The Spider and the Stone by Glen Craney

18730906The Spider and the Stone by Glen Craney

Published 2014 by Brigid’s Fire Press

433 Pages

Goodreads Summary: As the 14th century dawns, Scotland’s survival hangs by a spider’s thread. While the Scot clans scrap over their empty throne, the brutal Edward Longshanks of England invades the weakened northern kingdom, scheming to annex it to his realm. But one Lanark lad stands in the Plantagenet monarch’s path.
The beleaguered Scots cherish him as their “Good Sir James.” In England, his slashing raids deep into Yorkshire and Northumbria wreak such terror that he is branded the Black Douglas with a reward placed on his head.
As a boy, James falls in love with the ravishing Isabelle MacDuff, whose clan for centuries has inaugurated Scottish monarchs on the hallowed Stone of Destiny. But his world is upturned when he befriends
Robert Bruce, a bitter enemy of the MacDuffs. Forced to choose between love and clan loyalty, James and Isabelle make fateful decisions that will draw the opposing armies to the bloody field of Bannockburn.
Isabelle will crown a king. James will carry a king’s heart. Both now take their rightful places with Robert Bruce, Rob Roy, and William Wallace in the pantheon of Scot heroes.
Here is the story of Scotland’s War of Independence and the remarkable events that followed the execution of Wallace, whose legend was portrayed in the movie Braveheart. This thrilling epic leads us to the miraculous Stone of Destiny, to the famous Spider in the Cave, to the excommunicated Knights Templar, to the suppressed Culdee Church, and to the unprecedented Declaration of Arbroath, the stirring oath document that inspired the American Declaration of Independence four hundred years later.
The Spider and the Stone is the unforgettable saga of the star-crossed love, religious intrigue, and heroic sacrifice that saved Scotland during its time of greatest peril.

Review: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I have only recently become interested in Scottish history after being hooked on the Outlander series.  Braveheart is actually one of my favorite movies so when I read the summary, a few names struck a cord with me so I jumped at the chance to read this book.  Almost immediately you can tell that the author researched the time period and subjects very well.  I was easily transported to 14th century Scotland and felt like I was there in the thick of it.  Jamie Douglas quickly became my favorite character. I immediately felt for him in the first part of the book when the English gave him the impossible choice of his father or his friend.  And then when he met Isabelle and fell in love with her, I wanted them to get a happy ending.  I’m also a huge fan of the fantasy genre so I loved seeing the mystical parts associated with ancient Scotland like the Stone of Destiny.  There were only a few times while I was reading that I found my attention wandering elsewhere when the story got a little slow but overall I really enjoyed reading this story and will definitely be adding other books by this author to my endless reading list.

4 Stars

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