This is a brilliant book, engrossing and readable and weaving in conptemororary issues that face Scotland today such as Scottish Independence, land ownership, reintroduction of once native species that have gone extinct and genetic engineering.
The novel is set on the Dark Isle - a fictionalised version of the Black Isle. This is an island populated not only by vivid and memorable human characters but also by a whole range of gods and spirits, who try to push their way into the human world at times of stress.
There are plans afoot to go for a Dark Isle independent of Scotland, and to release the old native species into the isle (including long dead species such as woolly rhinoceros). This is seen by many as messing with nature in the same way that some sensitive characters (this seems to mean most of the inhabitants of the Dark Isle) are aware of the gods' plans to mess with he human world.
The Dark Isle Show is a focal point of the novel, a show that combines agriculture with music and folklore. At the show this year are genetic marvels such as two headed sheep (in fact so many this year that they need a whole new category to themselves) and a musical concert so exciting that it warps the whole fabric of space-time.
This entertaining novel makes the reader laugh out loud while provoking thought into some of the most interesting issues that face today's Scotland.
Writing in the Sand by Angus Dunn published by Luath Press