"The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, Gang aft agley..."

Robert Burns, 1786

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It all started and ended in the month of August, 1388. The sons of Bannockburn thought to raid northern England, forcing London to pay attention to their demands for Scottish independence, which was the same reason their famous ancestors had raided there in 1314.

King Richard II of England was the grandchild of King Edward III, he being the one who had placed Scotland’s freedom on the executioner’s block and chopped it off after King Robert the Bruce and James Douglas and many, many more great patriots had won that recognition of freedom in 1328.

What became the battle of Otterburn began as an idealistic punitive raid on the part of the Scots into northern England. But nobody was counting on the impetuousness of England’s Lord Henry “Hotspur” Percy and his brother, Ralph. They had other ideas that turned the Scottish raid into a major battle fought for the whole of the night by the light of the full moon.

The successful raid, the subterfuge to protect the plunder and the subsequent battle of unusual proportions spawned diverse consequences unimagined by any of the participants. But the various historical records will attest to the base and content of this novel and will forever be an important part of our Scottish and English heritage despite those who would rather have it hidden.

Reader's response...

I just finished the book. Excellent book about the borders. I recommended to all.. Joe T.

From Amazon...

Customer Reviews

By Shawn McDouglass

Format:Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase


I have not reviewed a book here in a long time but this book demands attention and acclaim, so I must post.
Mr. Charles Randolph Bruce has renewed the fire and soul of my Scottish ancestors in his book, Games of OtterBurn 1388. This book covers about two weeks of life in Southern Scotland and Northern England of the 14th century. Mr. Bruce uses a similar style from his previous books authored with his wife on the rise of Robert the Bruce in the Rebel King trilogy. This style is that which brings to life the real, raw, and human side of famous names in Scottish and English history as well as the character of the forgotten men and women who are not remembered by name but by the courage and perseverance, they demonstrated as peasants, farmers and common soldiers in the field.
I really appreciate that through his book, the emotions, feelings, and even the thoughts of the nobles and common man are explored by Mr. Bruce as he explains the motivation and drive of the people in and around the actions leading to and following the battle of OtterBurn.
This story is an outstanding tale that stays true to the history but with added flesh and blood of Bruce's fictional emotions and words that effectively cover the bones of the actual history. Mr. Bruce reminds us that not all Scots were running around in kilts and clan tartans as so many stories seem to perpetuate the myth of perpetual clan battles and clan colors. This is a tale of the middle 14th century borderlands of Scotland and England. The Scots were of a poor nation but not backwards and tribal as some believe. They were similar to their southern cousins and often related and intermarried with families across the borders. They spoke broad Scots and not Gaelic. They were farmers, herdsman, townsman as well as noble lords and knights following the same code of chivalry as their English foes. This is the more real and true Scotland that existed rather than the "Braveheart" vision.
This excellent read grabs you from the beginning and keeps you up all night. I found myself unable to put the book down and as I neared the end almost sad that I was running out of pages to read. I really enjoyed this tale and eagerly and probably impatiently await the next book of our Scottish heritage by Charles Randolph Bruce.

From an Amazon Reader

5.0 out of 5 stars Games of Otterburn 1388

November 15, 2012

By Piper


I loved the (Rebel King) series on King Robert the Bruce written by Randolph Bruce and his wife, Caroline, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read his latest novel. This book gives a perspective of battle "up close and personal." Although historical fiction, it recreates much of what actually happened. I often wonder how anyone survived the elements, food deprivation, fatigue and wounds of this time in history. The Scots had an indominitable spirit as they sought their independence from England. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in their Scottish heritage.


From a reader of the Rebel King Series

“I am about 1/3 through OTTERBURN. I love it. You tell a great tale! I will write when done even though I know after a 1/3 of the book what I will say.”

Ken B

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Battle Scene

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Here are some of the images I found on the Battle of Otterburn. They are all romanticized compared to what really happened at the battle.