wind" which reminded me of a song, so it might be a cliche
Ch. 3 Tam had a constructed a small hearth -- had constructed a small hearth
houses that tower as high a small -- omission? -- as a small mountain
There's a paragraph where you begin in James thoughts, the memory was a cherished one for James, but then you change viewpoint to Angus to express how he felt.
The witch woman, able read the future of others -- omission? -- able to read the
Anyway, the writing is lovely, your men yummy, and I will definitely be back to read more.
High stars, keeping you on my watchlist until I've read more, but definitely bookshelf material.
Good luck on your writing,
Janet
The Milche Bride
Clarissa's Kitchen

Andrew Esposito wrote 716 days ago

Linton, I am impressed with the first chapters I read of Clansman. There is no doubting your historical research and the novel reads and 'feels' like it is in the correct time setting. As I read it, I can 'hear the bagpipes' so I guess you got me in the zone quite quickly with the opening action scenes! A commendable effort, I know how much work is involved just to get an accuarte line of prose in it's correct historical setting. I've watchlisted you for now as I await the updated version of the manuscript and I've given you high stars for your already polished work. best regards, Andrew Esposito / Killing Paradise

james alder wrote 735 days ago

Linton
I have just devoured a couple of chapters and put on watch. Will finish in full somewhat later and comment.

James.
On The Edge of a Dark Sky.
Further :
I have read all.I wont correct grammer etc.,others can do that. I like it and wish you to finish it,or at least add more.
Interestingly I also went to Crieff, mention Sidhe and the Uisge !
James.

Egon R. Tausch wrote 758 days ago

Dear Mr. Wood, Just read the 6 chapters you have up. It is a rollicking good adventure story, of the old tradition. Fast moving, yet detailed enough for Jacobite (1689) history buffs. Very well written, and with great characters -- -- good and evil. Never a dull moment. Look forward to reading the remaining chapters when they are added.

Quibbles:
Ch1: "...as it pierced a lung and it was not..." -- -- needs a comma after "lung".
Ch 2: "James turned his focus upon, Tam." -- -- lose the comma.
"They would expect reach Edinburgh..." -- -- insert "to".
"...I would strongly council against filling..." -- -- should be "counsel".
Ch 3: "Most probably and animal..." -- -- should be "an".
Next line: "can'" -- -- should be "can't".
"...enter the water and be swept away until eventually he..." -- -- needs comma after "away".
Ch 5: "...were a strangely comforting after..." -- -- drop "a".
Ch 6: "Flasks and ramshorn's" -- -- drop the apostrophe.
"...the assassin would long gone..." -- -- insert "be".

Six stars and a bookshelf.

Regards,
Egon R. Tausch
A Voice In Rama: A Novel of the Slaughter of the Innocents

P.S. Read my book, if you can.

LintonWood wrote 978 days ago

Apologies - I just realised you looked at Clansman some weeks back. I have been away from the site during that time and I will review A Buccaneer very soon.

Thanks
Linton

strachan gordon wrote 1024 days ago

Being of Scots origin, though born in England I'm naturally drawn to books entitled 'Clansman' and also to that interesting period 1689 >,which is often neglected compared to '15 and '45.I'm interested that you are going to include the Battle of Killiekrankie and, of course, the death of Bonnie Dundee.you've obviously decided not to include Scots accented speech - or at least in the section I read - I can understand that - Scott is a tremendous storyteller but its often difficult to understand what his characters are saying.A good start on an excellent period,would you be able to look at the first chapter of my book 'A Buccaneer',set amongst Pirates in the 17th century,best wishes,Strachan Gordon

