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Kingdom of Shadows Paperback – 19 Feb 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (19 Feb. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007288662
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007288663
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 4.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,774 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A historian by training, Barbara Erskine is the author of many bestselling novels that demonstrate her interest in both history and the supernatural, plus three collections of short stories. Her books have appeared in at least twenty-six languages. Her first novel, Lady of Hay, has sold over two million copies worldwide. She lives with her family in an ancient manor house near Colchester and in a cottage near Hay-on-Wye.

Photograph © Karolina Webb

Product Description

Review

Praise for Barbara Erskine

The Warrior’s Princess:

‘An engrossing race against time’ Woman and Home

‘This is one of the most gripping page-turners I’ve read’ Sun

Barbara’s many bestsellers:

‘A riveting timeslip novel’ Fanny Blake

‘Her forte is mood, atmosphere and the toe-curling frisson’ Elizabeth Buchan, Sunday Times

‘Stephen King meets Ruth Rendell’ Frank Delaney

‘Barbara Erskine’s storytelling talent is undeniable’ The Times

Book Description

* Bestselling author of LADY OF HAY, WHISPERS IN THE SAND and HIDING FROM THE LIGHT --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Pyewacket TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Oct. 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The first book I read by this author was 'Time's Legacy' and it left me wanting more. So to date, I have now read all of her books bar one which isn't available as yet in Kindle form.

This book carries on the troubled histories of Scotland under the cruel reign of Edwards Longshanks and in parts is very gruesome and bloodthirsty indeed.

The story centres around Clare Royland who when her Aunt dies, inherits a hotel in Scotland and also the ruins of a castle. What she does not plan on inheriting though is a ghost that of Isobel, Lady Buchan the wife of the cruel and vindictive Earl of Buchan.

Clare's marriage is loveless so she escapes from reality back into Isobels time and watches her life story evolve but more and more she finds that Isobel is coming to her uninvited whereas before, she had to meditate first to go back in time.

Her husband is a cruel man motivated only by money and when he runs into huge financial difficulties he tries every trick in the book to get Clare to sell her inheritance. She stands firm and refuses to sell leading to a veritable nightmare of events, 2 shootings, an excorcism, kidnap............does she survive and what of Isobel?

Anyone trying to pick holes in the historical facts in the book will be sorely disappointed as Barbara Erskine researches her history thoroughly. She also paints such vivid pictures in words that you actually feel you are in whichever place you are reading about at the time.

This book kept me enthralled right to the very end and I will probably read it again in the future.

My one and only criticism is that in nearly every book the author uses the same two words many, many times 'window embrasure'. It's only a small thing and doesn't detract from the story but it slightly irked me. Sorry :-)
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Beechen Green on 7 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
This is another magnificent story, with strong characters, rich landscapes and Barbara Erskine's facsinating paranormal themes weaving a magical thread throughout.
Those looking for historical detail will not be disappointed, Barbara really knows her subject, communicating what feels like a psychic connection with the people and places of her ancestral past to the reader. The two interwoven central characters speak to us of power lost and found, love, loyalty and the fulfillment of destiny. Drama, tragedy, suspense, perfect pace and not for the faint hearted, this is up there with Lady of Hay and Child of the Phoenix as Barbara's finest work.
Brilliant to see it back in print!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Jan. 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just about the best book I've ever read. Because the book skips from present time (main character Clare who is a bored wife of a cruel city investment banker) and past time (main character Isobel who is in love with Robert the Bruce but has been betrothed to a much older man since her childhood)it is like reading two fascinating books at the same time. The book has everything - romance, suspence, drama, ghosts and a host of characters who you just never know what they're going to do next. I don't normally read anything scary, but this book draws you in, and although you feel yourself apprehensive about turning the page at times, you simply HAVE TO find out what happens next. I thoroughly reccommend it to anyone, and in fact my copy is already being enjoyed by a work colleague!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JackiG on 29 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is almost like a second edition of Child of the Phoenix, as it tells the story about Isobel, Countess of Buchans' life. If you have read the first book, you will be familiar with the story and places, although this is centred around Scotland, rather than England, Scotland and Wales.

However, at 715 pages it is still an epic read. The crossing of time from the 14th to 20th century was reminiscent of Lady of Hay, which was the first Barbara Erskine novel I read and, which to this day, remains one of my favourite books.

It was only when I read the last chapter that I realised that I had read Kingdom of Shadows a number of years ago, but felt until that point that it was a "new" read, and I enjoyed it immensely. No doubt I shal read it again in the future, and hopefully feel the same way again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jaffareadstoo TOP 500 REVIEWER on 22 Aug. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Kingdom of Shadows takes the story of the tragic Isobel of Buchan whose support of Robert the Bruce put her in defiance of both her husband and the English King. The disaster of her life is well documented, although perhaps the reason behind her actions is less known. What Barbara Erskine has done is to add flesh to the story and has produced an unforgettable heroine and a tragedy of epic proportions.

The time slip story, which uses as its focus the 20C story of Claire Royland and her fiercely ambitious husband, mirrors that of Isobel, who trapped in the 13C uses Claire as the medium through which her story is told. The transition between time frames is seamless and whilst for me the 13C story became more compelling, there is no doubt that the situation which develops between Claire and her husband, is no less forceful as the conflict between Isabel and her husband.

The novel was originally published in 1988, and I remember reading Kingdom of Shadows for the first time in the early 1990s. The story is beautifully told, rich in historic detail and alive with mystery and intrigue. Isobel's final punishment by a malicious and ill favoured King is stark and brutal, and yet in the hands of this talented writer, Isobel's human fragility, combined with her strength of spirit truly comes alive.

And as the final tragedy of the story is revealed, the mists of time shimmer and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up as Isobel's ghostly figure tells you that for her the story is never finished and that as long as Kingdom of Shadows remains in print she will be heard time and time again.
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