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 frail, dark-skinned lad stands in the Plantagenet monarch’s path.
The beleaguered Scots cherish and lionize James Douglas as their “Good Sir James.” Yet in England, his slashing and elusive raids deep into Yorkshire and Northumbria wreak such havoc and terror that he is branded the Black Douglas with a reward placed on his head for his capture.
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. 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. At last, 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 suppressedCuldee 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.
Praise for the book:
“[Craney] has woven a well-crafted, interesting tale.” — Historical Novel Society
“The best book I’ve read this year.” — John Graham, seneschal of the Society of Creative Anachronism
“It was a marvelous book and I was moved to tears.” — Kathleen Ingram, Reading the Ages
“I feel like a groupie, I’m so excited about this book!” — Amazon reviewer
“Amazingly crafted novel…. Lovers of Scottish history will love the accuracy and presentation of events, and lovers of a good story will be enthralled by its drama and intensity. I finished it today and feel as though I’m in mourning that it’s over.” — Amazon reviewer
“Loved it! So much fun to read. This is a heartbreaking, heartwarming, exciting, interesting, well written book.” — Goodreads reviewer
Paperback and ebook editions
Brigid’s Fire Press (2014)
Ingram/Baker & Taylor
Barnes and Noble
About the author:
Glen Craney is a novelist, screenwriter, journalist, and lawyer. A three-time finalist for Foreward Reviews Book-of-the-Year Award, his historical fiction has taken readers to Occitania during the Albigensian Crusade, to the Scotland of Robert Bruce, to Portugal during the Age of Discovery, to the trenches of France during World War I, and to the American Hoovervilles of the Great Depression.
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