The Borderer Chronicles: Three Hills

Set on the Anglo/Scottish border in the sixteenth century, a child’s dream of war is shattered, a boy is interned and the man travels a dangerous path not of his own design. This is the first volume of the Borderer Chronicles. Where life leads, someone always suffers.

Three Hills is a core of one man's story; poignancy, adventure and wit. Opening with the Battle of Solway Moss, it covers three periods of a life born out of the troubled English and Scottish Marches, where hardship and strife mold the local people. When English and Scottish sovereigns could only pick at each other, only to make their subjects bleed to satisfy their own royal vanity. It is a story that is the commencement of a sweeping saga of mystery, romance and adventure set against the backdrop of Sixteenth Century Europe and the terrible conflicts born out of man's ambition.
 

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Synopsis
Set on the Anglo/Scottish border in the sixteenth century, a child’s dream of war is shattered, a boy is interned and the man travels a dangerous path not of his own design. This is the first volume of the Borderer Chronicles. Where life leads, someone always suffers. Three Hills is a core of one man's story; poignancy, adventure and wit. Opening with the Battle of Solway Moss, it covers three periods of a life born out of the troubled English and Scottish Marches, where hardship and strife mold the local people. When English and Scottish sovereigns could only pick at each other, only to make their subjects bleed to satisfy their own royal vanity. It is a story that is the commencement of a sweeping saga of mystery, romance and adventure set against the backdrop of Sixteenth Century Europe and the terrible conflicts born out of man's ambition.
Mark Montgomery writes historical fiction. Mark Huitson, his keeper, lives in Cumbria. Neither are Cumbrian by ancestry, outlanders perhaps, but both have set their roots firmly into Cumbrian soil and its rich history.

An enthralling second novel from Mark Montgomery set in the Borders in the 1500's. Second in the series, The Borderer Chronicles, it tells the story of four men who will all face the devil, but who will defeat him, the steadfast man, the noble man, the godly man or the vain and sinful man.
Following these four journeys Montgomery takes his reader on a journey of their own, with his delicate and intricate descriptions, modern language with just a hint of dialect thrown in for authenticity, the novel is part of a bigger story. As with Three Hills there are more stories to be told, some unfinished business and Montgomery promises there is more to come by referring to future works in the text.
John is now a man and his story continues. There are characters old and new all well drawn and each with an individual personality, with a number of very interesting minor characters along the way. The novel opens in Newcastle with scenes so descriptive, a great sense of time and place are created. As with Three Hills it is written from different locations to keep the reader entertained, and although the story is a work of fiction the settings are very real.
The language differs for each storyline, making it very readable and authentic. There is a nice flavour of different dialects and 16c language but as the novel is written in modern language making it is an easy read, but authentic. Great atmosphere and tension is created, with twists and turns in the plot, the reader is often kept guessing and humour often turns to tension on the same page.
The novel has obviously been researched well and storylines intricately plotted. Its pace is fast in the main novel and slow and restful in the extracts from John's journal.
As the story develops it is evident that there are more stories to come, however this does not spoil the novel, but gives an introduction for future works. These are indicated at various points through the story.
As this is the second in the series reading Three Hills will be an advantage but Devotion and the Devil standalone very well. A gripping read.

***

The second chronicle of three to date ... and as with Three Hills, the reader is taken on an adventurous journey through the adult life of John Brownfield, a Sixteenth Century Borderer. Beautifully written, Mark Montgomery pens action, tragedy and intrigue as exquisitely as he pens lust, devotion and romance. The reader is drawn in to the tale immediately and almost without realising; the descriptions so well recorded as to create a full sensory vision. The characters within become like old friends, or indeed enemies, and with no effort at all become wholly identifiable beyond the pages of text. Chapter XXIII is especially superb … my recommendation and naïve writings cannot do it justice!! The tale leaves with an extremely intriguing cliff hanger thus leaving the reader wanting more, much more.