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River of Destiny Paperback – 14 Feb 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (14 Feb. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007302320
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007302321
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (390 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,191 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 Time’s Legacy:

‘Marvellous escapist stuff’ Woman and Home

Praise for Warrior’s Princess

‘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

Review

Praise for Barbara Erskine:

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

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

‘Marvellous escapist stuff’ Woman and Home

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

165 of 171 people found the following review helpful By J. Turner VINE VOICE on 24 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is an excellent novel by Barbara Erskine, who seems to improve with every book she writes. Zoe and Ken move to a quiet barn conversion in Suffolk, much against Zoe's wishes, so that he can indulge his competitive streak through his love of sailing. Left to her own devices, Zoe finds that she is best by strange dreams and visions, and it seems as if the barn's past is coming back to haunt her. Meanwhile, she falls for scarred, solitary Leo... and they find their love and their lives running parallel to the lives of those who loved and lived before, in particular the stolid Victorian smith, Daniel, unwilling lover to the Lady of the Big House... and the Saxon smith, Eric, who has created a mystical sword for his Lord. With consummate skill, Ms Erskine weaves a fantastic tale of loves thwarted and loves lost, of malice and magic and ancient curses, and shows why she is still Mistress of the timeslip novel, leaving others in the shade! I couldn't turn the pages fast enough! Superb summer reading, with plots and characters that stay with you long after the story has ended. Recommended!
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By H. Ashford VINE VOICE on 8 July 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The quote on the front cover of this book says "Barbara Erskine's storytelling talent is undeniable", and having read the book, I can whole-heartedly agree.

This is a compelling time-slice story set in:
- 865 - where we meet Eric, blacksmith and maker of a beautifully crafted sword which he calls "Destiny Maker"; Eric lives in an Anglo-Saxon village at a time when small villages on the East Anglian coast lived in constant risk from Viking invaders
- 1865 - where we meet Dan, blacksmith and farrier who works for the Crosby family, whose Hall is built on the site of the original Anglo Saxon hall from Eric's time
- present day - where we meet Zoe and Ken, who have opted out of the rat race and relocated from London to Suffolk; their home is the barn conversion where Dan worked; their immediate neighbour, Leo, lives in what was originally the forge and Dan's cottage.
The three stories are linked together by sightings of a ghostly Viking warship.

There are a host of interesting characters, including footpath diva Rosemary (who gets the whole village at loggerheads over her insistence on a footpath going across a farmer's field rather than round it), and Sharon and Jeff, the neighbours from hell and their tearaway children.

I found that the book flowed well and it is an easy and enjoyable read. If you like a book that isn't too demanding and has a compelling story line, then you will enjoy this book.

So why only 3*s. Well for me, character is all; I really want to identify with the main characters and see that their attitudes shape their actions, and that in turn drives the story line. However, I found Zoe weak as a character, and the burgeoning relationship with Leo seemed trite and predictable.
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74 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Hiraethus o Gymru VINE VOICE on 27 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have yet to read a Barbara Erskine book I have not loved, even if at times her tendency to stretch historical fact jars a little where my love of accuracy is concerned. For the sake of her sheer storytelling prowess I read them purely for the pleasure of escaping to a world of the paranormal presented in such a captivating manner. There are, to my knowledge, no "real" historical figures in this tale, and as a totally fictional novel I found it an excellent read. From page one, any of Barbara's books become virtually unputdownable, if such a word exists, and this is no exception. It will take its deserved place in my complete collection of Barbara's works, which have been read and reread numerous times over more years than I, and probably Barbara herself, care to remember. I look forward to the next work by this talented and fascinating author.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kent Bookworm VINE VOICE on 11 July 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have read nearly all of Ms Erskine's books and her latest offering, River of Destiny certainly doesn't disappoint - if anything, her books get better. This particular novel unusually with three timelines - Anglo Saxon, Victorian and present day - are interwoven seamlessly as you would expect. Without repeating the plot details here, suffice to say, with the vivid descriptions of the River Deben estuary and surrounds shrouded in history and - in this book - mostly in a creepy mist with the various sightings of the ghostly Viking ship, I think that Barbara Erskine has captured the magic of this very historic area of Suffolk that boasts the Sutton Hoo burial grounds and I was very pleased that she chose to set her story there.

There are a colourful array of characters in this book: the young Anglo Saxon swordsmith who makes the sword known as the Destiny Maker for his Lord but it's never used for the purpose for which it was made; the haughty, scheming Victorian Lady Emily who causes such pain to everyone on her husband's estate; the young couple, Ken and Zoe, who move from London to buy one of the barns now standing on the same piece of land and get caught up in the area's history; and their neighbours - the enigmatic Leo who lives in the Old Forge; Rosemary and Steve who are the pensioners on a mission to upset the local landowner, and the 12 year old daughter of the family from hell in the Summer barn who is quite precocious and has a rather nasty agenda. The main focus though is on the nearby land known as Dead Man's Field which has been a burial ground since the Anglo Saxon times -and which has an affect on each of the present day characters.

Needless to say the story builds up to a cracking finale and of course leaves you quite exhausted! I loved it.
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