The Hammer of the Scots depicts the rule of Edward I, who considers himself to be – and, for the most part, is – a stern, but just king, even if he brutally punishes his enemies in accordance with his belief in instilling respect through fear.
Thus, Edward I proves himself to be a great king, who brings not only order to England, but also subdues Wales and brings it under the English rule, while he fails to do the same with Scotland.
Taking after his father, he is a devoted husband to both of his Queens and a loving father. His children are his pride and joy, the exceptions being sometimes over-temperate Joanna and, above all, his heir, prince Edward. However, unlike his ancestors, he understands the needs of the people and brings the end to the over-the-top extravagance of the Court from the past, slipping perhaps only now and then when indulging his many beloved daughters.
As usually, in The Hammer of the Scots Jean Plaidy manages to give a fairly accurate historical account, while letting the reader get a stunning glimpse into the reasoning and sentiments of her characters, from Edward I to his children and his enemies, of which the most intriguing to me was that written from the point of view of William Wallace.
The Hammer of the Scots was a compelling book, even if it took me ages to read it, and I am looking forward to the next instalment in the series, dealing with the rule of a much different man than Edward I, his son Edward II.