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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
A Time For War is the third installment of the Archibald the Grim Series by J.R. Tomlin. Haunted by his role in the death of Liddesdale, Archibald Douglas, now a household knight for the Lord of Douglas, once again finds himself on the march when the Scottish lords band together. They are to take advantage of King Edward's preoccupation in France and take Berwick Castle back for themselves. After much toil, they accomplish their mission. However, when King Edward's fifteen-thousand-strong army prepares to lay siege, the Scots must depend on their cunning and courage to drive the English army off their lands. With an audacious plan, Archibald and the Lord of Douglas must hoodwink King Edward and stall his army before their allies can escape, failing which will result in the ruin of Scotland. Will they succeed?
Medieval warfare aficionados and lovers of historical fiction are in for a treat with A Time For War. Based on actual events and historical personalities, J.R. Tomlin's novel follows the story of Archibald the Grim, an instrumental figure during a momentous period of Anglo-Scottish history in the mid-14th century. Apart from the political maneuvering and courtly intrigue, Tomlin perfectly captures the atmosphere of medieval warfare through vivid descriptions that transport you into the very midst of battle. The narrative paints a visceral imagery of war, making the story all the more immersive to the reader. The plot is very well-paced, which makes for a smooth reading experience. Imagine Game of Thrones without the fantastical elements. Highly recommended.