Author: Nigel Tranter
Original language: English
THE PATH OF THE HERO KING
A harried fugitive, guilt-ridden, excommunicated, Robert the Bruce, King of Scots in name and nothing more, faced a future that all but he and perhaps Elizabeth de Burgh his wife accepted as devoid of hope; his kingdom occupied by a powerful and ruthless invader;
his army defeated; a large proportion of his supporters dead or prisoners; much of his people against him; and the rest so cowed and war sick as no longer to care. Only a man of transcendent courage would have continued the struggle, or seen it as worth continuing. But Bruce, whatever his many failings, was courageous above all.
And with a driving love of freedom that gave him no rest. Robert the Bruce blazes the path of the hero king, in blood and violence and determination, in cunning and ruthlessness, yet, strangely, a preoccupation with mercy and chivalry, all the way from the ill-starred open-boat landing on the Ayrshire coast by night, from a spider-hung Galloway cave and near despair, to Bannockburn itself, where he faced the hundred thousand strong mightiest army in the world, and won.