The Stone Crown
When Emlyn starts hearing voices, he thinks he is going mad like his father, who is in a psychiatric home. Little does he suspect that he has become linked psychically to the Dark Age world of King Arthur.
Emlyn and his rebellious friend Maxine are very different in character, but both are drawn to Yeaveburgh’s ‘sleeping stones’, a place that was once the site of King Arthur’s last battle. There, they discover hidden relics of King Arthur’s time, a group of carved wooden horsemen inside which the cursed spirits of King Arthur and his men lie captive. When Emlyn and Maxine steal one of these horsemen, the rider’s soul is released into the world of the twenty-first century, wreaking havoc. Only Emlyn can see him, and he gradually realizes that, with Maxine’s help, they have a responsibility to return the horseman to his rightful resting place.
The voices in Emlyn’s head allow us an insight into Arthur’s world of legend and magic, loyalty and betrayal, and it is through Emlyn’s character that Malcolm Walker has made it so easy for anyone aged thirteen and above to relate to the characters in the novel. Indeed, The Stone Crown is one of the best historical novels that I have read in a long time. I became so engrossed in the characters’ lives that the pages just seemed to fly by. Five hundred pages in, and I didn’t want the end to come. This is a book filled with the magic of the Dark Ages and, as a reader, I certainly felt completely entranced by it. It reminded me very much of a mixture between one of Alan Garner’s books and A House on the Strand for younger readers. I recommend it highly; it was a fantastic read.