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A Pawn in a Dark and Dangerous World - an Editorial Review of "Stones of Wrath"

Book Blurb:

The answer to a three thousand year old mystery lies buried within the ruins of Sheffield Manor Lodge.

The Manor once held Queen Mary of Scots captive under political house arrest. Had Mary's grandmother, Antionette de Bourbon sent her a coded message in a tapestry from the french court? A map to a relic so valuable it might buy her freedom.


Fast Forward to World War 1: Professor Mikkel Jacobsen, a professor of archealogy and languages, is asked to verify the provenance of the tapestry found by two German nationals while rescuing a child at the Manor.


The hunt is on to find the ancient relic and the child who has vanished. Meet the beautiful violinist Ivy Jenkins and her cousin Archie. They become embroiled in the search for the relic and the child. The relic has a powerful purpose. In the wrong hands, it could mean death and destruction.


Stones of Wrath is a novel filled with suspense, adventure, romance and history. it begins in 793AD on the holy Island of Lindisfarne,  a night of terror. Then takes you into the heartwarming world of Ivy's Yorkshire family struggling with the outbreak of war.

Book Buy Link: Coming soon!

Author Bio:

Born in Australia, SJ Ratcliffe grew up dreaming of one day crossing the seas to the land of

her ancestors, England. She read books about the country voraciously.

She started writing books as a child and her parents always said she could tell stories for

hours. As a teen, she aspired to be a poet, winning the JJ Cahill prize for poetry at age 18.

Eventually her creativity turned to becoming a lyricist and songwriter. She co-wrote the song

for ‘The International Year of Peace’, which was sung by school children right across


At the end of high school, SJ Ratcliffe attained a full-time scholarship to study music at ‘The

Conservatorium of Music.’ From there, she became a high school teacher. The classroom

taught her a lot about lesson planning, momentum and keeping people’s attention. These

skills served her well when she began writing her novels.

When the Royal Naval ship HMS Invincible sailed into Sydney harbour, a handsome young

aviator caught her eye at a party. With that auburn hair and a lovely English accent, she was

smitten. It was love at first sight and they eventually married and moved to England for 14

years, raising two boys. As her husband flew helicopters for the Royal Navy they lived in

many parts of England, which gave insight into the culture and the history. SJ has travelled to

most countries in Europe, Israel, the USA, Africa, China and more recently, Chile and

Argentina. Her novels reflect her love of travel, adventure, and history.

After a holiday in Israel, the seed of her books began forming in her mind. She noticed many

Israeli children had auburn hair. Knowing King David had auburn hair, she thought of her

husband’s Viking looks and wondered if perhaps the lost tribes of Israel may be connected to

the Vikings. ‘Yes’, she says, ‘that’s random I know.’ However, this started a research journey

that brought her into contact with an army of eminent scholars and researchers who also

believed there was a connection. Thus, 'The Stones of Wrath Trilogy' was born.

One of those scholars, the eminent Prof (Doc) WA Liebenberg has written a review and

recommendation for her novels.

In the future SJ Ratcliffe will be continuing to write stories in the Christian Historical

Adventure genre.

Visit SJ at and at her Facebook page:

Editorial Review:

A vaincre sans peril, on triomphe gloire.

A win without risk is a triumph without glory

The sky over the monastery at Lindisfarne turned dark with the arrival of storm clouds, but the monks had no idea what else was on its way. While Brother Audlac prayed, he was unaware, as they all were, that three ships were just off the coast. Those on board the ships had come to pillage and kill, but one had come for a very different purpose.

Many centuries later, Ivy, a young woman from Sheffield, dreams of becoming a professional musician. The ongoing war with Germany leaves Ivy with limited opportunities to immerse herself in music, except when she performs with other gifted locals in the orchestra at the University of Sheffield. They were fortunate to have Professor Gustav Richter, Head of the Music Faculty, as their conductor. He is an extremely gifted individual and the epitome of professionalism. However, there is something about the professor that Ivy did not like.

Professor Mikkel Jacobsen is the campus's youngest academic. He is a gifted historian and archaeologist. He can also speak several languages. However, unlike other academics, he doesn’t see any issue with bending or even breaking the rules when necessary. Music is also a passion of his and the moment he sees Ivy perform, he knows his life will never be the same.

