Friday, July 27

Book Review: The Phantom Tree by Nicola Cornick

Author: Nicola Cornick
Title: The Phantom Tree
Genre: Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Mystery 
Pages: ebook
Published: December 29th 2016
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Netgalley)

Browsing antiques shops in Wiltshire, Alison Bannister stumbles across a delicate old portrait – supposedly of Anne Boleyn. Except Alison knows better… The woman is Mary Seymour, the daughter of Katherine Parr who was taken to Wolf Hall in 1557 as an unwanted orphan and presumed dead after going missing as a child.

The painting is more than just a beautiful object from Alison’s past – it holds the key to her future, unlocking the mystery surrounding Mary’s disappearance, and the enigma of Alison’s son.

But Alison’s quest soon takes a dark and foreboding turn, as a meeting place called the Phantom Tree harbours secrets in its shadows…

I loved this premise so I had to give this books a try.

Now, the story follows Mary and Allison who were roommates and distant relatives at Wolf Hall. Mary is the daughter of the late Queen Catherine and Allison is pretty much a nobody. A distant relative of the Seymour clan. Things happen and Allison finds her way into the future and has a big mystery on her hands that only Mary, in the past, can help with. 

I liked both Mary and Allison. I’m glad they started out hating each other, but then becoming friends…of sorts. They are those typical frenemies if you will. They give each other a hard time because they are so different, but they are really truly the same at the same time. It really made their relationship special. I will have to say, I did like Allison’s POV the best. I might be biased since she was in the present, but we got to see her past POV as well. Her’s was the most interesting and the one I really wanted to understand. Mary was okay too but it took a long time for things to start getting interesting. 

The fantasy aspect was done well here. I was worried, but it worked well. There were sometimes I was confused, but it worked out well. 

My only complaint about this book was the ending. I had to re-read it a couple of times, especially Mary’s part there. I am still not 100% sure what happened to Mary at the end there. I THINK I know what happened, but do I? Not sure. Maybe someone to explain it to me. I feel dumb. 


I really did enjoy the story, the characters, and the mystery. I actually teared up when the big reveal occurred. It was of joy and sorrow. The author did an amazing job with this. I was pleased. 

In the end, I liked this story a lot. The ending for Mary left me scratching my head even now and I read that a couple of times. If you like historical fictions mixed with some fantasy/paranormal, I recommend this. It is good and maybe if someone who reads it can explain to me the ending. I’ll stamp this with….4 stars. 


Blodeuedd said...

I am not sure about that ending cos I DO not like not getting what actually happened

Carole Rae said...

Maybe you would get it and you can explain it to me.

Anna (herding cats-burning soup) said...

It sounds really good but oh the ending. That's too bad. I've had them that have left me going wait, what? before, too.

Carole Rae said...

Yes! I hate those ending. I hate not getting it. Makes me wonder if it is me. LOL that is why I hope someone read it and can answer me haha