briantodd wrote 1025 days ago

HFRG further comment.
Linton has put two more chapters up and this easy to read adventure tale continues. Hope his agent doesn’t mind too much!
Nasty piece of work is Mackay and we understand that the equally nasty Veere and he don’t see eye to eye. Their subtle conflict may be their undoing in the end I suspect. I wondered exactly what information Veere was trying to obtain from the Viscount’s man. There is a risk that the torture scene may seem gratuitous if we aren’t told. Macbean’s continuing flight south is cleverly told, and Tam and the Highlanders meeting with Dougall and his band, drips with authenticity. When Macbean spots the Highlanders at Queens Ferry I wondered about that ‘something seemed oddly familiar’ line. I think he would instantly have recognised them myself.
Some typos with ‘the hills here were less demanding here’/were a strangely comforting/would have take word/
I enjoyed the clansmens ‘character in action’ scene at the tavern when the woman was assaulted and the storytelling of Red Angus. From the outset of this the reader turns the page because of the strength of the characters and their narrative. The little action scene where Macbean escapes from their clutches is nicely done and continues this theme. More please if you’re allowed Linton.

briantodd wrote 1027 days ago

HFRG Critique on 'Clansman'. I was very disappointed to find that only a little more of this has been uploaded since I last looked at it. This is one of my favourite reads on the site and Linton had promised his character Veere had even begun to frighten himself so where is he Linton? We need to see more of this.
Following the HFRG code I would say - title. excellent. Immediately suggests that family/ties of blood are going to play a big part in this - Pitches. Perhaps be better with '1689 and the Scottish' rather than using that comma. The long pitch is excellent although I was left perplexed as to whether Jamie and Angus joined in a rebellion or were the spark that caused it.

These two MC's are very strong. Their youthful energy, humour, humanity and exuberance are one of the strengths of this tale. The introductory action packed chapter is very convincing. My only quibble was with motivation. Would they really have gone so far and taken such risks for a spot of carousing with Kinross's daughter ( which only Angus enjoyed). When Kinross offers them more money to help in the Jacobite cause and they readily agreed I wondered whether you should add more to their motivation here rather than cash. Doesn't Angus want to impress the daughter ? What plans did they have for the future anyway before this offer is made? The contrast between the two Macgregors and Macbean and Mackay, also great characters, is very clear and character portraits are always excellent here. We love the goodies and hate the baddies in this tale but even Tam and Eilidh and Kinross himself are fascinating.
The dialogue, places, political situation are all authentic and the pace of the plot just right. This is a real page turner. I've noticed some comments on pov and my only quibbble on that score as I read was whether you needed to put us in Eilidh's head before the clansmen find her dog. Why not just have them find the dog and then her? Have us encounter Eilidh through Jamies eyes and leave her a little more mysterious. I hope she comes back into it further down the road. I do hope you upload more of this. Lets get to Edinburgh, Bonnie Dundee, Killiecrankie, Glencoe etc. Personally I can't wait. I am a scot but I would buy this in a bookshop (even in hardback).

Kenneth Edward Lim wrote 1042 days ago

HFG Read

Thought I'd return to your book, Linton, to pick up where I'd left off.

Chapters 3 and 4 were absolutely riveting, and I had a sense of the action picking up in pace and moving along at full tilt.

Ch.3 was a triple whammy showing James, Angus and Tam well into their trek over an inhospitable terrain in inclement weather, McBean slithering past their campfire after sensing that it was him they were after, Eilidh the witch falling into the water, in danger of drowning close to her home. The cliffhangers and other incentives for further reading play out well.

Two nitpicks here are "north-easterly" which I believe should be "northeasterly" and swimming "further" which would work better as "farther."

Ch.4 with action precipitating from Ch. 3 did not disappoint. The first part has McBean chancing upon a young girl fishing, and he commences to rape her despite the goodwill she's shown him, giving us a deeper insight into his character. The second part returns to James, Angus and Tam this time rescuing Eilid and entering her home which, to their consternation has all the appearances of a witch's abode.

It's been a highly satisfying read thus far with more of the cliffhanger effect, making me look forward to your next uploads. Thank you so much.

