Toronto Book Review



In “And The Hills Replied,” David Casterline, writing under the pseudonym Sparhawk Hutchins, masterfully blends historical fact with rich mythology, creating a captivating narrative that transports readers from the ancient sands of Egypt to the rugged hills of medieval Scotland. This intricately woven tale offers a unique perspective on history, myth, and the enduring power of lineage and legacy.

Casterline brings a wealth of personal and ancestral knowledge to his storytelling. An attorney by profession, his passion for his Scottish heritage is evident throughout his work. His familial connection to King Robert I of Scotland provides an authentic backdrop for this historical fantasy. Casterline resides with his wife in Harbor City, California, and he has two sons and two grandchildren, continuing the legacy of storytelling that his ancestor began in 1924.

“And The Hills Replied” opens with a modern-day protagonist, prodded by childhood memories, embarking on a journey to his mother’s family burial ground at Dunfermline Abbey in Scotland. This journey sparks an exploration of his ancestry and a deep dive into the seven-century-old debate over his lineage to King Robert I. The narrative then seamlessly shifts to the past, where the bold daughter of a heretic Pharaoh flees Egypt, using her inherited powers to turn an infant into stone. This child, known as THE SENTINEL, becomes a key figure in the ensuing centuries.

The heart of the story lies in 1306, where Robert seizes the Scottish throne, aided by a black knight and the Countess who crowns him. His young queen, Elizabeth de Burgh, faces intense rivalry and the looming threat of King Edward I of England. The tale weaves together the struggles of Robert, Elizabeth, and Elizabeth’s stepdaughter Marjorie as they navigate imprisonment, exile, and the supernatural threats that have followed them from Egypt.

The introduction of the stone of destiny, a powerful artifact from ancient Egypt, adds a layer of mysticism that enhances the historical narrative. Hutchins’ detailed portrayal of Scottish history, combined with his imaginative storytelling, results in a novel that is as educational as it is entertaining. For those who enjoy historical fiction with a touch of fantasy, “And The Hills Replied” is a must-read.

Pick up a copy and embark on a journey that spans centuries, continents, and the realms of both reality and legend.

Purchase the Book Today on Amazon.

Rating: 4.8/5 Stars
Reviewer: Benjamin Ford
Date of Review: June 19, 2024

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