"Scottish Baronial Castles 1250-1450" is an Osprey Fortress entry, and a fascinating one, that links the present day remnants of Scottish castles with their origins in 13th and 14th Century civil wars and conflicts with England. Author Michael Brown and illustrator Adam Hook discuss the evolving layout and use of fortified homes; the book mentions a large swath of castles in the Borders, Central Scotland, and the Highlands.
As the narrative makes clear, Scottish baronial castles fulfilled a variety of functions, from residence to place of refuge to fortress, often tied to a key piece of terrain or a line of communication. Many of the castles mentioned in the text withstood attacks and sieges, and sometimes demolition and rebuilding. Maps link the struggle of Robert the Bruce to unify Scotland, and to withstand the incursions of England's Kings, especially Edward I, with the role played by the castles. Photographs, diagrams, and illustrations show how castles were often rebuilt to improve their defensive qualities. The photographs might be worth the book all by themselves. The author includes a number of accounts of individual owners and how they utilized their castles. A concluding segment notes which castles can be viewed in the present day. Highly recommended.