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92 Reviews
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fantastic!!
Having read most of Barbara Erskine's novels I just knew this was going to be good. When I saw how thick the book was I thought it would take me ages to read, but no, in true Barbara Erskine style, the book was too good to put down. It tells the life, loves and tragedies of Welsh princess Eleyne who was actually an ancestor of Barbara Erskine. It tells the haunting...
Published on 22 Aug. 2005 by sandraconlin

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Attack of the unexpected, unnecessary paranormal romance
Initially, 'Child of the Phoenix' was a fairly solid example of the historical fiction genre. It's a bit cliched (can we say beautiful and willful heroine?) and nothing spectacular, but the story races along quite well and I found it an engaging and quick read despite its size. Characterisation is patchy and inconsistent: Eleyne is described throughout as an...
Published on 20 Dec. 2010 by Katie Stevens


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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fantastic!!, 22 Aug. 2005
By 
sandraconlin (Balfron, Stirlingshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Having read most of Barbara Erskine's novels I just knew this was going to be good. When I saw how thick the book was I thought it would take me ages to read, but no, in true Barbara Erskine style, the book was too good to put down. It tells the life, loves and tragedies of Welsh princess Eleyne who was actually an ancestor of Barbara Erskine. It tells the haunting story of her love affair with a Scots King. The story was all based in the one era too and not past life/present as many books are. If you enjoy Erskine's novels you will love this. I would highly recommend it to anyone, especially if you like historical novels as many of the characters in this book were actual real people. A must for all readers.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly BIG read, 27 Nov. 2000
By A Customer
I really enjoyed this saga. Eleyne became a great friend and I really sympathized and rejoiced with her. A trifle too long but still a super way to while away the hours. I was absolutely hooked and hated putting it down... Having already read "Kingdom of shadows" this became a perfect companion to it an dhas persuaded me to read "Lady of hay".
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the 1000 pages!, 14 Jan. 1999
By A Customer
I loved this book. Barbara Erskine tells the life story of the Welsh princess Eleyne, a granddaughter of King John of England. The book links "Lady of Hay" and "Kingdom of Shadows." I could not stop reading because I wanted to what would happen next to Eleyne. "Child of the Phoenix" follows in the captivating style that Barbara Erkine established in "Lady of Hay" and "Kingdom of Shadows." I am eagerly awaiting the next novel by Barbara Erskine.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Wonderful!, 28 Jan. 2007
By 
Ricki (Belfast, Ireland) - See all my reviews
What an amazing book - my favourite book of all time. The characters, the plots, the consistently enthralling storyline, the description and the depth of our heroine Eleyne make this a book a cut above the rest. It's why we read books.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A long haul, but well worth it!, 16 July 2009
By 
Mr. J. T. P. Goode (Cornwall, UK.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I've literally just put this book down, having turned the last page.

My copy was so well worn and thumbed by previous readers that I've just had to tape both covers back on. Always a good testament to an excellent read! Hopefully it will go on to delight many others.

And an excellent read it has been. For the last two weeks this book has been everywhere with me, beaches, camping on the Isles of Scilly, here at home in western Cornwall, clutched in bed in the small hours of the morning with gritty eyes and an unquenchable hunger to further myself through the plot, gripped tightly in a tiny tent whilst storms have raged all around, illuminated by the smallest of Maglites, carted about in my rucksack wherever I have been, pulled out at every available opportunity, waiting at bus stops and ferry jetties. Really it has totally taken over my life and I am most pleased to be able to finally release myself from its talons and move on. More than a 1000 pages later I'm exhausted!

It's been a fascinating blend of history and fiction set in thirteenth century Britain, with all manner of courtly competition, rank jostling and double-dealing thrown into the mix. There's dastardly villains, otherworldly visions, deceptions, kingly warrings and a plot that's so complex and unpredictable it must have roots in the truth, all set against the backdrop of the wild landscapes of Wales and Scotland, (with occasional appearances from England).

And as for the heroine...what a woman!

My first Barbara Erskine novel, I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who likes to sink their teeth into an all-consuming hearty read.

