Iona Portal is a science fiction page turner in which the author mixes fantasy and reality in just the right amounts. He includes maps of the locations where the story takes place as well as handsome illustrations of some of the events, which makes the narrative much more engaging and believable.
Robert centers his epic on a real place, the mysterious island of Iona, which for centuries has been a destination for pilgrims who are willing to traverse the Scottish lochs, glens, and bogs in order to gain enlightenment and perhaps witness some of the enigmatic things that allegedly happen there. Iona Portal is the story of one such pilgrimage, but with the fate of humanity at stake.
In many ways this is a classic tale. However, the author gives the story the necessary twist that makes it original, while at the same time linking it to rich historical traditions. The pilgrims are stalked by the evil Archons, who due to their large numbers are winning the war. But the Archons are hypersadistic, disorganized, and invariably overplay their hand. The pilgrims are protected by the Irin, who are benevolent and brave, but due to their few numbers, are losing the war. The pilgrims must reach their destination and learn to use their gifts to tilt the balance of the conflict towards the forces of good.
The book is well written and has an interactive table of contents, which is important due to its size. I found a formatting error in one page, but that did not detract from the reading experience. I recommend reading Iona Portal. It is science fiction, but next time you have a string of bad luck or watch the nightly news, it will make you wonder.