He will carry a king’s heart.
Both will pay an unthinkable price for Scotland.
But one Scot lad refuses to move from the brutal monarch’s path.
James Douglas is cherished by his fellow countrymen as the Good Sir James. Yet his daring raids across the border wreak such havoc that the English brand him the Black Douglas and nearly bankrupt their treasury to capture him. As a boy, James falls in love with the ravishing Isabelle MacDuff, whose clan for centuries has inaugurated Scottish kings on the hallowed Stone of Destiny. Their bliss is threatened when James befriends Robert Bruce, a bitter enemy of the MacDuffs. Forced to choose between love and clan loyalty, James and Isabelle make a fateful decision that will lead the armies to the bloody field of Bannockburn.
This is the little-known but true story of Scotland’s War of Independence and the remarkable events that followed the execution of William Wallace, whose legend was portrayed in the movie Braveheart. At last, James Douglas takes his rightful place with Wallace and Bruce in the pantheon of Scottish heroes. This thrilling epic leads us to the miraculous Stone of Destiny, the famous Spider in the Cave, the excommunicated Knights Templar, the suppressed Culdee Church, and the unprecedented Declaration of Arbroath that inspired the American Declaration of Independence four hundred years later.
The Spider and the Stone is the unforgettable saga of star-crossed love, spiritual intrigue and heroic sacrifice that saved Scotland and prepared the way for the founding of the United States.
* * * 2015 CHAUCER AWARD FIRST-PLACE HISTORICAL FICTION CATEGORY * * *
* * * FOREWORD REVIEWS MAGAZINE BOOK-OF-THE-YEAR FINALIST * * *
* * * indieBRAG MEDALLION WINNER * * *
* * * BTS MAGAZINE READER'S CHOICE HONORABLE MENTION AWARD * * *
"The book is an interesting, well-crafted scenario ... [Craney] has woven an interesting tale proposing that the crowning of Robert the Bruce occurred largely because of the help and sacrifice of James, Scotland's Black Douglas and the love of his life, Isabelle MacDuff." — Historical Novel Society
"The best book I've read this year." — John Graham, seneschal of the Society of Creative Anachronism
"The battle scenes are detailed and vivid, giving the reader a ringside seat at Scotland's desperate fight for freedom. ... 'Spider' will hold readers in suspense. ..." — InD'tale Magazine
"It was a marvelous book and I was moved to tears at the long and sad ending." — Reading the Ages Reviews
"[G]rabbed my attention (and pretty much wouldn't relinquish it till I had licked my finger and turned the last page) ... It's chock-a-block full of intrigue, battles, romance and subterfuge, and at times made my heart stutter with terror. ... this one's a fun read." — Cynthia Robertson Reviews, naming Spider one of the three best books of 2014.
"[A] memorable, well-researched, and thoroughly enjoyable work of historical fiction! Great read that is highly recommended!" — Crystal Book Reviews
"An atmospheric and heart wrenching depiction of a time of upheaval in Scotland." — Caroline Wilson Writes Review Blog