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Publisher's Summary

Browsing an antiques shop in Wiltshire, Alison Bannister stumbles across a delicate old portrait - identified as the doomed Tudor queen Anne Boleyn. Except Alison knows better. The subject is Mary Seymour, the daughter of Katherine Parr, who was taken to Wolf Hall in 1557 and presumed dead after going missing as a child. And Alison knows this because she, too, lived at Wolf Hall and knew Mary...more than 400 years ago.

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. To when she and Mary were childhood enemies yet shared a pact that now, finally, must be fulfilled, no matter the cost.

Best-selling author of House of Shadows, Nicola Cornick offers a provocative alternate history of rivals, secrets, and danger, set in a time when a woman’s destiny was determined by the politics of men and luck of birth. A spellbinding tale for fans of Kate Morton, Philippa Gregory, and Barbara Erskine.

©2018 Nicola Cornick (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers, Limited

What listeners say about The Phantom Tree

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent! Best book I have read in a LONG time!

Great story! I am a big fan of time swap stories and this one fit the bill! I often struggle getting hooked on the beginning of a book but this one had my full attention right from the start. I thought that this book would be too predictable but I was wrong. lots of twists to keep your interest until the very last page. I was sad to finish this story and would love to know what happens next! The narrative was great and I would have given it 5 stars but I had to speed up some chapters as certain characters were voiced in a very slow manner. Otherwise I would have given it five stars all around! If you love historical romance and mystery with a modern twist then this book is for you

18 people found this helpful

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Something different!

I loved this book! The story was well written and interesting all the way through. I'm going to try to find more by this author now!

12 people found this helpful

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Surprisingly good

I love Tudor fiction and I love time travel stories. If you liked A Discovery of Witches you will like this, although it’s more realistic and doesn’t have vampires and witches. It’s more in the vein of Outlander in terms of realism. The narrator did a fine job and I enjoyed her performance.
The two main characters are women from the 16th century. One stays firmly put in that place and time while the other is a time traveler who gets stuck in the present day. Other than a few eyebrow raising impossibilities (a sprig of Rosemary would be dust after 400 years) the story was well developed and all the loose ends tied up neatly. The author doesn’t require her readers to think too incredibly hard and as long as you don’t question it too much,

21 people found this helpful

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  • TB
  • 02-17-19

To much focus on a weak romance tanks it

Book sucked me right in. The first 10 or so chapters are wonderful. Great mystery, great historical fiction. Then after that it pretty much becomes a full blown romance novel. I can enjoy a well written romance but this wasn’t that well written. It’s disappointing to be ripping through not wanting to put it down then after chapter 10 I thought about putting it down and never finishing a few times because it was so corny. I pushed through and finished but I would likely never read this again and never recommend it except to that one friend who can’t get enough of cheese ball romance.

7 people found this helpful

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Great story!

I really liked this book, it had an amazing story and characters were well developed and interesting. I usually don’t write reviews but this book deserved one!

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Great summer listen or read

Books with two narrators and two action streams often fall into the difficulty of one being more interesting than the other. Not this book. The stories of both Alison and Mary are based on enough urgency to keep the reader moving forward, wanting to know what happens next. Each woman is interesting in her own way, though Alison as a character is a little more believable. Mary makes some inconsistent switches, falling in and out of love instantly, suddenly becoming a sharper, smarter person with more resolve. But I decided just to go with it and enjoy the story.

I especially like the way the two women become allies due to circumstances rather than affectionate friends. Their reasons for working together help impel the action. At times when it looked like the plot was about to devolve into conventional, boring romance (good and bad), there were some nice twists.

On the down side, there are some irritating verbal ticks. I've never before encountered so many stomachs that dropped. Alison seems to apologize for something several times in every scene, especially with Adam. Suddenly toward the end, there's some swearing for emphasis. Swearing doesn't bother me at all, but it doesn't fit this book or the way the characters talked up until that moment. And as a way to illustrate strong emotion, it's false.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

horrible

Stupid, terrible story. I can't believe I listened to as much as I did. Stupid storyline, dumb characters. I was especially put off by the love-making and curse words. Mostly non-fiction with a few historical facts thrown in. Not worth the read.

