Finished a bit more background reading for the Lord of the Isles project. First off as always I turn to Nigel Tranter and his fictional account of Somerled the Mighty. Great historical fiction that attempts to keep close to the historical sources. This is one of his best and must be at least my third re-read of this.
For those not familiar with the story, Somerled inherited his father's thanedom in Argyll in the 12th Century. He cleared it and much of the Hebrides of Viking occupation and raiding, establishing a powerful state on Scotland's western seaboard. Many of the classic castles that you can see today on this coast were built by Somerled. He was assassinated before the Battle of Inchinnan 1164 and his Kingdom was split between his three sons. The current Prince of Wales retains the title of Lord of the Isles.
For background reading I have also finished 'Kingship and Unity - Scotland 1000-1306' by G.W.S Barrow. More of a social and economic history this but useful for a broader understanding of the period.