...making decisions on the basis of what seems best instead of following some single doctrine or style.
Me in a nutshell!!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Royal Book Review...

Kingdom of Shadows by Barbara Erskine: I stayed up until 12:30 last night finishing this book. I just had to know how it ended. Having now read Lady of Hay and this book by Erskine, I am true converted fan. She is a great story teller.

Like Lady of Hay, Kingdom of Shadows has a paranormal, time travel spin, but Kingdom of Shadows is not about reincarnation like Lady of Hay, but a good ghost story that at times can be spine tingling.

Clare Royland a spoiled British rich chick married to the perfect man, has been followed around by the ghost of Isobel Fife from the 14th century since she was a small child. Isobel makes her presence known in Clare's dreams which are often nightmares. As Clare grows older the dreams/nightmares become more frequent and harder to control. Isobel is trying to tell her something. Clare seeks help through learning how to meditate and channel her thought process.

During meditation Isobel literally visits Clare as shadows. This scares the housekeeper to death and she begins praying for Clare's soul. The housekeeper is so concerned she tells
Clare's husband, Paul. Paul the perfect husband, is not so perfect after all. He becomes a real

bastard as the story progresses. He loves money and being a financial advisor he takes big risks in the stock market becoming involved in insider trading.

Clare's Aunt Margaret dies and leaves the ancestral castle Duncairn to Clare. Clare loves this place and is drawn to it every chance she has. This is where the story really begins to take off with Clare's obsessions with Isobel, an outsider's obsession to buy Duncairn and Paul's obsession to sell Duncairn to cover his debts and avoid going to prison. So many little plots all connected to each other until a very climatic ending! Great stuff.

As far a historical accuracy, well Ms. Erskine lets you know right up front the 14th century players are not fictional, such as Robert the Bruce, Isobel Fife, and King Edward I, but the story takes a lot of historical license.

I didn't like Clare much in the beginning, but as the story progressed she really grew on me. She developed into a no nonsense take charge kind of gal. I did have a really hard time liking Isobel. I believe she was more obsessed with Robert the Bruce rather than a true patriot of Scotland.

This story gives you a real glimpse into Edward I and his absolute control and obsession with making Scotland bend to his will. He was a ruthless character and also my 19th great grandfather.

If you enjoy a good medieval ghost story with complex characters this book is for you. I actually liked it better than Lady of Hay which I loved. So I give this 5 stars *****

I also want to thank my blogging friends for recommending this book to me after I did my Lady of Hay review.


  1. I've never read a mideival ghost story..this one sounds perfect! topic...I just noticed your cute new old and what's his name??Too cute!

  2. She is 3 months now~ She's 7 weeks in this picture her name is Eleanor.

  3. Oh how absolutey adorable...and Eleanor...for E. of Aquitaine, I'm guessing?

  4. WOW 19th Great Grandfather, how cool! So glad you liked this book, it's one of my favourites.

  5. These sound like something I would enjoy -- I've heard of Barbara Erskine but haven't read any of her work.

  6. I know lots of people who love Barbara Erskine, but I have never tried her myself. I really should.

  7. I like historical fiction books with a time travel paranormal twist. I like a different take on things. Good review Susie!

  8. wow HF with a paranormal twist! Thanks for the review :)


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