By Sword and Storm (The Munro Scottish Saga #3) by @margaretskea1 #HistoricalFiction #Saga

Author: Margaret Skea

Published: July 2018 by Corazon Books

Category: Historical Fiction, Saga, Book Review

1598. The French Wars of Religion are drawing to an end, the Edict of Nantes establishing religious freedom in all but Paris.

For the exiled Adam and Kate Munro, the child Kate carries symbolizes a new life free from past troubles, despite their lingering nostalgia for Scotland and the friendship of the Montgomeries.

After the Turn of the Tide and A House Divided comes By Sword and Storm, the third and final book in the Munro saga.

It’s a wonderful historical trilogy based on true events, which include the political and religious climate in France in the aftermath of the French religious wars and the feud between the Montgomerie and Cunninghame clans. After the events in the previous book, the Munro family are living in France. Kate, Maggie and Ellie reside at the family’s farm near Cayeux, while Adam and Robbie are serving in the Scots Gardes, Adam heading a company of personal bodyguards to Henri IV.

As Henri delivers the Edict of Nantes an attempt is made on his life, thwarted by Adam who is wounded, taking the bullet meant for the King. Henri allows Adam to return to the farm to recuperate and be with Kate for the birth of their child, but would like the whole family to return and live at court. Kate’s knowledge of healing and midwifery would be useful as Henri’s mistress, the Duchesse de Beaufort, is also with child.

Munro was cursing his inattention and searching the conversation for a clue as to what Henri’s request had been, when the King, again misinterpreting, said, ‘You are a knight and your wife a lady. Why should she not be at court? If it is her status that concerns you, then there are other honours that could be conferred. I want people about me I can trust. And you have shown I can trust you. If your wife has a gift as a healer, that is a bonus, for I would place no bar to the practice of her skill at court. What say you?’

Adam isn’t sure how Kate will take the news, and there is also the matter of religious freedom being banned at court and throughout Paris. He knows, however, that although it was formed as an invitation, he will not be able to refuse the King’s request. So, once again, the Munro family fortunes are altered – sometimes for the better, sometimes not. Tension, danger and uncertainty are constants as Robbie finds out to his, and others’ costs.

Meanwhile, in Scotland, the feud between William Cunninghame and Hugh Montgomerie continues unabated, despite the ruling by James VI banning duelling. Close family members on each side try to defuse the situation to no avail. William and Hugh have several confrontations, the final one culminating in trouble for them both. William is his usual extremely unpleasant self. Hugh, hotheaded and honourable, acting without thought for the consequences.

The research is meticulous and fact and fiction are woven together smoothly creating a fascinating tale. Real historical figures blend very well with the very engaging, fictional Munro’s. The narrative is quite intricate and alternates between several storylines set in different locations, following individual groups. Characters have developed throughout the trilogy and are all finely drawn and very convincing. A very entertaining and vividly described story brought to life incredibly well. 

I chose to read and review By Sword and Storm based on a copy of the book supplied by the author/publisher.

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Goodreads

About the Author

Margaret Skea grew up in Northern Ireland during the ‘Troubles’, but now lives in Scotland. Her passion is for authentic, atmospheric fiction, whether historical or contemporary. An award-winning novelist and short story writer, her credits include: The Beryl Bainbridge Award for Best 1st Time Novelist 2014 (Turn of the Tide), and longlist in the Historical Novel Society New Novel Award 2016 (A House Divided). These novels are the first two in a series of Scottish historical fiction following the fortunes of a fictional family trapped in real events in the 16th century. Her short stories have won or been placed in many competitions, including: Fish, Mslexia, Winchester, Rubery and Neil Gunn.

Latest news – Katharina: Deliverance – Runner-up in the HNS Novel Award 2018

Author links ~  Website | Facebook | Twitter

11 thoughts on “By Sword and Storm (The Munro Scottish Saga #3) by @margaretskea1 #HistoricalFiction #Saga

  1. Hi Cathy,

    What a lovely review. Thank you! I shall share as widely as I can 😊

    If this isn’t too cheeky I wonder if you could pop in the latest competition placing in my bio – the 2nd place for Katharina: Deliverance in the Historical Novel Society New Novel Award 2018 – see below. (Kind of good to have a recent award.)

    Lovely to meet you last week too – hope the rest of your time was enjoyable.


    Latest news – Katharina: Deliverance – Runner-up in the HNS Novel Award 2018


    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome, Margaret 😊 Lovely to meet you too and congratulations on 2nd placing for Katherina. We spent a good part of Wednesday in Barter Books! I restricted myself to 6 😁 It could have been a lot worse. It’s an amazing place.


  2. Thank you, Cathy for such a lovely review – and a description of Hugh that sums him up perfectly – ‘hot-headed and honourable’

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahhh, I read the first one of these for RBRT and saw that it was good of its type, but for some reason couldn’t get into it. We usually agree on books ~ I might give it all another go some time. I do find this sometimes: a book or TV series falls flat with me, but then I look at it when in a different head space and I ‘get it’!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve really enjoyed the series. I did find the first a little difficult initially, I think because of the number of characters, but once I had them straight in my mind it was fine.


      1. Yes, it was the number of characters with me, too, I seem to remember. I couldn’t keep in my head who everyone was and what their relationship to everyone else was, and kept having to go back to remind myself.

        Liked by 1 person

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