Title: The Phantom Tree
Author: Nicola Cornick
Publish Date: August 21, 2018 by Graydon House
# of Pages: 384
Buy it*: Amazon
(From Goodreads)“My name is Mary Seymour and I am the daughter of one queen and the niece of another.”
Browsing antiques shops in Wiltshire, Alison Bannister stumbles across a delicate old portrait—supposedly of Anne Boleyn. Except Alison knows better. The subject is Mary Seymour, the daughter of Katherine Parr, who was taken to Wolf Hall in 1557 as an unwanted orphan and presumed dead after going missing as a child. And Alison knows this because she, too, was in Wolf Hall…with Mary…in 1557.
The painting of Mary is more than just a beautiful object for Alison—it holds the key to her past life, the unlocking of the mystery surrounding Mary’s disappearance and how Alison can get back to her own time. But Alison’s quest soon takes a dark and foreboding turn, as a meeting place called the Phantom Tree harbors secrets in its shadows…
A spellbinding tale for fans of Kate Morton, Philippa Gregory and Barbara Erskine by the bestselling author of House of Shadows.
Rating (1-5, 5 is exceptional)
Quality of Writing – 4
Pace – 3
Plot Development – 4
Ending – 4
Characters – 4
Enjoyability – 4
Ease of Reading – 4
Overall Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Phantom Tree by Nicola Cornick is a time-traveling novel about family ties, murder, and romance.
I thoroughly enjoy historical fiction, so I was intrigued by The Phantom Tree the moment I read the description. I’m happy to say that the book lived up to its description! It was a daring, intense ride that had me turning the pages quickly. I fell in love with the characters of Alison and Mary Seymour and found myself at the edge of my seat as I followed their lives.
The book was well-written, though the pace is on the slower side. I was okay with the slower pace, consumed as I was by the vivid details.
The story concept and over-arching plot was enchanting. There’s a dash of fantasy mixed in with the heartbreak of a lost son. I enjoyed the different perspectives, delving into both past and present. Getting into the heads of Alison and Mary was a fun experience–the girls are completely different, so they advanced the story in different ways.
I liked the ending. It didn’t end the way I expected, but I appreciated how everything came full circle in the end.
The character development in The Phantom Tree was good. Alison and Mary’s characters, especially, were fleshed out nicely. I appreciated their depth of character and learning about them as the book went on. The secondary characters–like Adam, Arthur, Thomas, and Will–weren’t developed nearly as well, but they were all written to be very unique characters, so I think that worked well for the book.
If you enjoy historical fiction, you should think about adding this one to your TBR! This was an easy 4-stars for me, and I’ll definitely be checking out future books by this author.
Thank you to NetGalley for providing the Kindle version of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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