Kenneth Edward Lim
The North Korean

njrogers wrote 1057 days ago

HISTORICAL FICTION GROUP REVIEW

Having read the first two chapters, I can honestly say I am impressed. This period of history doesn't get much attention compared to, say the Napoleonic Wars. Your passion for the period shines through on every page and you've obviously done your research - yet refrained from the 'brain dump' that lots of authors engage in.

Please update this book. I would be very surprised if this does not move up the rankings.

Kenneth Edward Lim wrote 1060 days ago

HISTORICAL FICTION GROUP REVIEW

The medieval battle scene on the cover of "Clansman" is a superb eyecatcher, and the short pitch sets the stage for the conflict between the usurper William's followers and the Jacobites, the long pitch promising much bloodletting on the Scottish highlands. The whetting of a reader's appetite is well executed here.

Going through the first two chapters of your book, I found the pace suitably brisk, the political turmoil described compatible with the actual events of seventeenth century Scotland, the characters well-defined with uniqure traits and eccentricities. What solidified your work was a combination of vivid descriptives, clearcut dialogue and a palusible plot, delivered with an easy-to-follow style for the eclectic reader. All told, publish-worthy.

I had to look past the obvious strengths of this suberb book to find nits to pick. For Chapter 1, I dare say you need a hyphen between "risk taker" (risk-taker), "half way" should be one word, there's a missing word in "pistol from his belt and after checking the __ he moved." For Chapter 2, you need the article "the" in front of "assassin" in "duel with assassin," you need "a" in front of "cattle raid," a hyphen should be used in "honour bound," also "hurried to hurry to keep up" should lose "to hurry," and "strongly council" should be "strongly counsel."

Notwithstanding the niggly stuff the equivalent of typos, I say your wordcraft is brilliant.

Kenneth Edward Lim
"The North Korean"

KGleeson wrote 1070 days ago

HF Review

Your short and long pitch alone tell the reader that they are in the hands of a competent writer. I read the first four chapters and found a great storyteller who understands how to draw a reader in and enjoy a good old romp. Your pace is just right, showing just enough action and not too much time or energy put into finer details of fighting and military accoutrements which can happen in some military enthusiasts. You blend just the right amount of accurate description and detail to give the reader a good sense of the setting and also to understand the particular nature of living in this particular time period in Scotland. You invoke more than just the visual which adds a deeper sense of immersion in the story for the reader. I also like your main characters very much. You've created winning characteristics for a main character, Jamie (thinks he isn't popular with the ladies, but we know we would love to meet him and show him differently) and his jaunty adventurous outlook is also very appealing. A classic highland laddie. The dialogue sets just the right tone, is witty where it should be. Very good and enjoyable. Your writing style sets just the right tone for this mainstream novel and it's sure to have good commercial appeal. The plot as outlined in the long pitch seems well crafted to draw the reader along the emotional arc to a climax and resolution that demonstrates your competence.

Chapter 1
Really, the few things I would point out are minor. In one sentence you write "A brief scare came when light appeared from a third floor window and a flicker of movement within" is a bit awkward. You might consider writing instead " light appeared IN a third floor window. It showed a flicker of movement within" or something like that.

You've built good tension in this chapter. But I did have one question. When they ask where the earl is and the reply is that he's in his chamber, they don't tell him where the chamber is. Do they know? It wouldn't seem so since they really hadn't been there before. You might want to just have a brief mention where.

In this section you just have a few little POV wanders. For example, "James and Angus exchange brief glances, NEITHER saw it wise to protest. (Neither implies you're in Angus' head too. And on another occasion you write "Tame bit back his impatience."

Chapter 2
Again in this chapter there are only a few minor nits that might be good for you to know. In the second paragraph you put "mind" in the 2nd and 3rd sentence so it sounds a bit repeititious so close. There is a POV wander when you write "Angus grew bored." In the sentence where you are creating a transition so Jamie can think back to their childhood which is "In a bid to settle he cast his mind back to their shared chilhood." That comes across as a little contrived. What you might consider is to have him loook at James and think "what kind of scrape has he got me into now? It was always the way. He thought back to their shared childhood, etc."

