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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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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!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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,

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A fantastic novel full of mystery and intrigue!

The narrator had a beautiful voice and articulated the different characters very well. I really enjoyed this book and all its twists and turns!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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FANTASTIC!

I loved this story! It has everything... romance, mystery, time travel & even a ghost! I was sad when it ended... but it was an excellent finish to a very exciting book! I'll probably listen to it again very soon!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Slow and disappointing

This story had so much potential but unfortunately the execution leaves much to be desired. The narrator is lovely but the plot is slow and quiet; there are a million ways this story could have been done well and it just really misses the mark. It's too bad about the execution because the premise for the book is fantastic.

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  • J. Jones
  • Yorba Linda, California United States
  • 12-28-18

Great!

I'm not usually a fan of this genre, but I'm SO GLAD I took a chance. Great story, great narrators. Highly recommend.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Original time travel

I have to say, this starts of rather slow, and it took me a bit to pull me in. That's because it's not what you expect - which turns out to be great! It's has some magic, mystery, a bit of romance, history, debauchery, and is definitely an original twist! I like that the story doesn't leave any loose ends, every little piece, that may have seemed insignificant when first mentioned, was explained and made the story a whole. I like that there were two different narrators, to really distinguish the two main characters.

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  • Fibi
  • 01-17-19

Disappointing Ending

This story was basically a romance, the story had the opportunity to be interesting, but did not live up to this potential. The storyline had gaps and the end was rushed and sentimental.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • gillian s wakeling
  • 01-13-19

Yes

This book is so atmospheric you are there looking in I recommend it to escape with.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-29-18

Exelent

fantastic books, as a one off story it has everything I could wish for. Intrigue, love, magic and charm. Great characters end a plot that keeps you reading. In a way I do wish there was more.

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  • gepocock
  • 11-27-18

I've found a new favourite author 🤣

It's tough sometimes taking a chance with a previous monthly credit, but I'm glad I did. In the footsteps of Erskine, I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. I will definitely seek out other books by Nicola Cornick. The narrators also were great.