My only criticism would be that it was slightly overly long and drawn out, perhaps as much as a quarter of the book not being strictly necessary, and that a lot of the complex interwoven family histories I found hard to follow and digest. But perhaps this says more about me than the book?

Regardless of my small complaints, it's been a great voyage overall, epic in scope, and one that has prompted me to get my hands on a copy of Erskine's Lady of Hay. (This too is a veritable brick of a book, although at roughly 750 pages it's a tad easier on the eyeballs than Child of the Phoenix. But I am still somewhat daunted at the prospect!)

I hope you enjoy..I have!
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When you really need something to sink your teeth into!, 5 Feb. 2003
By 
Carrie Bell McHugh (Wallasey, England, but currently residing in Chicago,IL) - See all my reviews
This is Erskine's finest piece of work! I love this book so much, I think I've read it at least 12 times since I bought my first copy in cloth. Since then I have owned 2 paperbacks, one which I lend out to friends and one that I read myself. If you love action, drama, history, romance and mystery all rolled into one, then this is the book for you. The heroine will live on long after you've put the book back on the shelf. She is strong and brave in a world dominated by men. I went on to read Barbara Erskines other books after reading "Child of the Phoenix" and I loved them too, but "Phoenix" is my favourite. Infact, if I had to take one book on a desert island with me (and believe me I LOVE books), it would be "Child of the Phoenix". This is her only novel set in one time period, her other books tend to involve two time periods.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CHILD OF THE PHEONIX, 8 Feb. 2005
This is simply the best book that I have ever read!!! A book to truly get lost in. An epic tale of 13th century Britain, involving Royalty, Romance, Obsession, Magic, Drama, Deception and a Death defying love affair.
This book draws you into a world ruled by passions that will tug at your emotions, I found myself living the highs and lows of the heroine, Eleyne's remarkable life. Barbara Eirskine writes with deep and heartfelt emotion for the characters, making them jump straight off the page, in a story that I'm sure with enthrall all lovers of historical fiction.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome piece of Fiction!, 30 Jan. 2007
By 
Misfit (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
And fiction it is, based upon historical characters and NOT historical fiction. The main character, Elyne, is (according to the author's notes at the end) a composite of two characters, one of them being Ellen, the daughter of Llewellyn the Great and Joanna. I admit to being a bit put off at the first part of the book at the characterizations of some of the Welsh court, particularly Joanna. Having read SKP's Here be Dragons, and having adored Joanna and Llewlleyn and their great love, I admit to grumbling abit at having Joanna being portrayed as such a sanctimonious biddy.

Then I realized this was strictly a piece of fiction and I kicked back and thoroughly enjoyed the story. Lots of truly evil villains, two timing fasle tongued kings, some wonderful heros and a spooky ghost or two. What more can you ask for in a book?

Apparently some of the reviewers were put off by the size of the book. It went very quickly for me, but then I'm the type that doesn't like to read any book under 500 pages if I can help it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thirst for history quenched., 21 Nov. 1999
By A Customer
If you like myself love the romance of a drafty Welsh castle then this is the novel for you. At first the brick sized book looks a little scary, and I admit it took me a couple of months to read it but Barbara Erskine weaves a story so rich you believe you are one of the characters. Eleyne is a captivating character, Daughter of Llewellyn Fawr and Joanna the illigitimate daughter of the English King. The novel follows her life from a young girl to her old age, through her lifes trials and loves. This is a hostorical novel you can believe in, almost live in. Buy it and digest it.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well researched a captivating story, 8 Jan. 2002
By A Customer
This is the second book i have read by Barbara Erskine and i found this one equally as excellent.I actually read it in about two weeks as i could not put it down, it came everywhere with me, work, bed the bath!!It follows the life of a welsh princess Eleyne during the 13th century and how at that time women had little or no say in anything, least of all who they married. It is a wonderful mixture of romance, history, ghosts and drama.I was sad to finish it>
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Child of the Phoenix
Child of the Phoenix by Barbara Erskine (Paperback - 19 Feb. 2009)
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