The Search for the Stone of Excalibur (The Chronicles of the Stone, Book 2)
by Fiona Ingram
Release Date: October 2nd 2014
2014 Biblio Publishing
Ebook Edition; 378 Pages
Genre: Fiction / Juvenile
Source: Review copy from Pump up Your Book
4 / 5 Stars
Continuing the adventure
that began in Egypt a few months prior in The Secret of the Sacred
Scarab, cousins Adam and Justin Sinclair are hot on the trail of the
second Stone of Power, one of seven ancient stones lost centuries ago.
This stone might be embedded in the hilt of a newly discovered sword
that archeologists believe belonged to King Arthur: Excalibur.
their long-standing enemy, Dr. Khalid, is following them as they travel
to Scotland to investigate an old castle. Little do they know there is
another deadly force, the Eaters of Poison, who have their own mission
to complete. Time is running out as the confluence of the planets draws
closer. Can Justin and Adam find the second Stone of Power and survive?
And why did Aunt Isabel send a girl with them?
and Adam as they search not only for the second Stone of Power, but also
for the Scroll of the Ancients, a mysterious document that holds
important clues to the Seven Stones of Power. As their adventure
unfolds, they learn many things and face dangers that make even their
perils in Egypt look tame. And how annoying for them that their
tag-along companion, Kim, seems to have such good ideas when they are
The Search for the Stone of Excalibur is an exciting, action-packed novel, quite similar in style to Tony Abbott's The Copernicus Legacy, and I am a huge fan of those books. And while this is the second book in the series, and I had not yet read the first one, I never felt like I was missing out, or was lost, because I was reading these books out of order. The author made it very easy to catch up on what was happening, and also made this book entirely its own, and I liked that.
One of the things I really, really liked as an adult reader was the way the author managed to weave the historical details into the modern thriller. First of all, we have these children who are trying to discover the ancient stones of power as well as trying to keep these evil men away from them. Naturally, there were all sorts of trouble that awaited the children, some of which was a bit more risky and dangerous and I rather liked that as the men would do anything to retrieve the stones, which did put everyone in some rather difficult situations; it made it much more realistic in some ways. It also kept up the suspense ratio for those younger readers who like the adventure and the action. Even though I found it somewhat predictable, I still found the action to be suspenseful and this was definitely due to the author's writing ability as it kept me turning the pages even though I could guess what would happen next.
The historical details surrounding the legend of King Arthur were quite interesting, and although I know quite a bit about the legends, I still found myself quite drawn to the story. I liked how the author focused more on the man himself, rather than just on the legend, displaying her solid research skills, using both archaeological sources and sources from literature. The dream sequences gave the reader a good idea of how Arthur may have appeared during that time period, and the author notes at the back also give insight to the time period.
The novel is a bit on the long side for a younger reader, and is very rich in historical details which didn't really interest my twelve-year-old daughter, but really fascinated my fifteen-year-old son; both of them really enjoyed the action sequences, as did I, and there is really nothing inappropriate anywhere in the book for readers of any age. I asked them to read the novel as I wanted their perspective on it as it was difficult to separate the adult part of me who loves and teaches history from someone who has little knowledge of King Arthur and the legends. The adults in the novel also take on a secondary role and really have no depth or development to them, but it really doesn't matter as the focus was on Adam, Justin, and Kim, which seems right to me. I really liked Kim as she was quite feisty and hope she appears again in future novels.
The Search for the Stone of Excalibur was an enjoyable, fun tale that will keep a juvenile reader interested as it contains a lot of action and a twisty, if predictable, plot. The writing is superb, keeping the reader interested in the story; there are a lot of threads to this story, some of which are not answered in this novel, but it does wrap up nicely where it counts. I did think the conclusion was a bit lengthy and drawn-out, although the historical facts were interesting, as always, and I was looking forward to the clue to where they were heading next.