Today I have a new one for y’all, The Spider and the Stone by Glen Craney. It’s the story of Sir James Douglas, more commonly known as Black Douglas, a Scottish lord who fought during the wars of independence. You all know I love a good historical novel and The Spider and the Stone gave me the Scottish historical fix I needed.
Overall Rating: 4/6 Glass Slippers
Genre: Historical fiction
We follow the humble beginnings of James Douglas, lost as he watches the English burn everything he knew. Then he is tossed about, struggling to find his footing among such men as Robert the Bruce, to whom he later becomes a respected right hand in war. We also get a touch of star-crossed romance with Isabella “Belle” MacDuff, a feisty young lady that James longs for while on the roads to war. In fact, I found Belle to be one of the most lovable character characters in the book. There’s also even talk of the Knight’s Templar, and several Scottish legends that are based in both fact, and true fiction. Honestly, there’s so many intricate details in this novel, it’s difficult to explain much without going into more back story!
Now, this book is more ‘epic saga’ than ‘light read’, so I really recommend it to those who like to really immerse themselves in a complicated tale. I am an educated historian who has read many info-heavy books, and this is certainly one that needs your total attention, as it gives the stories and experiences of many people. Craney isn’t one to cite his facts, and give every historical detail it’s technical due, but this isn’t a biography. The Spider and the Stone is a fictional telling of a real man’s life, and what a life he lived. The ending of the book is tied up rather nicely, although I am now curious as to how far he followed his king. Again, if you’re a fan of fully immersive stories, and don’t mind a bit of fiction with your history, you can’t go wrong with A Spider and the Stone.