Debbie Somers -
We may think that the past is dead and buried but in this, the third book of the Glasswater Quintet, we see how past events and the lives they affected seep into the present in an unsettling quest for closure.
James Morgan-Jones’ rich and beautifully crafted language creates a landscape into which the reader is skilfully drawn and made to care about the fate of characters both past and present. This page turner is guaranteed to leave the reader eagerly anticipating the next book as soon as the last page has been turned.
The Stone Forest evokes a world that is real and authentic but disquieting from the outset, with hints of dark presences seeking in the present the redress of past wrongdoing and injustice.
The effects of past grief, loss and wrongdoing and how they shape present lives is a timeless theme, explored here with such perception and sensitivity that the reader can’t help but care about and want to understand the characters both past and present.
The Stone Forest explores an unsettling world of overlapping time where the past seeps through into the present, changing lives and relationships in such a way that things can never be the same again.
Ada Mournian -
A fascinating book that with rich and evocative language, powerfully transports the reader both in time and between geographical settings.
Starting in pre-war East London and moving to rural South Wales as war intrudes, the main character, a young girl on the brink of womanhood, has to face personal tragedy and come to terms with the inevitability of her circumstance as she learns the relevance of myths and wisdom from folklore. Overlaid with this personal story are glimpses from recent history that the reader is made aware of from the prologue, and the constant background of encroaching war.
The different regions are richly and vividly described and the dialogue captures the essence of location and the personalities. At times both heartbreaking and poignant, it beautifully captures the agony and emotional turmoil of coming of age during turbulent times.
A thoroughly absorbing and compelling read.
Jackie Reynolds -
It was very well written, although it took me a while to get into it, as I did find the first couple of chapters heavily descriptive and the map wasn’t relevant until later in the book. However, once the characters were introduced they were engaging and the plot drew me in and kept me reading. There are subtle and delicate seeds that were planted in my mind that gradually grew. Slowly and carefully the story pulls you deeper and deeper into Phyl’s world, until I was completely engulfed and immersed in her imagination. I was suddenly gripped and always wanted to read more. It was consuming and captivating, unravelling a world of deception and intrigue, until all the pieces fall into place and all is explained.
I can’t wait for the next one!
Telford A J Williams -
This book will stay with you long after you finish reading it.
At last we get to read the third instalment in James Morgan-Jones' Glasswater Quintet. The pace of this book differs from the first two, the authour seeming to take the luxury of time to immerse us in the world of Phyl, the protagonist and this is no bad thing.
Sense of place has always been a strong point in this series and this book takes it to another level with "The Creek", a small settlement on a tributary of the Thames, east of London essentially becoming another character in the narrative. The switch of location to West Wales about a third of the way into the book jars, deliberately so, and the contrast between the two settings mirrors Phyl's journey as she discovers things about herself and others.
A hypnotic sense of horror is expertly evoked during the large set pieces but the things that really horrify and pull the reader up short are the small unexpected episodes such as when Phyl senses the death of someone she loves dearly or the shocking behaviour of a damaged and casually cruel schoolmistress. These are the things that stay with the reader after finishing the book.
This is a hugely enjoyable read with a page turning climax but it is also much more than this. James Morgan-Jones' writing tells us things about ourselves and the human condition that we may not have realised while never being less than entertaining - quite a feat. Five Stars.
Gill Arnold - Goodreads
Well researched and beautifully written page turner!
This is the third book in James Morgan Jones’ series of loosely interwoven tales. They are linked by their locations - East London and a small Welsh village, and by some of the characters. He really is a most wonderful writer, conjuring up landscapes which are vivid and familiar but he gives them a twist so they seem other-worldly and strange.
The plots are intriguing, tinged with the supernatural and his depiction of the Tarot in the second novel and Celtic myths in the third book are very accurate – he does his research well!
The main characters, in this instance a young wartime evacuee, are compelling and likeable and the plot moves along at a pace. I would definitely recommend this book and the others in the series to anyone who enjoys a book which has something to say but is also a good page turner.