Another sentence that you might reconsider is "Lost in a dream-like reverie James found his eyelids becoming heavy. This is top heavy and could be trimmed because you don't need to have "found his" but I would suggest you write something a little less contrived like "Despite the hard bench, the late hour caught up with him and James began to doze." This, it seems to me, fits more with the style you established in the previous pages.

Another sentence, when the door unbolts and they stand up instantly (I didn't write down the exact words) you might consider something like: "The door unbolted. Instantly the highlanders were on their feet.

In another section you have a typo-- "hurried to hurry" and "Gentlemen, he bade them. "Be seated." That seems a bit awkward too, and you might want to just say, "he bade them to be seated."

chapter 4
Another enjoyable chapter. The scenery is laid before the reader and they have a good sense of their treacherous climb. Very well handled. The shift in POV is handled well here, separating each shift with a change of scene. The entrance of a woman in the picture has rachetted up the tension and plays very well in this stage of the novel.

Just a few little nits here. You might want to look through and put contractions in some places where it comes across too stiff. Lack of contractions can make the read more awkward and can even slow down the pace. You convey the time period so well with other speech techniques you don't really need to write without contractions.

Again this is a great read Linton and I wish you luck with it. I'm sure it will have a steady climb up. Kristin

B A Morton wrote 1077 days ago

Linton,
I saw your post on the forum and popped in for a read. You kept me hooked for all four chapters.
You have two likeable lads in James and Angus and our introduction to them was enjoyable. I liked the wry humour sprinkled throughout with some great lines "let me in there's mischief afoot" and "A sprig of heather in a bucket of shite" The first chapter was fast paced, as the lads slid from courting to killing in an instant, James' more thoughtful countenance revealed more than once, particularly with his shock at taking a life. And then they've saved the day and off on an adventure... I did wonder after mentioning the stables and scent of horse flesh, why they didn't ride instead of walking. The dialogue and historical references were spot on, not that I'm an expert, but not once was I pulled out of the story by either the scottish brogue or too much historical detail. Mackay was well portrayed, and the Dutchman very sinister,a baddie to watch, his lack of respect for the feared Mackay a good indicator. The introduction of the witch focused attention back on James and gave a hint of the special role he's about to play in the story.
A couple of nits to save you looking for them;
"James pulled his own pistol from his belt and after checking the (?) he moved to the door"
"Gored by a bull while on (a) cattle raid"
"They would expect (to) reach Edinburgh in no more than three days"

I thoroughly enjoyed this. The characters, setting, plot and narrative voice brought this to life and the swift scene changes kept up the pace.. I would have read on with pleasure had there been more. I have no doubt this will do well.

Best of luck

Babs

D'Osborne Hughes wrote 1082 days ago

Very good; it kept my interest to the end of the chapter. I could only comment on a couple of things; a wound to the stomach, as you describe, doesn't bleed that much and I am not sure about, a fighting man seeking a young ladies virtue, darting forward like a "cat"; it just doesn't work in my head. The rest kept me going and I will no doubt return to read more.

David

dee farrell wrote 1099 days ago

The Clansman is thrilling adventure. Good to go technically as far as character development, setting, tension, etc. The historical research is superb and shows in how well the story flows. A master storyteller at his work...

Dee Farrell
Warrior Heart

rosiemac wrote 1105 days ago

Definitely a book I will be following. When (or if) there is any more to read would be great to see what happens next. Might be worth doing a few character-based exercises so you can be really clear on the distinct natures of your characters - they are obviously people you enjoy writing about, but I feel you only know them as friends - as opposed to knowing them as well as you know yourself! Spend some time wondering about their childhoods, what they might carry in a pack, the foods they love, their physical ticks, their personality quirks. Even if you don't ever write these down as a part of the novel, they will come out as you write if you know about them, and make them much more rounded and three dimensional.

