The Rune Stone (Dr DuLac series Book 3)
A haunting time-slip mystery of runes and romance.
When Dr Viv DuLac, medievalist and academic, finds a mysterious runic inscription on a Rune Stone in the graveyard of her husband’s village church, she unwittingly sets off a chain of circumstances that disturb their quiet lives in ways she never expected. Once again, she feels the echoes of the past resonate through time and into the present. Can she unlock the secrets of the runes in the life of the 6th century Lady Vivianne and in Viv’s own life? Lives of the past and present intertwine alarmingly as Viv desperately tries to save them both, without changing the course of history.
For fans of Barbara Erskine, Pamela Hartshorne, Susanna Kearsley, Christina Courtenay.
(for A Shape on the Air) “In the best Barbara Erskine tradition …I would highly recommend this novel” -Historical Novel Society
(for the series) “Julia does an incredible job of setting up the idea of time-shift so that it’s believable and makes sense” – book tour reviewer
“Dr Ibbotson has created living, breathing characters that will remain in the reader’s mind long after the book is read … The characters are brought to life beautifully with perfect economy of description … fabulous!” – Melissa Morgan
“A rich and evocative time-slip novel that beautifully and satisfyingly concludes this superb trilogy.
The story is woven seamlessly and skilfully between the past and the present and the reader is drawn deeply into both worlds. Her portrayal of the 6th century and its way of life are authoritative, vivid and memorable” – Kate Sullivan
Julia Ibbotson is fascinated by the medieval world and the concept of time. She sees her author brand as a historical fiction writer of romantic mysteries that are evocative of time and place, well-
researched and uplifting page-turners. Her current series focuses on early medieval time-slip/dual-time mysteries. Julia read English at Keele University, England, specialising in medieval language/literature/ history, and has a PhD in socio-linguistics. After a turbulent time in Ghana, West Africa, she became a school teacher, then a university academic and researcher. Her break as an author
came soon after she joined the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme in 2015, with a three-book deal from Lume Books (Endeavour) for a trilogy (Drumbeats) set in Ghana in the 1960s. She has published five other books, including A Shape on the Air, an Anglo-Saxon timeslip mystery, and its two sequels The Dragon Tree and The Rune Stone. Her work in progress is the first of a new series of Anglo-Saxon mysteries (Daughter of Mercia) where echoes of the past resonate across the centuries. Her books will appeal to fans of Barbara Erskine, Pamela Hartshorne, Susanna Kearsley, and Christina Courtenay. Her readers say: ‘Julia’s books captured my imagination’, ‘beautiful story-telling’,
‘evocative and well-paced storylines’, ‘brilliant and fascinating’ and ‘I just couldn’t put it down’.
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My thoughts: and so we come to the last book in this series, The Rune Stone. Viv and Rory are back from Madeira and adjusting to life in their Derbyshire village when an unusual discovery in the churchyard sets off Viv’s time travelling adventures once more. This time Lady Vivianne is in trouble, faced with invaders, an advanced pregnancy and war rumoured to be coming from all directions, she reaches through the centuries to her descendant for strength. And despite the worry she might drop the baby while having one of her turns, Viv answers. The carved stone in the churchyard might just refer to Lady Vivianne. But what does eccentric Ivy have to do with it all and can Viv stop a predatory parishioner stealing her husband at the same time?
I really enjoyed this series, the blend of historical fiction and modern day Time Team style investigations – especially once Tilly gets involved. I liked the linking of ancient traditions with more modern ones and the need to put things back where they belong so the dead can rest easy.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.