Little Deborah loves stories about queens and princesses and enjoys going out with her mother, especially when she can dress up in her Mary Queen of Scots costume. Today, they were going on an outing to the ruins of Sheffield Manor where Deborah was keen to look for treasure. However, things took a perilous turn when the earth trembled and Deborah became trapped beneath some debris.

Deborah is miraculously unharmed, and ironically, she had found some treasure. But her rescuers took her treasure away before she had a chance to look at it in the daylight. They also gave her a stern warning –

If you tell anyone about this, especially your mother, I will make sure she goes to jail for trespassing. You won’t see her for years.”

Frightened beyond belief, Deborah dared not utter another word.

Deborah had unwittingly stumbled upon the entrance to where an ancient artefact had been hidden. However, this was not a typical artefact. It was holy and powerful. If it fell into German hands, it could influence the course of the war in their favour. The clock was ticking. Who would be the first to unravel the secrets of the ancient artefact? And would that person use it for good or for evil?

Stones Of Wrath (Book 1, The Tapestry) by S.J.Ratcliffe is a historical novel that will captivate readers with its realism and accuracy, depicting events from the eve of the sacking of Lindisfarne to a deadly Zeppelin attack on Sheffield.

Ratcliffe has penned an immensely readable novel. Not only is the narrative fast-paced, but it's also highly engaging. This story was so captivating that one more page turned into one more chapter. It was so enthralling that I read it in one sitting, staying up until the early hours to finish. Stones Of Wrath is a book worthy of such devotion and time.

Mikkel, a young and handsome Danish professor, has an infectious love for history and theology. He has a talent for making history and theology fun and engaging for his students. Mikkel is unfailingly kind, yet also assertive and willing to stand up for his beliefs. He's aware of the risk that could arise if some artefacts end up in the wrong hands and is committed to preventing it. His devil-may-care attitude reminded me a lot of Indiana Jones by George Lucas! While his relationship with Ivy is swoon-worthy, his character's fun, energetic and genuine portrayal in the story stole the show. His character was one that I found particularly engaging to read about.

Ivy was a character who piqued my interest. Considering herself a modern woman, she supports women’s suffrage and sees nothing wrong with riding a bicycle. Ivy is also a very talented musician and has a keen intelligence which matches Mikkel. I instantly connected with Ivy, and I thought her character was very well drawn. Her bravery and determination to do what's right, regardless of the cost, made her a character worth admiring as the story unfolded.

There was another rumble and Annie felt the ground shaking beneath her feet. But this time the ground moved in a wave. Horror spread across her face as a roaring sound filled her ears. She looked up in time to see Deborah disappear under a pile of rubble. The ground was moving and Annie lost her balance. She stumbled towards the pile, screaming “Deborah!” over and over and over again.

My heart was captured by little Deborah. This sweet little girl becomes a pawn in a very dark and dangerous world. The treatment she endures is horrendous and her courage and her belief that God will not abandon her made me weep. The author delves into the horror of child abduction and maltreatment, as well as the plight of the workhouse, through Deborah's character. Deborah's mutism and the trauma she went through were portrayed with great understanding by Ratcliffe. Out of all the characters in this book, Deborah is the one character I think will remain in my memory the longest.

Although there are multiple antagonists in the story, they are all united in their goal of securing a German victory. Ratcliffe impressively intertwined their stories with the historical context, making the characters appear more convincing. The villainous activity propelled the story forward and, despite them being utterly despicable, it made for a captivating read.

In order to maintain authenticity, Ratcliffe has included several real-life historical individuals in the story, with the magazine owner Edward Hudson being the most prominent. In my opinion, the inclusion enhanced the story's credibility and made it more enjoyable to read.

The historical detail in this novel is outstanding. It genuinely felt like I had travelled back in time. What makes this novel stand out from the rest is the spiritual story that runs alongside it. This novel contains Christian miracles and angelic visions which gave me goosebumps on several occasions. The author's understanding of scripture was evident, and the spiritual aspect of the novel was well thought out. The story had multiple plot twists that kept me engaged and second-guessing the true villain. Unforgettable is the only way to describe Stones of Wrath.

This book is undeniably brilliant from start to finish. If you enjoy quality historical fiction with a spiritual twist, then you must read Stones Of Wrath (Book 1, The Tapestry) by S.J.Ratcliffe.


“Stones of Wrath” (Book 1, The Tapestry) by S.J. Ratcliffe receives five stars and the “Highly Recommended” award of excellence from The Historical Fiction Company



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