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Elizabeth Harris

Sacrifice Stone, The


Harris writes in what's currently knows as the 'timeslip' genre, and her books are always interesting to say the least, and cover a wide variety of periods of history, although her favourite tends to be medieval. As well as based in the present day, The Sacrifice Stone, however, dips into the Roman era, AD 175 to be more precise, and the story concerns the research of a young woman and her brother into a myth regarding the death of a Christian child martyr some 1800 years earlier. Naturally, we also take a step into the past and uncover the truth behind the murder, the tale being told in first person by the ex-legionary who was accused of the deed. There is also a romantic interest for the heroine, and the book has an interesting location, being based in Provence. To be honest, I didn't feel that this was Harris's best book. I felt that the heroine's brother was an unnecessary character, - why couldn't it be she who was doing the research? - and there were a couple of sub plots regarding the heroine's aims and ambitions, and friction between the brother and sister, which I felt added little to the overall story. The central idea was a good one, though, and the parts of the book set in Roman times were well presented and convincing. I just felt that the book would have been better if it were shorter and thus more compact. Still, a good summer read, worth a look and I eagerly await her next novel. - Faye Robertson From The Historical Novel Review (December 1997), published by the Historical Novel Society.

- Faye Robertson, 12/1/1997

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