What Secret Lies Within the House of Shadows?
House of Shadows was exquisite: rich with imagery, imagination, and intrigue. The stories of women and men from across the ages were blended seamlessly together, united by two enchanted objects (a mirror and a pearl), that shaped their destinies through disaster and heartbreak. The stories of star crossed lovers and lives wrecked by the mirror and the pearl, and the lies of those who tried to control them, come to rest in our modern day in a woman named Holly Ansell.
Holly’s first clue that something supernatural may behind the disappearance of her older brother is that she glimpses a beautiful mansion through the trees on her way to his home…despite the fact that the mansion had been destroyed in a mysterious fire more than a century before. Not to mention the fact that her brother has vanished into thin air while searching for a mysterious pearl. Holly’s investigation into the cursed mirror and pearl reveals that people across the ages have lied and lost everything trying to control and own the objects. The mirror and pearl have doomed relationships, and may have led the souls of one particular pair of star crossed lovers to keep returning to earth, until things can be righted and the objects destroyed.
House of Shadows is told through the eyes of Holly in the present day, through the journal entries of Lavinia Flyte in the 1800s, and through the eyes of the Winter Queen (Elizabeth Stuart) and Duke of Cumberland in the 1600s. All of the women are well developed characters, easy to feel sympathy for, although the Winter Queen’s haughtiness can be infuriating at times. Each time period in the book is painted in vivid detail, making it easy to imagine, and the switch between time periods is done without a hitch, and helps to break up the action, romance, and heartache. This book has all the right ingredients to appeal to a wide variety of readers: historical fiction fans will delight in the stories of both Elizabeth and Lavinia, romance readers will find deep satisfaction in the sensual and genuine romantic relationships in each time period, and mystery lovers will like the twists and turns that the story takes as Holly searches for her brother and attempts to unlock the mystery of the mirror and the pearl. This is truly escapist fiction at its best.