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Child of the Phoenix
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on 17 March 2018
I read this book many years ago, but the first time on Kindle and what a joy it was to be transported back in history. I believe that Llewelyn and Joan's daughter Elen did marry John the Scot but didn't have children. Maybe her youth and his poor health was the reason for this. Perhaps her marriage to Robert de Quincy was so quick because they loved each other and they married before another husband could be found for Elen. She went on to have at least two daughters, Joanna de Bohun and Hawisa de Wake who was an ancestor if Joan if Kent and maybe Anne who became a nun. Elen of Fife/Mar, I suspect was another Elen. She was such an important lady being the ancestor of The Stewarts and to our own Queen, and yet all we know of her is that she lived. We know nothing of her roots. So similar to her great granddaughter, Isobel of Buchan. The book Miss. Erskine has written was beautifully done taking through wild Wales, through England of the Plantagenets and then onto the beauty of Scotland with all the history that goes with it. Anyone that enjoys this period of history will love this beautifully told story.
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on 4 September 2016
I'm a huge fan of Barbara Erskine - read most if not all if her books. I have to say that this is my least favourite as I found it disappointing and a bit dull in places. Apologies if the fault lies with my concentration but I found all the characters and relatives confusing to follow but I then became more muddled when I finished the book and found (if I've understood correctly) most of it was fantasy and not really based on historical fact.

Obviously it's still a good long read for fans but I just felt it missed its mark with me.
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on 11 May 2015
I had purchased and read all of Barbara Erskine's books years ago and enjoyed them very much. Noticing that this one was now on offer as a Kindle edition I bought it immediately. It was as enjoyable as my original read with one or two slight reservations. I did find it overlong.There is not the intriguing time shift element in this novel and I did notice that at times it was a trifle predictable. For example - every time Eleyne was about to discover what vital information Einion needed her to know; someone always arrived to stop it happening. This occurred so many times it began to become tedious. So therefore four stars. However overall it is a very well written and interesting story and should satisfy many historical fiction lovers. Personally, I preferred 'Lady of Hay'
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on 12 April 2015
Following the fortunes of a Welsh princess married into both the English and more importantly Scottish noble families this novel spans a long life in turbulent and violent times in the three kingdoms. The central character Eleyne has 'the sight' and this is both a blessing and a curse as she is able, sometimes, to foresee events but unable to change them. It cleverly portrays the interconnectedness of the nobility of the three kingdoms and the shifting loyalties this sometimes created. I do not enjoy this as much as some of her other books but she is a good writer and the story does not flag.
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on 29 October 2011
At 908 pages long, this is an novel that is difficult to put down. If you can ignore the fact that the welsh pronunciations may well be beyond you, and decide on your own, it is an excellent read. The family tree at the beginning of the book helped a little, but some of the family connections are quite difficult to follow at times.

Splitting the book into sub sections covering shortish spans of time helps, as the entire novel covers 88 years from prologue to last page, and it is like a serial progessing onward.

The characters are well drawn and you find yourself becoming involved in what is happening to them and, as they are fleshed out, sometimes holding your breath as you wait to see what will happen next.

If you enjoy this book, go onto Kingdom of Shadows, as it tells the story from Isobel, Countess of Buchans experiences and life.
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on 21 March 2017
I have read this book probably half a dozen times over the years and it never seems to be less scary!! It's one of the few books I have in paper copy and on my kindle. The tension is palpable between the pages! I seriously have to leave the landing light on!!

The end however I can never get my head around. I'd love to know what happens after the book has finished!!

I highly recommend this book! X
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on 11 June 2014
This novel, for me is Ms Erskine's masterpiece. It's not a time slip one such as her previous novels are but set in one time frame, MEDIEVAL, telling the tale of Eleyne and her long term affair with Robert the Bruce of Scotland and the consequenses which follow such a liaison. It's a remarkable achievement and even though some 600 plus pages long, a real joy to sink into and lose yourself whilst learning some interesting historical facts along the way. It's absorbing, romantic, brutal at times and totally engrossing and for me this is probably this author's greatest acheivement to date. Highly recommended.
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on 29 August 2017
I thoroughly enjoyed this gripping story. I read it years ago and thought it time to re-read. Barbara Erskine's novels are full of atmosphere, the plots are well worked out and the research has been done thoroughly.
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on 2 November 2016
Amazing as always by Barbara. I felt I was in that cottage and the shivers down my spine were very real. Couldn't put this down and stayed awake through the midnight hour and well beyond. Third time I've read this and it gets you every time. Highly highly recommend
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on 28 April 2016
I cannot understand why Barbara Erskine's great books are not much more readily available on Audio CD. This is one of my particular favourites (along with Lady of Hay and House of Echoes) A gripping story of haunting, a dash of ancient history, and plenty of interaction between a bunch of strong characters. Worth every penny!
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