LintonWood wrote 1106 days ago

Linton, I swallowed all 4 chapters of "Clansman" in one go. I can sum up my warm appreciation by congratulating you on the skill you show in confirming, moment by moment, the expectation given by your title that James will be the final, though not the sole, hero. You have a true feeling for historical narrative, as so many comments here declare.
Each chapter plays its due part, giving variety and rhythm to the flow of action, and sketching in for us the historical background. And for me personally, the pure freshness of Highland beauty was a tonic.
Sorry to mention that there are some slips of punctuation - mainly question marks or apostrophes - which you should find quite easily. I hate to mar this splendid piece of work by mentioning them !
6 stars and WL just for now.
David Grant
"Pompey Chimes"
,



Thank you so much for your kind comments - and well done for being the first person to spot that the title is called ClansMAN (rather than ClansMEN) for a reason...

grantdavid wrote 1106 days ago
grantdavid wrote 1106 days ago

Linton, I swallowed all 4 chapters of "Clansman" in one go. I can sum up my warm appreciation by congratulating you on the skill you show in confirming, moment by moment, the expectation given by your title that James will be the final, though not the sole, hero. You have a true feeling for historical narrative, as so many comments here declare.
Each chapter plays its due part, giving variety and rhythm to the flow of action, and sketching in for us the historical background. And for me personally, the pure freshness of Highland beauty was a tonic.
Sorry to mention that there are some slips of punctuation - mainly question marks or apostrophes - which you should find quite easily. I hate to mar this splendid piece of work by mentioning them !
6 stars and WL just for now.
David Grant
"Pompey Chimes"
,

grantdavid wrote 1106 days ago

Linton, I swallowed all 4 chapters of "Clansman" in one go. I can sum up my warm appreciation by congratulating you on the skill you show in confirming, moment by moment, the expectation given by your title that James will be the final, though not the sole, hero. You have a true feeling for historical narrative, as so many comments here declare.
Each chapter plays its due part, giving variety and rhythm to the flow of action, and sketching in for us the historical background. And for me personally, the pure freshness of Highland beauty was a tonic.
Sorry to mention that there are some slips of punctuation - mainly question marks or apostrophes - which you should find quite easily. I hate to mar this splendid piece of work by mentioning them !
6 stars and WL just for now.
David Grant
"Pompey Chimes"
,

grantdavid wrote 1106 days ago

Linton, I swallowed all 4 chapters of "Clansman" in one go. I can sum up my warm appreciation by congratulating you on the skill you show in confirming, moment by moment, the expectation given by your title that James will be the final, though not the sole, hero. You have a true feeling for historical narrative, as so many comments here declare.
Each chapter plays its due part, giving variety and rhythm to the flow of action, and sketching in for us the historical background. And for me personally, the pure freshness of Highland beauty was a tonic.
Sorry to mention that there are some slips of punctuation - mainly question marks or apostrophes - which you should find quite easily. I hate to mar this splendid piece of work by mentioning them !
6 stars and WL just for now.
David Grant
"Pompey Chimes"
,

ant-hillel wrote 1111 days ago

Wow, an action packed introduction is just what I love in this genre. I felt like I was there and your technique is superb. There was nothing I could really fault. Backed and starred with pleasure

Ant (IUDEA CAPTA)

Vall wrote 1125 days ago

Hello Linton, I can't add much to the comments below except to point out a repetition in Ch 1 - twice you write that if he looked down he would see him - but he did not. As with your other book, I really enjoyed the atmosphere your writing evokes, and I think the characterisation is strong. I agree with comments below re pov and putting more into dialogue. I have backed this and wish you good luck. Vall