3 people found this helpful

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the phantom tree

good. had trouble knowing which character the chapter was suppose to be about unless it said so and then could be difficult as all the voices sounded the same for each character.

3 people found this helpful

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Phenomenal book

I listened to this in one day. I'm so glad I risked a credit on a new author.

I'm going to have to listen again tomorrow to make sure I've missed nothing.

Bravo.

And the narration was spot on.

3 people found this helpful

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Silly. inconsistent, sorta decent plot

My dislike for historical romance novels was reinforced. the idea was great. the writing average. If one is going to attempt to blend historical fiction with time travel, one should make sure gross inconsistencies are fixed.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • NickiMags
  • 12-17-18

Very Enjoyable Time Travel Audiobook

I came across this book on Instagram a couple of months ago and fell in love with both the cover and the synopsis. I love historical fiction as you know and I also love a good time travelling tale too
Told by both Alison in the present day and by Mary Seymour in the 1500s this was a very enjoyable story combining those two genres. I haven’t read many books set in this time period and this turned out to be a good book to start as with because of the dual time plot. It’s definitely made me want to listen to more audiobooks set during the Tudor and Elizabethan eras.
I wasn’t too sure about Alison in the beginning as the narrator (Stephanie Racine) read her as very standoffish and cold. However, as I heard more of the story I found out why she was like this and appreciated the narration a lot more. Laura Kirman who reads Mary Seymour, is a voice artist I’ve heard a few times already so was used to her style which worked perfectly for her portrayal of Mary.
As well as the historical and time travelling elements there are a few mysteries weaving their way throughout the book. As the book got nearer to the big reveal I ended up driving for longer in the car as I was desperate to find out more.
I definitely recommend this to lovers of historical fiction and time travel and look forward to seeing what Nicola Cornick comes up with next.

3 people found this helpful

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  • zippy
  • 02-10-21

I love this wonderful book

This book is amazing full of intrigue , history and from the first word to the last I couldn’t get enough.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Piper H
  • 11-13-20

Amazing

Loved the storyline& the narration! Definitely recommend the book. Clever & imaginative. Great read!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • T Simmonds
  • 05-07-20

Wonderful

The end made me cry it was so beautiful .
Wonderfully written and read . Look forward-to your next book

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sue Power
  • 02-04-20

Fantastic

Loved this book kept me intrigued to the very end wonderful and very exciting... Bravo

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Woodys Mum
  • 05-26-19

Loved it

This was a new author for me
If you are a Barbara Erskine fan you will love this author
couldnt stop listening to it

Excellent

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  • Nina
  • 05-12-19

The Phantom Tree

Randomly chose this book when i was struggling to find something to listen to during a train journey. Took a wee bit to get in to it then loved it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Elaine M.
  • 04-04-19

Loved It!

This book is so good, it gripped me from the beginning and took me as it’s willing passenger through time.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joanna Smith
  • 03-22-19

Wild Will rides again!

As someone who lives in the area this book is set in, I was intrigued to listen and see what I would recognise of the landscape of the story. It was wonderfully woven into the fabric of the places that I know so well and love. For anyone wondering if Miiddlecote is real, it is! The real name is Littlecote and is now a hotel. Wild William and his legend is a person I've known of for so long and it was very interesting to see him fleshed out into a character that went beyond that. He felt like a proper person. I love how intertwined the characters in this novel and enjoyed the complex relationship between Alison and Mary. My only criticism of this audiobook would be that the pronunciation of place names isn't great. Marlborough isn't said like that by anyone local and it jarred at me a little each time, hence the loss of a star for performance.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-18-19

Enjoyable mystery with good detail in history

Well read, good tension, and building mystery.
Enjoyed the modern and historical aspects and the storytelling.
Well read and easy to follow.