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The Spider and the Stone by Glen Craney
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The Spider and the Stone

by Glen Craney

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
An absolutely brilliant and captivating tale of love, war, daring, and sacrifice. From the very moment you turn to the first page and begin reading, you will be unable to put this book down. So craftily is the story woven that you will be caught up as a fly in a spider's web. You will find a new appreciation for history within the pages of this book.

Received in exchange for a fair and honest review ( )
  LilyRoseShadowlyn | Oct 10, 2017 |
I loved this book. I think the author researched the period and the characters. He filled the gaps beautifully with what could have happened and also a touch of Celtic supernatural/spirituality. ( )
  scot2 | Aug 14, 2017 |
This is one of the best historical fiction novels I have read in a long time. The characters are so real that I found myself getting angry with them, crying with them and loving or disliking them. At first I was worried when I saw the long list of characters at the beginning - a little daunting BUT Glen Craney did a remarkable job of creating all the characters that I didn't get lost as to who was who. We all have been there - when there are so many characters that we get lost. That is definitely not the case here.

The story takes place in the 14th century. Scotland is in turmoil within itself and England is invading. A young boy who is puny and mocked by his piers wins a race and falls in love all in a day. James Douglas grows to be a very important part of Scotland's history. Black Douglas as he is eventually called is responsible for much of Scotland's successes during this period of time. I won't go into more because that would be revealing spoilers.

The Spider and the Stone is a wonderful weaving of history, adventure, love, conflict and more. I highly recommend it to all readers even if historical fiction is not one of the genre's you read often. This book just might change your mind.

I received this book from the author for review purposes. To find out more about Glen Craney and his books check here http://www.glencraney.com/ ( )
  Diane_K | Sep 26, 2016 |
3.5 Stars

You want epic? Look no further than this book. You want a definitive novelization about the Scottish War of Independence? Look no further than this book. From the beginnings with William Wallace to the great battle of Bannackburn, this book covers all sides of the conflict and really gets into what made the war tick. The reader will be kept spellbound as the Scottish nation vies for independence and at how that conflict impacted the lives of the individuals who fought and survived it (or who didn't survive it as was sometimes the case). The author has a way at making the epic, truly epic, without losing his readers. It was at times intimate and at others, truly grand. Me'thinks I hear a Howard Shore-esque soundtrack in the works...

I have to give the author incredible props for the amount of research that went into this. There is so much historical detail in this work that it almost reads as a textbook at times, but in a good way. The reader learns so much, all while being sucked into this powerful story of survival and independence fighting. And the historical detail involves the grand battles and the intimate daily lives at the English court and Scottish countryside with equal fervor. Either way you look, grand or intimate, the author shows his historical chops with this novel.

The one area this book falls a bit short in is characterization. Not to say that it's horrid. But at times secondary characters do become one-dimensional (thinking Robert Bruce and Edward II here), with their personalities falling back on stereotypes or not really changing at all from the beginning of the book to the end. And at times the grand scope of the story seems to almost pull a curtain over the intimate connection the reader has with the characters. So I'll be reading about that battle scene or that death scene and it'll just be a jumble of words to me; I won't be invested into whether this or that character survives or not.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable novel on Black James Douglas and the encompassing Scottish War of Independence. It's epic and grand. It carries the reader away into a fascinating struggle for survival and freedom. The historical details are superb. The only problem is with characterization. That did get in the way at times of total enjoyment. Yet, I'd still recommend this novel the historical fiction lover anywhere, especially if you enjoy fiction in late medieval Scotland.

Note: Book received for free from author in exchange for honest review. ( )
  Sarah_Gruwell | Jan 13, 2016 |
In the 14th century, England and Scotland clamor over land. The Scottish clans struggle to fill an empty throne while Edward ‘Longshanks’ Plantagenet seeks to take their land from under their noses. Amid the chaos, one Scotsman stands out as a leader. Named ‘The Black Douglas,’ James Douglas emerges as the hero to his people over the English. However, his story is not that simple. As a young man, James fell in love with Isabelle MacDuff, the MacDuff clan crowns monarchs as the Stone of Destiny sings. James also befriends Robert the Bruce, an enemy of the MacDuff clan. Fated to fight for the friend who will be King and the woman he loves, James’ decisions will determine Scotland’s independence.
An epic story filled with war, love, magic and history, The Spider and the Stone tells the incredible tale of Scotland’s War of Independence. I didn’t really know much about this time in history going into the story, so everything was very informative and interesting to me. I was immediately intrigued and felt the most pull towards Isabelle MacDuff’s story. I especially liked that a recurring theme was that the women of Scotland would have to prove stronger than the men in order for Scotland to succeed. Isabelle’s story surely portrayed this. Much of the story was political, which can get a little tedious for me, but never boring. The action scenes were well done, very exciting and realistic. I was intrigued by James’ ingenuity on the field and the tactics he used. I also enjoyed the incorporation of the legends and magic into history.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review. ( )
  Mishker | Jun 7, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
"The book is an interesting, well-crafted scenario ... [Craney] has woven an interesting tale proposing that the crowning of Robert the Bruce occurred largely because of the help and sacrifice of James, Scotland's Black Douglas and the love of his life, Isabelle MacDuff."
 
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As the 14th century dawns, the brutal Edward Longshanks of England schemes to steal Scotland. But a frail, dark-skinned boy named James Douglas defies three Plantagenet kings and champions the cause of his wavering friend, Robert the Bruce, to lead the armies to the bloody field of Bannockburn. A thrilling saga of star-crossed love and heroic sacrifice during the Scottish Wars of Independence. [retrieved 4/28/2015 from Amazon.com]
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Glen Craney's book The Spider and the Stone: A Novel of Scotland's Black Douglas was available from LibraryThing Member Giveaway.

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