Collyn Gale wrote 1130 days ago

Hi Linton. More detailed comments on Clansman as promised. Again, this is a very strong piece of work. The plot is multi-layered and has plenty of characters to engage the reader. The historical detail is very credible. A few observations (subjective of course):
1. You need to make your POV clearer in a few places. The very first paragraph is in omniscient POV, as if we're looking at the two men, rather than clearly being in the POV of one of them.
2. With the two main characters, I think the same comment applies as did to your other work. I'm not getting enough difference in how the clansmen think and feel or what motivates them.
3. Balance of dialogue and narrative. You have quite a lot of narrative, where you tell the reader about something, eg. Angus's explantion of why he was in the girl's room. For me, this would work better if we heard him say it. I noticed a few examples of this, where it fells you're telling rather than showing. I made the point in my other comments about your strength in writing dialogue. Maximise it.
Again, I hope these comments make sense. I can see why you're getting agnet interest. I've had 4 full MS & several partial requests from agents over the past couple of years (for various projects) and the feedback I've been getting has focused on characterization and deep POV development. It's probably the hardest nut to crack. Good luck and let me know if you need further exlpanation. Collyn.

markwoodburn wrote 1136 days ago

This is writing of historical fiction that reminds me of Nigel Tranter. It is very efficient and professional. I can see why you have been contacted by agents. If you can keep up this kind of pace you are on to a winner. One small thing, too many mentions of "Clansmen" in first chapter. But this may be necessary for readers unfamiliar with Scotland. Macbean - any relation to the MacBean of Soldiers Leap at Killiecrankie? I have visited the spot and still don't know how he did it! Mind you with a bunch of hairy highlanders waving swords at you, I suppose that gave him some impetus! Starred and backed, Mark.

LintonWood wrote 1151 days ago

Dropped in on this again. A six ****** treat from the opening paragraph to the last sentence uploaded. The latest chapter detailing Tam, James and Angus encountering 'witch' Eilidh maintains the high quality of this tale. The story is fascinating, the characters all realistic and it is just the sort of book I hunt out in bookstores. Bizarre that it's not doing better on the site. Seventeenth century historical fiction set in Scotland may not be everyone's cup of tea but there is so much more to this read that it merits far more attention and success than it has received so far here. Personally I wouldnt change anything about it. If the author can maintain this engaging story to a thrilling conclusion I am sure I will find it in the bookstore one day.

Thanks Brian. Such praise from a genre fan means an awful lot. I have written 30,000 words now and the middle part of the story (in Edinburgh) is working out really well. Veere even frightens me, and I created him!! Thanks again, Linton

briantodd wrote 1152 days ago

Dropped in on this again. A six ****** treat from the opening paragraph to the last sentence uploaded. The latest chapter detailing Tam, James and Angus encountering 'witch' Eilidh maintains the high quality of this tale. The story is fascinating, the characters all realistic and it is just the sort of book I hunt out in bookstores. Bizarre that it's not doing better on the site. Seventeenth century historical fiction set in Scotland may not be everyone's cup of tea but there is so much more to this read that it merits far more attention and success than it has received so far here. Personally I wouldnt change anything about it. If the author can maintain this engaging story to a thrilling conclusion I am sure I will find it in the bookstore one day.

Steve Hawgood wrote 1165 days ago

Linton - I've no literary training nor published so feel free to deal with my comments as you wish. I do love HF though.

Interesting opening with a strong descriptive scene in the highlands that then improves with a strange twist as Angus seeks the attention of the daughter in the castle. It made me smile and the speed with which he was through the window added a real sense of urgency and authenticity. I was so focused on the potential for trouble I also failed to see the 6 men arriving with malice aforethought. This is a fast read. No typos nor grammatical suggestions; two strong characters of the 'rogues we like' type.

By the time they've saved the Earl you've packed a lot of action into an opening and set up a story the reader wants to know more of - indeed we have as many questions as the Earl himself. This is an excellent opening.

The introduction of McBean added depth to the story but if I felt there is a weakness its here - I felt those 3 paragraphs could be edited into a smoother read - just my thoughts.

