Thursday, December 1, 2011

Freedom’s Sword / J.R. Tomlin

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Historical

Approximate word count: 75-80,000 words

Kindle US:
YES UK: YES Nook: YES Smashwords: YES Paper: YES
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J.R. Tomlin is a native Texan who grew up in Texas and Scotland. A former Texas Longhorn, she now lives in the Pacific Northwest. She has six novels, some which are Scottish historical fiction and others, co-written with writing partner C.R. Daems, are fantasy. J.R.’s short story A Long Lonely Time, won fourth place in a contest held by Red Adept Reviews and was included in the anthology of contest winners, Twists and Turns. For more, visit the author’s blog.


You may have heard of William Wallace or Robert the Bruce, both depicted in the movie Braveheart. Freedom’s Sword is the fictionalized story of Andrew de Moray, another historic Scotsman who played a key part in Scotland’s battle to maintain its independence from England.


Historical fiction is a genre I’ve typically shied away from. I think this is because I didn’t think I could relate. This is a prejudice I’ve had with other genres, mostly science fiction and fantasy. By making a conscious effort to expand the universe of what I read, I’ve found that my prejudice was unfounded, at least partially. While the world in which these stories take place is different, when done well the characters are still very relatable in their hopes and struggles.

Although the setting of Scotland in the thirteenth century is very different from our modern world, the characters in Freedom’s Sword experience the universal struggle of keeping what is theirs: property, culture, and the right to govern themselves. Wartime is a good setting for a story with lots of action, plenty of heroes to love, and more than enough villains to hate. The author tells the story well and I found myself drawn into the story. Unfortunately, I also found myself jarred out of the story by minor, but frequent typo and proofing errors.

Format/Typo Issues:

A large number of typos and proofing errors.

Rating: *** Three stars


J. R. Tomlin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. R. Tomlin said...

Big Al, thanks for the review and for giving a try to a genre you don't usually read. It is discouraging that a novel which had been professionally edited still had proofing errors in it, but obviously it happened. I had it proofed again and I believe that the problem has been solved.

Thanks again, and I'm glad you found things to enjoy in the novel.

Joansz said...

Interestingly, I had similar proofing issues with the Nook version of "Lionheart" a book published by Penguin. For example, certain accented characters came out as question marks. While I don't want an abundance of typos in any ebook I buy, I find them much more egregious when it's a big publisher who has produced the ebook.