Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Blog Tour Review: The Search for the Stone of Excalibur

The Search for the Stone of Excalibur - Blog Tour Button

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.

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.

The Secret of the Sacred Scarab by Fiona Ingram

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, and Winner Gold Medal 2013 Wise Bear Book Awards

Amazon * Barnes and Noble * Goodreads

My Review

The Search for the Stone of Excalibur is a thrilling middle grade adventure/mystery novel, similar in focus and as action-packed as the 39 Clues series. Protagonists Justin and Adam are joined by new companions Kim and Ink, as they travel to Scotland to unravel the mysteries behind the second Stone of Power.

The author does a good job of weaving significant background information in about King Arthur as well as archaeological and historic evidence about the man, Arthur, as distinct from the legends. This combination of ancient myths with modern resonances makes for an appealing framework for the series.

(While I always recommend reading series books in order, author Fiona Ingram does a good job of recapping the important events and characters from the first book so that readers just jumping in feel right at home with the story and its background.)

The book is lengthy, but there are many different locations and mini-adventures packed within. While some of the major plot points are clearly telegraphed well in advance, they may still come as a surprise to some readers. The adult characters are all fairly one-dimensional and are clearly intended as background noise to the intrepid duo and their new pals (or occasional foils), but many kid readers are not interested in the adults in this type of book anyway.

The book is listed as recommended for ages 10 and up, but I would feel comfortable recommending this book to advanced younger readers. There is no inappropriate or teen content, though there are ghost stories, attempted poisonings, kidnappings, and the like.

If you are looking for an eBook for a reluctant reader or adventure-fiend, then this might be a good book for you. My biggest complaint about the book is that the eBook format makes it difficult if not impossible to have in a classroom library and the listed Amazon prices for "paperbacks" seem outrageous.

(I was provided a free e-review copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.)

Additional 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

"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

About the Author: Fiona Ingram

Fiona Ingram, Author 

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.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

The Search for the Stone of Excalibur Blog Tour Schedule (2015)

February 16
February 17
February 18
February 19
February 20
February 21
February 23
* February 24 *
February 25
February 26
February 27
February 28
March 1

* Blog Tour Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

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.

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  1. Thank you so much for a great review. I really appreciate your kind words and hope you will pick up with the adventuresome trio in the next escapade.

    1. Thanks so much, Fiona, and I did truly enjoy the book. Do you have a launch date yet for book 3?

    2. Can I say as soon as possible? I am sending to my editor shortly, I hope, and the cover artist is producing some really exciting material. I'm sure kids will love it.

  2. Thank you for your detailed review of "The Search for the Stone of Excalibur" for the blog tour. It's always tricky jumping into a series and reading books out of sequence, so your feedback on that point is very helpful. The price for the paperback does seem high in comparison to what is available out there, so perhaps the publisher can take note of this as well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    1. Thanks so much for the opportunity, Renee. I wasn't quite sure how much detail to go into, but I must admit to being disappointed at the quality of some of the other reviews when I went looking to them for examples. Thanks for the feedback on my contribution.

    2. Well, I just loved your review and that's what counts for me. I also adore your logonauts logo!

    3. Very cool, and thanks! One of my colleagues created the logo for us a few years back. I look forward to book three!


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