The Phantom Tree by Nicola Cornick. Review 

Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for my ARC. 
This book was surprisingly brilliant. I say surprisingly because I must admit that while it appealed to me (obviously as I requested it), I couldn’t help but roll my eyes a little and think ‘not another novel set in Tudor times’. This may have something to do with the fact that I’ve packed the whole of Philippa Gregory’s Tudor Court novels to take on holiday with me. 

However, I was pleasantly surprised. This book was such a page turner. I literally couldn’t put it down! 

The Phantom Tree follows the story of Alison Banestre an orphan in the 16th century who ends up staying at Wolf Hall with her relatives the Seymours and specifically her cousin Mary Seymour daughter of the ex-Queen Katherine Parr. What follows is a tale of time travel, Magic, history and romance both in this century and the past. 

I think what really won me over with this book was the author’s ability to write something which was not in anyway cliched or ridiculous when it was a topic which frankly could have been. Time travel is something which has to be handled very carefully and it was great to see how well it was dealt with and also to see it turned on its head. Here we aren’t talking about someone who who travelled back in time but instead travelled forward and actually coped and adjusted to the modern world. That was the true magic in this story.w

The characters were both engaging and likeable and the language understandable and not overly ‘olde english’ as is often the case with historical novels. 

This is definitely up there as one of my reads of this year. Highly recommended! 


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