The Spider and the Stone
A Novel of the Black Douglas
Scotland, 1296: William Wallace is leading the resistance against the English while the clans fight one another as fiercely as they attack the invaders from the south. Two candidates in particular claim the throne: the Red Comyn and Bruce the Competitor. Neither can rule without support from Clan Macduff. But when Comyn secures the hand of Isabelle Macduff for his heir, his success appears assured. No matter that Isabelle prefers James Douglas, whose family supports Bruce. In 1296, a woman must accept her father’s choice of husband. Isabelle’s fate is sealed.
But Isabelle harbors an unfeminine ambition to see and touch the Stone of Scone, on which all of Scotland’s kings have been crowned. Even though the Stone lies in Westminster Abbey and Edward Longshanks controls half of Scotland, including the clan into which Isabelle has married against her will, she is determined to play a part in her country’s fractious politics. Her determination leads her along a long and tortuous path as the mercurial James, soon known as the Black Douglas, and the depressive Robert, grandson of Bruce the Competitor, struggle to overcome the divisions among the Scottish lords and rally support before the land of their birth falls completely under “proud Edward’s power.”
In The Spider and the Stone: A Novel of the Black Douglas (Brigid’s Fire Books, 2014), Glen Craney reveals the events that led up to and beyond the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Rich in historical detail and powerful personalities in conflict, this is a story that picks up where Braveheart ends and follows the drive to keep Scotland independent to its successful, if temporary, conclusion.