Doctor Who stories where the Doctor travels to the past have always been my personal favourite. We get to explore a part of history through a different lens and they offer the best of both worlds: a trip of knowledge and a Doctor Who adventure.
In The Stone Rose, we join Ten and Rose as they go back to the Roman Empire for a very specific task: to have Rose pose as a model for a sculptor. The reason behind it is that, after a trip to the British Museum with Mickey and Jackie, they have discovered an old sculpture of the goddess Fortuna that looks exactly like Rose – earrings included.
After they land in second-century Rome, the Doctor and Rose find themselves trapped in the middle of a mysterious ploy involving the disappearance of a young boy and the quick rise to fame of a secretive sculptor. Add to that the historical settings, a thrilling scene at the arena of the Coliseum with the Doctor’s pals John, Paul, George and Ringo and a satisfying twist where the characters cross paths with their old and future selves, and fun is guaranteed.
Doctor Who novels always tend to be enjoyable, and Jacqueline Rayner is synonymous with quality. The great amount of experience she has writing Doctor Who stories – whether it is a novel (EarthWorld, Wolfsbane), an audiobook or a magazine article, pays off, as she perfectly captures the nature of each character and creates dialogues that could have been part of any DW episode from series 2. It comes as no surprise that this book is the result of Rayner´s wish to combine her two passions: writing Doctor Who novels and Ancient History (she has a degree in said subject). If you like the stories in which the Doctor travels to past eras, this is your novel. And if you are wondering what could make The Stone Rose even better, I am happy to inform you that David Tennant recorded an abridged audio book version.
The Stone Rose was originally published in 2006 and was released again in 2014 as part of the Doctor Who History Collection.