SHADOW OF ALBION Hardcover – Apr 14 1999
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From Publishers Weekly
Norton (Scent of Magic) and Edghill's (Book of Moons) collaboration shows how British history might have developed had the heirless Charles II been succeeded by his eldest bastard, the Duke of Monmouth, instead of by his unpopular brother James. Three generations after the change, in the early 19th century, the French have had their revolution, but America remains a colony (governed by Lord Protector Thomas Jefferson). Magic and faerie exist, but are even more covert than the numerous political factions and plots that enliven this action-packed novel. The story starts when the dying Marchioness of Roxbury gives her body to the consciousness of an alternate self: Sarah Cunningham, a poor orphan. Sarah must fulfill the marchioness's neglected promises: to protect King Henry IX's throne from the machinations of the spurned James's descendants and the designs of Napoleon, while helping the magical Old People of her estate fight off a Terror-beast that wants them destroyed. Sarah humorously adjusts to her new identity, encounters her dashing but (apparently) cold husband by an arranged marriage and ultimately proves her bravery. The archaic language might test some readers ("a slightly old-fashioned dress of sprig muslin" with "a ruffled lawn fichu") but the ton atmosphere and arch manners are richly described. Fans of the period and certainly of historical fantasy will be pleased by the amusing characters and elaborately plotted intrigue.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
A magical summons draws a destitute Sarah Cunningham from her own world into an alternate Earth where she becomes Lady Sarah, Marchioness of Roxbury, and finds herself caught in the midst of a deadly web of intrigue and unexpected romance. Coauthors Norton and Edghill combine their considerable expertise and skill to create a light-hearted excursion into romantic fantasy, featuring a heroine determined to transform herself from unwitting pawn into active player in the games of politics, love, and magic. With strong appeal for fans of alternate historical fantasy and Regency romances, this title belongs in most fantasy collections.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
In this novel, it is 1805 and Napoleon Bonoparte rules in France. Sarah, Marchioness of Roxbury, is dying of galloping consumption and Dame Alecto Kennet arrives to confront Roxbury with her dereliction of duty, for she has no heir. They look into the timelines for one to take her place and find Sarah Cunningham from Maryland sailing to England. Roxbury rides to the Saracen Stones to effect the change.
Sarah Cunningham is a child of the new Republic, spending her childhood years between Baltimore and the deep woods. She has grown up among the Cree indian lodges, hunting, fishing, and cooking the game on an open fire. Then, when she is 25, her parents die of cholera and she is taken in by a distant cousin of her mothers.
Sarah Cunningham is aboard ship because a Madame Alecto Kennet has come to America as an agent of the Dowager Duchess of Wessex and Sarah is called to England to right a wrong done to her family. Unfortunately, Madame Kennet dies at sea. Sarah leaves the ship at Bristol and catches the mail coach to London. On the way, they colllide with a strange spidery chariot driven by herself. Sarah falls through the coach window and loses consciousness.Read more ›
The Marchioness of Roxbury, a vain and vapid woman, is on her deathbed, having failed to fulfill a promise made to the Fair Folk. She lives in an alternate England where magic exists, though it's subtle. The only way she can keep her word is by switching places with Sarah Cunningham, her double from our world, an independent woman who was raised in the wilderness and knows her way around a musket. Sarah's memories are jumbled by magic, and now she has to figure out who she is.
She and her new husband, Wessex, get caught up in a deadly game of espionage, kidnapping, and murder. When Sarah becomes friends with the Crown Prince's new sweetheart, the game gets even deeper. Danger, betrayal, and unexpected allies are around every corner. While the love story between Sarah and Wessex is never developed really well, the adventure is fun and movie-like, and the end leaves me wanting more. Gotta go read the sequel now.
Most recent customer reviews
If you're a Regency romance fan, this book is for you. It's a great introduction to the alternate history/fantasy genre that combines the familiar aspects of Regency society with... Read morePublished on April 20 2002 by mayfayre
The regency romance is in a state of decline except for some huge talents who are managing to breathe new life into it. Read morePublished on March 17 2002 by carol irvin
~I've never been a fan of alternate histories, but this one kept me interested long enough to finish--and I'm considering buying the sequel. Read morePublished on Oct. 9 2001
I'm afraid I must agree with the reviewers below. The plot was promising, but ultimately unsatisfying. Read morePublished on May 27 2001
A bunch of aristocrats with long and silly names run around playing at James Bond in cravats. If Regency Romances, excruciatingly detailed accounts of attire, and sentences... Read morePublished on Aug. 4 2000
I have read books by both author's previously and enjoyed them so but find this novel even more satisfying than either on their own. Read morePublished on July 25 2000
Good. I could not put it down when I was reading it. Nice alternate history. A bit of the "Regency romance" feel to it, except in the alternate world there was no Regency... Read morePublished on May 23 2000 by Celeste Chang