In the predawn hours of August 24th, 1305, in London’s Smithfield Prison, the outlaw William Wallace—hero of all the Scots and deadly enemy of King Edward of England—sits awaiting the dawn, when he is to be hanged and then drawn and quartered. This brutal sundering of his body is the revenge of the English. Wallace is visited by a Scottish priest who has come to hear his last confession, a priest who knows Wallace like a brother. Wallace's confession—the tale that follows—is all the more remarkable because it comes from real life.
We follow Wallace through his many lives—as outlaw and fugitive, hero and patriot, rebel and kingmaker. His exploits and escapades, desperate struggles and victorious campaigns are all here, as are the high ideals and fierce patriotism that drove him to abandon the people he loved to save his country.
William Wallace, the first heroic figure from the Scottish Wars of Independence and a man whose fame has reached far beyond his homeland, served as a subject for the Academy Award–winning film Braveheart. In The Forest Laird, Jack Whyte’s masterful storytelling breathes life into Wallace's tale, giving readers an amazing character study of the man who helped shape Scotland’s future.
Even now, when more than fifty years have passed, I find it difficult to imagine a less likely paladin. Yet paladin he was, to us, for he saved our lives, our sense of purpose, and our peace of mind, restoring our shattered dignity when we were at our lowest depth. Possibly the least attractive-looking man I ever saw, he quickly became one of the strongest anchors of my young life. But on that first evening when he startled us from an exhausted sleep, we saw only the monstrous, green-framed, and hairless face of a leering devil looming over us.
Prase for Jack Whyte
"Whyte, a master at painting pictures on an epic-sized canvas, pulls the reader into the story with his usual deft combination of historical drama and old-fashioned adventure." —Booklist
“Whyte's Camulod series is distinctive, particularly in the rendering of its leading players and the residual Roman influences that survived in Britain during the Dark Ages.” —The Washington Post