The Scottish Boy

Alex de Campi, Trungles

fiction Historical LGBTQIA+ Romance
adventurous slow-paced
1333. Edward III is at war with Scotland. 19-year-old West Country knight Sir Harry de Lyon yearns to prove himself in the war, and so jumps at the chance when a powerful English baron, William Montagu, invites him on a secret mission with a dozen elite knights. They ride north, to a crumbling Scottish keep, capturing the feral, half-starved boy within and putting the other inhabitants to the sword. And nobody knows, or nobody is saying, why the flower of English knighthood snuck over the border to capture a savage, dirty teenage boy. Montagu gives the boy to Harry as his squire, with only two rules: don't let him escape, and convert him to the English cause. The price of failure? Forfeiting his small, heavily indebted Devon estate to the Baron.
At first, it's hopeless. The Scottish boy is surly, violent, hoards sharp objects, and eats anything that isn't nailed down. Then Harry begins to notice things: that, as well as Gaelic, the boy speaks flawless French, with an accent much different from Harry's Norman one. That he can read the language – Latin, too. That he isn't small so much as desperately under-fed. That when Harry finally convinces the boy – Iain mac Maíl Coluim – to cut his filthy curtain of hair, the face revealed is the most beautiful thing Hary has ever seen.
With Iain as his squire, Harry wins tournament after tournament and becomes a favourite of the King. But underneath the pageantry smoulders twin secrets: Harry and Iain's growing passion for each other, and Iain's mysterious heritage. As England hurtles towards war once again, these secrets will destroy everything Harry holds dear.
The Scottish Boy is the debut prose novel of critically-acclaimed comics writer Alex de Campi (Smoke, No Mercy, Twisted Romance, Bad Girls), with black and white illustrations by Trungles (Twisted Romance, Adventure Time, Fauns & Flora) scattered throughout the book. It also has maps in it because look, if you open a book and find a map and don't do an internal squee of delight? I fear for your immortal soul, I really do.

What the community thinks

summary of 5 ratings (see reviews)

Moods

emotional 100%
adventurous 66%

Pace

medium 100%

Strong character development?

Yes: 66% | It's complicated: 33%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 100%

Diverse cast of characters?

It's complicated: 33% | N/A: 33% | Yes: 33%

Flaws of characters centre-stage?

It's complicated: 33% | N/A: 33% | Yes: 33%

Average rating

4.4