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
Book 2 in the Chronicles of the Stone, is every much an epic tale as the first. Justin and Adam are about to embark on another adventure, this time to Scotland. Their mission is to find the second stone of power, when Aunt Isabel arrives in a flap. She has with her a young African girl, whom she promptly lumbers onto the boys. James has apparently had an accident in France and Isabel is rushing to his aid.
The boys are less than impressed with Kim, their tag along, but Kim is one sassy little girl, who will not be kept quiet or be made to keep out of things.
The kids have nothing but a garbled message, about who they are to meet at the other end, but once again, they take their quest quite seriously, and do not let the absence of the adults get in their way. Upon their arrival in Heathrow, they are met by Benjamin (Ink) Blott, a young guy who leads them to his father, Humphrey Biddle's Amazing Antiquarian Bookshop.
They learn a vital part of their mission will be to uncover the Scroll of the Ancients, and the legend of King Arthur's Excalibur, may also be involved.
Armed with what little knowledge Humphrey can impart about Bedwyr, the Monk who hid the scrolls, they are about to set off to Strathairn Castle, when they decide to make a little detour. They visit the Ashmolean Museum, where they believe they encounter King Arthur's sword, which possibly may hold the second stone of power. Before the kids can confirm their suspicions, the stone is stolen, and they are the prime suspects.
With the help of Ink, the kids flee to Strathairn Castle. Along the way, they are attacked by some very strange creatures that appear to have poisoned Ink and their new canine companion smudge. Luckily, with the help of the local vet who has a particular interest in poisons, Ink recovers and he and the kids begin their quest.
Once again, their endeavours are met with great resistance. Strange creatures seem to be stalking their every move and the evil Dr Khalid, presumed dead, of course makes a reappearance.
The kids will have to band together, find their courage, use their collective knowledge and skills and instincts to unlock Bedwyr's secrets and prevent the stone of power from falling into the clutches of Dr Khalid.
This was an epic adventure, rich with historical details that any fan of the King Arthur legend will thoroughly enjoy. We meet some new and eccentric characters along the way, each one playing their tiny part in the tale that unfolds. Reading Bedwyr's diary, was an absolute highlight of the book, as we get a glimpse into the time that he lived and the dangers that lurked.
Of course, the quest is never over and although the kids manage to thwart the evil Khalid again, they end with more unanswered questions which will no doubt unfold over the series.
The characters of Adam, Justin and Kim certainly deepen as the story progresses, and I believe children 12+ will enjoy this epic journey with its wonderfully detailed illustrations, that lend a greater understanding to the story.
The Early Buzz
"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