Adrian Harvey’s latest novel (from Urbane Publications) is a modern day quest. Fergus Buchanan lives with his family on the unspoilt Scottish island of Hinba, where he is engaged to marry Shona, his beautiful childhood sweetheart. When his dying grandfather asks him to find the ‘cursing stone’* that has been stolen from the island, the marriage is put on hold. Fergus embarks on a journey that takes him from the idyllic island to the mainland and ultimately London ‘a transient, unreliable place… with 199 distinct post codes.’ His journey is interspersed with nightmarish dreams and like any good quest there are obstacles to overcome and temptations to avoid.
The setting of Hinba is beautifully described as is the shock to Fergus of modern day life for young people. The novel asks: can he find and bring back the stone and claim Shona as his wife? Can he become ‘a king among islanders’?Or is there really a curse?
An intriguing story.
* ‘cursing stones’ date from 800 AD and are circular stones engraved with a cross, used by early Christian pilgrims. They would recite a prayer or make a curse while turning the stone clockwise forming a dip in the stone underneath.