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Publisher's Summary

The acclaimed author of A Most Extraordinary Pursuit brings a dazzling voice and extraordinary plot twists to this captivating Scottish adventure....

Scotland, 1906. A mysterious object discovered inside an ancient castle calls Maximilian Haywood, the new Duke of Olympia, and his fellow researcher Emmeline Truelove north to the remote Orkney Islands. No stranger to the study of anachronisms in archeological digs, Haywood is nevertheless puzzled by the artifact: a suit of clothing that, according to family legend, once belonged to a selkie who rose from the sea and married the castle's first laird.

But Haywood and Truelove soon realize they're not the only ones interested in the selkie's strange hide. When their mutual friend Lord Silverton vanishes in the night from an Edinburgh street, their quest takes a dangerous turn through time, which puts Haywood's extraordinary talents - and Truelove's courage - to their most breathtaking test yet.

©2017 Juliana Gray (P)2017 Penguin Audio

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Time travel escape

This is a charming time travel escapist adventure. I enjoyed the first half of the book, set in the early years of the 20th century, more than the second, set in 14th century Orkney. I am charmed by the intermittent appearances of the ghosts of the protagonist's father and of Queen Victoria, and I was sorry that these phantoms seem to have difficulty making the journey backwards through time. It's a mystery to me why the aristocratic hero develops a most unaristocratic accent after time travel. Why did the narrator do this? Why did the director (or whoever supervises such things) allow it?
The narrator is not very good. Apart from the accent fiasco, she mispronounces many not-so-very-unusual words. Worst of all, she pronounces the title of the heir to a British duke "mar-keys" -- which is there title of a French noblewoman -- instead of "mar-quiss." Ouch! It's like the scratching of a fingernail on a slate blackboard. At times, the narration lapses into singsong phrases, which I find it hard to tolerate. Usually, when that happens, I stop listening to an audiobook, but I listened to this one all the way through. That's probably because I expected to learn that the heroine is the natural daughter of King Edward -- if that is what happens in volume 3, you heard it here first.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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I liked the ideas but it wandered too much

The interesting idea strands in this book seemed hapharzardly and unconvincingly tied together. I was disappointed because I really like the ideas she is playing with and think they could have been interconnected and flowed forward with much more conviction and satisfaction. There are passages of beautiful language and description -- not surprising since I think the author is first, a poet. Poets don't necessarily make good fiction writers and fiction writers are not necessarily good poets -- different skills, different arts; no harm in trying. Respect to Juliana Gray/Beatriz Williams. Some of her other series of less exploratory themes than selkies and time travel - may be better, heeling more tightly to her story line.

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Great escapism!

loved it.. good story line combo mysticism and reality.. excellent narrator. Great description. and style of writing.

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  • Cheryl
  • EATON, CO, United States
  • 09-25-17

Interesting premise

I certainly enjoyed this book more than the first one in the series. It filled in some blanks where I needed more information in order to really enjoy it. However, the narrator really put me off - why on earth would a duke, well-educated, raised with wealth and privilege suddenly loose his upper class British accent and start doing a really poor imitation of a Cockney? If you are really into time-travel, this has some interesting situations and characters, it might very well be developing into a good series.