On the Bookshelf...

The Stone of Destiny

ANDREW NEIL MACLEOD

What if the Coronation Stone at Westminster—the stolen relic on which the High Kings of Scotland had been crowned for over seven hundred years—was a fake? What if the true Stone of Destiny was still out there somewhere, hidden away by a Holy Order to protect it from English invaders? When Doctor Johnson turns up at his friend James Boswell’s door after an absence of almost seven years, he makes Boswell an enticing proposition: to join him on a quest to recover the true Stone of Destiny. What follows is a breathtaking journey through the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland, from Edinburgh up to the furthest reaches of the northern isles. Plunged into a dizzying world of secret societies, occult mysteries and supernatural phenomena, the two friends leave no Neolithic stone unturned in their search to uncover the truth. Can Johnson and Boswell keep one step ahead of those who would try to stop them? And will they be willing to sacrifice all so that they can get all that they desire? Eighteenth century Scotland has never been so magical... and terrifying.

Is the Stone of Destiny, on which all Kings and Queens are crowned, a fake? This is the latest story from the pen of Andrew Neil MacLeod. A story straight from the imagination, with Doctor Johnson and Boswell trying to solve the mystery. Set in the eighteenth century, this is a story where you have to suspend all belief, yet isn't that what we do in alll our reading?

The story weaves fact with fiction as Johnson and Boswell traverse Scotland and its isles trying to find if the Stone of Destiny in Westminster Abbey is the real McCoy. On the way we try to solve other problems, including the Loch Ness monster and Atlantis. Mythology is woven with real life locations and events. There's a touch of The Island of Doctor Moreau along with the Wicker Man in there as well.

This was a really enjoyable read. So much was happening throughout the book, and I was sorry when it all ended. The book is a brilliant story which is interwoven with small side plots that mean there's no let up to the action or mystery. Well written and even better imagined, the book made the hours melt away.

A 5-star story. Looking forward to seeing where the author places Johnson and Boswell next time.

Thanks to Netgallery and Burning Chair Publishing for the eARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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Review by
AJ Steel
March 31, 2023

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