Old rivalries…new friendships…dangerous decisions.
Set in 16th Century Scotland Munro owes allegiance to the Cunninghames and to the Earl of Glencairn. Trapped in the 150-year-old feud between the Cunninghames and the Montgomeries, he escapes the bloody aftermath of an ambush, but he cannot escape the disdain of the wife he sought to protect, or his own internal conflict. He battles with his conscience and with divided loyalties – to age-old obligations, to his wife and children, and, most dangerous of all, to a growing friendship with the rival Montgomerie clan. Intervening to diffuse a quarrel that flares between a Cunninghame cousin and Hugh Montgomerie, he succeeds only in antagonizing William, the arrogant and vicious Cunninghame heir. And antagonizing William is a dangerous game to play…
Margaret Skea’s debut novel, Turn of the Tide, is rich in detail, a work of fiction firmly rooted in history. Skea transports the reader to sixteenth century Scotland in the early days of James VI’s reign and into the midst of a multi-generational feud between two clans. The feud has reached an uneasy truce at the king’s order, and now the rival families of the Cunninghames and the Montgomeries vie for political footholds with the young king.
Munro, a minor laird, and his wife, Kate, are caught in the center of this tumult. Munro is a well-rounded character, flawed and conflicted. He is a man of divided loyalties, tied to one clan but sympathetic toward the other. The tale is as much one of intrigue and political machinations as it is one of character study as Munro faces his own personal and moral struggles in the middle of the conflict.
Skea’s writing style is lyrical, and her attention to the details of daily life makes the era come to life on the pages. She manages to suggest a Scottish accent in the dialogue without creating convoluted brogues for the reader to wade through, and the language lends an authenticity to the narrative. While Munro and his family are fictional, the feud actually took place; the vicious, brutal rivalry is a well-recorded part of Ayrshire history.
Turn of the Tide is an evocative, memorable tale that highlights a fascinating era in Scottish history as well as the fierce feuding that took place between clans and the toll these rivalries took on those in its path.
Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction, particularly fiction set in Scotland and based on recorded events