What could a boy like Morgan do against that kind of power? Nothing. Not for the time being, anyway. But one of these days, he would throw off the shackles of his bondage; one of these days he’d wield a power greater than anything they’d ever imagined. One of these days he’d show them all. He’d do it through alchemy. Mercury, sulfur, salt.
Book: The Stone of Destiny: A Novel by Jim Ware, David C. Cook, 2011
Target Audience: Boys and Girls 14-18
Subjects: Cancer, Friendship, Loss, Power, Faith
Summary: Cancer. The most feared, most dreaded word is what Morgan’s mom has. Now it’s all the more important that he continue his experiments and get a hold of the Stone of Destiny! He has to heal his mom! But the price for the stone is high. And Morgan isn’t the only one involved. His best friend, Eny, is having some troubles of her own. Sitting in her favorite spot by the sea one day, she finds herself in a new world and soon realizes she is the girl referenced in a prophecy concerning the very stone Morgan wants so bad. Now Morgan faces a difficult decision – just how far will he go to get his hands on this power?
Notes: The first in the Stone of Destiny series, this book weaves together a legend starting back in the Bible times at Bethel where Jacob laid his head on a stone and saw the ladder to heaven. It presents the stone as almost a character, with a will of its own and a desire to “return” to its proper land from where it was stolen. The idea is presented that this stone does hold power, but that it will cause more pain than healing if it is not where it belongs. It can not be held on to for one’s own use – despite what Morgan believes. The story gets kind of complicated as it pieces together the different worlds and people groups and time periods telling of the history of the stone. The spiritual element is focused on faith. Morgan’s dad was into alchemy as well before he died and passed his research on to Morgan, believing it contained the ability to miraculously heal. Morgan’s mom insists that our faith should be in God not alchemy, not science, not magic, nothing but Christ. Morgan refuses to believe in it, wanting to take control for himself rather than trust God to take care of him. In the end, his mother is healed – miraculously by God – after Morgan has surrendered his battle. So Morgan finally learns to put his faith in God alone. He also learns that God does it because of His grace, not because Morgan did things right. Morgan can’t figure out why his mom got healed despite everything he did wrong. His mom tells him that it is because of God’s grace, not because of anything earned. Overall, the spiritual elements are there, it is the theme running through the story, it’s just that it gets lost in the midst of the legend/history of the stone sometimes – it just simply gets hard to follow. But it does have a strong message. Also of note, the end of this book leaves a bit of the story unfinished, but a second book is scheduled for publication.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 4/5
Matthew 13:15 – For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.'
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a free review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion!