About the Book
Title: The Search for the Stone of Excalibur (The Chronicles of the Stone, Book 2) | Author: Fiona Ingram | Publication Date: October 6, 2014 | Publisher: The Educational Publisher / Biblio Publishing | Pages: 376 | Recommended Ages: 10+
Summary: A modern-day adventure as our protagonists search for Excalibur and the treasures it holds!
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 archaeologists believe belonged to King Arthur: Excalibur.
However, 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?
Join Justin 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 stumped.
The first book in the series, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab has enjoyed the following book contest wins and nominations:
* Finalist Children’s Fiction Next Generation 2009 Indie Book Awards
* Finalist Juvenile Fiction USA National Best Books 2009
* Winner Pre-Teen 2009 Readers’ Favorites Awards
* Number 2 in the Children’s & Teens Book Connection Top Ten Favourite Books of 2009 for Kids, Tweens & Teens
* Winner Silver Medal Teen Fiction 2010 Nautilus Book Awards
* Finalist Children’s Fiction 2010 International Book Awards
* Winner Bronze Medal Pre-Teen Fiction 2010 Moonbeam Book Awards
* Finalist 2011 Rubery Book Awards
* Winner Gold Award Mystery Pre-Teen 2011 Children’s Literary Classics Awards
* 2nd Place 2011 YA Sharpwrit Book Awards
* Winner Gold Medal 2013 Wise Bear Book Awards
My Thoughts: Author Fiona Ingram wastes no time setting the scene and diving into the next part of cousins Adam and Justin Sinclair’s quest to recover the Seven Stones of Power before their arch-nemesis Dr. Khalid claims them for himself. In this riveting sequel to The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, the reader is transported to Strathairn Castle in Scotland where Adam and Justin, along with a new character, Kim must recover the second Stone of Power. Using Adam’s eerie powers to be transported into the past, along with the help of an eccentric and diverse ensemble of characters, our trio of heroes must decide who they can trust as they continue on a perilous adventure with the fate of the world in their hands.
I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing the first book (The Secret of the Sacred Scarab) in the Chronicles of the Stone middle grade series by Fiona Ingram alongside of Erik from This Kid Reviews Books. Continuing in the same vein as the first book, The Search for the Stone of Excalibur completely delivers as an equally riveting, action-packed sequel. In an additional twist to the main plot line about the search for the Stones of Power, the three main characters (Justin, Adam, and Kim) make more headway unraveling the mystery of the “Chronicles of the Stone” – a poem written by a 13th century monk (and descendant of archaeologist James Kinnaird), Bedwyr, in which he describes the power of the Seven Stones of Power as well as the “Scroll of the Ancients” which contains information about where the Stones are hidden. You’ll have to read the story to see how far they get!
As with the first book, The Search for the Stone of Excalibur features brilliant character development. We witness Adam continuing to grow his mystical powers; Justin maturing in his leadership abilities; and the author cleverly introduces a new young female character (Kim) to change the dynamic and create tension between Adam and Justin. Kim was a pleasant surprise! Aside from the three young protagonists, we see the brief return of some of the characters from the first book including Aunt Isabel, Ebrahim and James (in the form of letters to the children), and of course, the evil Dr. Khalid. This helped maintain continuity from Book 1 to Book 2.
The author introduces many new characters in The Search for the Stone of Excalibur including the paleographer, Humphrey Twiddle, his adopted son, Ink and Humphrey’s secretary/assistant, Amelia. But that’s not all … we also meet rotund Archibald (“Archie”) Curran, the leading authority on British History who regales the children with many stories about King Arthur and the reader is also introduced to a host of new characters living in Strathairn Castle including Mr. Sheldon the butler, Mrs.McLeod the housekeeper, Mrs. Grant the cook, Susan the maid, Terence and his son Billy who tends the horses and stables, and Hamish, the keeper of the birds of prey PLUS a host of tertiary characters. Also worthy of mention are the ominous “Eaters of Poison” (~shudder~) who have their own agenda separate from that of the children and Dr. Khalid. I must admit that while most of the characters do play a role in the development of the plot, I did sometimes find it difficult to keep track of them all.
Some of the strengths of the first book in the series are also evident in the second book. I continue to feel invested in the quest as Adam and Justin grow as characters, the mystery and mystique surrounding the Scroll of the Ancients and the Stones of Power deepens, and the unpredictable plot is infused with Arthurian facts, legend, and folklore. In fact, there is a strong educational component to the book as children will learn what is myth and what is fact where King Arthur is concerned. For example, did you know that the “Stone in the Sword” (with the stone being that famous one, Excalibur) has become inverted through many translations and re-tellings to become “The Sword in the Stone”? Sound familiar?
My Bottom Line: The Search for the Stone of Excalibur is an enthralling sequel to The Secret of the Sacred Scarab and features strong character development; an exciting, action-filled adventure; an unpredictable plot featuring many twists and turns; and many interesting and educational historical facts seeking to clarify Arthurian legend and folklore. I highly recommend this book as well as the first book in the Chronicles of the Stone series to middle grade readers looking for an Indiana-Jones type of adventure. Ages 10+.
* This book was received free-of-charge from the author as part of “The Search for the Stone of Excalibur” Blog Tour hosted by MDBR in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own. *
More Buzz About the Book
“Fiona Ingram’s storytelling is masterful; she adroitly weaves historical fact and fantasy in a smooth and fluid style that makes reading this book both an exciting and intellectually satisfying treat. The Search for the Stone of Excalibur is filled with action and adventure, puzzles and ghostly presences, and stalwart companions ready to face any and all perils that come their way. What more could a reader ask for? The Search for the Stone of Excalibur is a marvelous historical adventure tale, and it’s most highly recommended. (5 stars)”~ Jack Magnus, Readers Favorite
“As always, Fiona Ingram’s masterful description paints a vivid picture of the setting for this adventure, beginning with the honey-tinted Cotswold beauty of Oxford before moving on to the wilder, rugged landscape of Scotland. But Fiona’s particular skill lies in the wonderful characters which she creates to people these adventures… (5 Stars)” ~ Dassie, Amazon
“Character development is the key to the story, and the dialogue is snappy… If there are young reluctant readers in your family, this might just be the kick they need to get over that hump. (5 Stars)” ~ Lit Amri, Readers Favorite
“Fiona Ingram has once again taken myth and legend and blended it into an exciting page turner. The mystery will keep the reader on the edge of their seats as they follow the cousins in their search for clues in old books and on the grounds of a Scottish castle. The story is well told and is suitable for tweens and up. (5 stars)” ~ K. Springs, Amazon
“Ingram describes her characters and locals in such a vivid way that the reader cannot help but picture themselves right there alongside the cousins. I loved the historical information at the end as well as the preview of the next book! I cannot wait! The Search for the Stone of Excalibur is certain to be the next great young adult series of our time! (5 stars)”~ Heather Osborne, Readers Favorite
About the Author: Fiona Ingram
Fiona Ingram (B.A., Hons. (Natal), M.A., (Wits)) was born and educated in South Africa, and has worked as a full-time journalist and editor. Her interest in ancient history, mystery, and legends, and her enjoyment of travel has resulted in The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, the first in her exciting children’s adventure series—Chronicles of the Stone. The second book is entitled The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, a treat for young King Arthur fans. She is busy with Book 3 entitled The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper.
The Search for the Stone of Excalibur Blog Tour Schedule (2015)
* Blog Tour Giveaway *
Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice
Contest closes: March 15, 11:59 pm, 2015
Open to: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by Fiona Ingram and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.