Chapter 2 and the pace is good. I loved the directness of the Earl. he's no fool and a believable character. The sprig of heather in a bucker of shite comment works well. The pace of this story is good and kept me reading. They've gone from a dally with a fair maid, to defending the earl to running secret messages.

The introduction of General MacKay I felt slowed the pace again - perhaps because Jamie and Angus are so well written. You've paragraphs there I feel could be edited more tightly. This is a good read though, particularly the story itself and an example of where the research can perhaps be dropped in order to let the flow continue.

Chapter 3 - I love the interaction between Tam, Jamie and Angus. You've people here we can visualise, and associate with. We love their roguish nature and the small touches with the gaelic really work. The writing is simple and fast. But that same formula we've seen repeats. The McBean reappearance although good seemed to slow the story for me and almost had me skipping to the MacGregors.

Usually with HF I'm seeking a balance between story and historical backdrop. This is a good read and one of the better HF's here. As I said I'm no expert but for me you've created two of the most realistic and loveable rogues in any book on this site. Keep them and then pace the other scenes up just a little. Backed. Steve.

Mooderino wrote 1169 days ago

Pitch is good, sets up the story well.

An excellent opening chapter full of action and interesting characters. Writing was well paced and eventful.

When the assassin MacBean is hiding, you use the same line about being spotted if the searcher looked down, which you used when James was hiding earlier. This stood out a little.

After the exciting opening, the beginning of the second chapter brought the story to a shuddering halt. Not for long, and the backstory stuff was okay, but it did feel like the pace was sucked out of the story. I'm sure this was intentional on your part, but to have just got the momentum going and then killing it off didn't seem like it was necessarily the best way to go, in my opinion. I would suggest rather than them sitting around getting bored (which is boring to read) they might have discussed their options about lying, or even considered escaping. Having one fall asleep and the other daydream, although believable, just wasn't very interesting.

You then have the offer from the Earl, which all works very well, and then you have them retire again. So now you have two downbeat scenes in this chapter. I would suggest you could cut the scene much earlier, say when they enter the armoury. A lot of the details about clothes and food and all that stuff felt extraneous, and could easily be worked in later if you feel it's important.

Once you start switching between the different threads I think you do an excellent job of keeping the story flowing and introducing the different elements and characters. Each storyline felt well defined and full of possibilities. Overall I think the story is engaging and full of action and an exciting read.

Butler's Girl wrote 1180 days ago

This is so exciting. I was transported to the highlands, could visualise all the battle scenes...plaids, dirks, blood and guts.
Absolutely brilliant!
Alison Butler

Margaret Anthony wrote 1184 days ago

What an excellent start from a writer very comfortable with this genre. Your careful research and a feel for the period shines through this work.
Careful thought has created a visual, nicely detailed backcloth on which you set your well crafted characters. And it feels authentic right to the last full stop.
Pace and flow are perfect for the fight in the first chapter and you leave us a little intrigue in the final paragraphs, with the instigator of the attack. I need to read the remaining chapters but I shall sprinkle stardust and find a space on my shelf. Margaret.
One teeniest thought, I don't think the very last sentence in chpt1 needs two 'and's.' Perhaps,'deep breath, slid...'

LintonWood wrote 1185 days ago

I've enjoyed this. Good, rollicking historical fiction that reads easily and creates a great mental film in the mind. Have you written more? Or is it a work in progress? it seems a few people are asking that question.

I shall put it on my watchlist as my shelf is full, but I'll star it while it rests there. Just about to read the next two chapters to see if the action continues. Very good start with the promise of more to come.
Cariad
STONES.

Thanks for your kind comments. Clansman is my second novel and still a work in progress. I have an agent who has agreed to review the first 50 pages which will be ready very soon. I aim to finish the manuscript by August. Thanks again, Linton

Cariad wrote 1185 days ago

I've enjoyed this. Good, rollicking historical fiction that reads easily and creates a great mental film in the mind. Have you written more? Or is it a work in progress? it seems a few people are asking that question.

