The Crystal Skull
A formulaic thriller made palatable by good writing, The Crystal Skull follows newlywed Cambridge scholar Stella Cody as she struggles to unravel the secret of the flawless sapphire skull she and her husband, Kit, have located in a Yorkshire cave. Set in present day and 16th-century England and Spain, the story is based on a Mayan prophecy concerning thirteen skulls of crystal and other precious stones, which must be found and brought together to prevent the end of the world on December 21st, 2012.
While purportedly trying to keep her discovery of the blue skull a secret, Stella tells anyone who will listen all about it, so it comes as no surprise that soon she finds herself in danger from one who desires it for his/her own nefarious purposes. Or not. Actually, the villain, when revealed, covets the blue heart-stone not only for its power, but also because it is “the biggest gemstone in the world.”
Scott, who is known for her historical fiction about the life of Boudica, draws her characters well, including the colorful Spanish ship’s captain, Fernandez de Aguilar, who begins on a minor note but grows into an engaging and pivotal main character by the book’s end. Readers who enjoy historical thrillers with a dollop of magic and mysticism along with tantalizing, open-ended conclusions likely will enjoy this author’s latest endeavor. Scott’s author’s note details the legend surrounding the skulls (her interest in the subject was sparked by the life-sized crystal skull on display in the British Museum), and her bibliography includes titles of books and websites she used in her research.