This handy little book provides a great historical introduction to Orkney. It gives a brief historical outline of each period in the islands' (very long) history together with details of the sort of sites and monuments which survive from said period, and then a gazetteer of the actual sites and whether or not they are accessible to the public.
It is probably a better buy, in that respect, than Historic Scotland's "The Ancient Monuments of Orkney" (being much more comprehensive) and would make an excellent companion to the masterful, must-buy "Orkney: An Illustrated Architectural Guide" by Leslie Burgher. Only downside: no colour photos. But then other books fill that niche.
An excellent summary of the historical sites on these fascinating islands . The author tackles the history in logical order making clear connections with local geography and relationships with the rest of the world. The writing style is fluent and straightforward. Reading on the kindle edition there were not enough maps for my personal taste but all the sites can be located from the book using grid references (supplied) .