I shall put it on my watchlist as my shelf is full, but I'll star it while it rests there. Just about to read the next two chapters to see if the action continues. Very good start with the promise of more to come.
Cariad
STONES.

richardraiment wrote 1187 days ago

HI Linton,

Stumbled across your book whilst checking on another in my Watch List, and on the basis of two chapters read I've added yours too. Aside from a very few minor 'nits' - you use the word 'council' in one place where I would expect 'counsel' - this promises to be an excellent read. Are we going to see more, I wonder?

Looking very good,
Richard
Mademoiselle from Armentieres

Nigel Fields wrote 1187 days ago

Chapter one began with about as much tension and action as one could hope for. A beautifu start all round. Chapter two ended with a good hook. All seems appropriately redolent of the era. Very assured and believable. 6 stars easily. WL'd with intent. And, yes, more chapters, please.
John B Campbell (Walk to Paradise Garden)

fh wrote 1188 days ago

CLANSMAN
A great period to write about and as a descendant of the Macgregors I was very interested in this interpretation of events leading up to Glencoe? I'd like more chapters please!! vivid and graphic, splendid descriptions and excellent all round.
Backed and given 6 stars for the great promise this book shows
Faith
THE CROSSING

Rene A wrote 1188 days ago

Clansman,

Only three chapters and what chapters they are too! Excellent writing from a good author.
Rene A

Mountaineer wrote 1188 days ago

I have to agree with what Brian Todd has said in his own comments - interesting as this is viewed from the eyes of the participants. As with Turncoat the writer is very clever in writing about this genre. Excellent - the part I've read so far.
Mountaineer - backed with good stars.

briantodd wrote 1188 days ago

The early Jacobite rebellion as seen through the eyes of the participants. This novel brings history alive. The landscapes, weather, food, geography, clothes, buildings, conversations and weaponry are all carefully reconstructed and totally authentic. The opening sequence, introducing us to cousins Red Angus and James Macgregor is masterly and dramatically shows us their character in action. Both are great romantic heroes and champions of the House of Stuart. Its a great start. In Edinburgh humourless, righteous, cruel Mackay plans to crush the jacobite rebellion and all other 'papist pigs' who stand in his way.The author carefully avoids a history lecture, but clearly he knows the period inside out. The glorious revolution is in full swing and soon Dundee and Mackay will fight at Killiecrankie with tragic results. I'm sure James and Angus will be there. Not sure how many years this novel will cover but perhaps the Massacre at Glencoe will be the most suitable endpoint.Its a first draft and my quibbles would only be in the treatment so far of the two women in the plot. The Earl's daughter should perhaps have more to say after the opening drama and Red Angus may have helped save the earl's life but the affront to his daughters honour should perhaps have generated more remonstration from Kinross. Eilidhs appearance was sudden and it was a bit odd to first encounter her hanging onto a rock in a river. Good excuse for more derring do by our intrepid heroes but is she young and a potential romantic interest or elderly ? Its not clear. This is a great story from a master of the HF genre and deserves a lot of attention on this site.

CMTStibbe wrote 1189 days ago

I really like the original beginning to this thrilling book. James and Angus, described as tall, young Highlanders, intent on adventure find themselves swiftly embroiled in a fight for their lives. The Earl of Kinross is in for a treat with these gutsy boys. Angus, intent on seduction, scales the southwest corner wall of the earl’s mansion whilst James is worried about snow. The dialogue cleverly evokes the Highland brogue. Scenes of swordfight and pistol-fire are well described. I can hear the blast of a flintlock, see the spark and smell shot! It takes great skill to evoke such a great visual. The pace is swift with gripping hooks. I am carried through the chapters rapidly in order to inhale the plot. Excellent writing and skillful characters make up this well researched book. Would love to see more uploaded. Greatly starred and backed. Claire ~ Chasing Pharaohs.

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