Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Review: The Splendour Falls by Susanna Kearsley

Title: The Splendour Falls   
Author: Susanna Kearsley  
Published: January 2014, Sourcebooks Landmark
Format: ARC e-copy, 386 pages  
Source:  Netgalley 

1205 - the town of Chinon is beseiged by enemies of King John, and his young Queen calls upon a trusted servant to conceal her treasured jewels.

Emily Braden is intrigued by the medieval story of Queen Isabelle, and cannot resist when her cousin Harry, a historian, suggests a trip to the white-walled town of Chinon, nestling in France's Loire Valley. But when Harry vanishes and Emily begins to search for him, she stumbles across another intriguing mystery -- a second Isabelle, a chambermaid during the Second World War, who had her own tragedy, and her own treasure to hide.

As Emily explores the ancient town of labyrinthine tunnels, old enmities, and new loves, she finds herself drawn ever closer to the mysterious Isabelles and their long-kept secrets.

My thoughts: Ever since reading The Winter Sea and The Firebird, both of which I loved, I have become a huge fan of Susanna Kearsley and so when I saw that The Splendour Falls was being released in the US, I jumped at the opportunity to request it from Netgalley. And let me tell you, I was definitely not disappointed - I loved this story!

It's so easy to get caught up in Susanna's writing and I love how she so seamlessly intertwines her storylines, both past and present to tell such a fascinating tale. In this case, there are actually three stories being told, each more interesting than the next but all compelling just the same. The characters themselves are equally interesting and dynamic - some more likeable than others, but even those that are sketchy are quite dynamic. Between the mystery and the romance, the book keeps you engaged and wanting more.

Right from the start I was drawn to the character of Emily, but also very intrigued by the stories of both Isabelles. Even the town of Chinon plays an interesting role in this story - it's almost as if it's another character in the book. It really does seems like quite a charming town, steeped in history - a place that I would absolutely love to visit one day.

Susanna Kearsley has quickly become one of my favorite authors and is definitely on my must-read list. I was completely hooked from the beginning of this book and am looking forward to reading the rest of her books that I have not yet read. If you've read any of her books, do you have a favorite?



  1. I haven't read any of Kearsley's books, but you've got me interested! I will check her out.

    1. She is such a great author - I love getting lost in her books!!!

  2. Glad to read you liked it. I'm a fan of SK and have listened to a couple of her books. I read and loved The Winter Sea. Think I'll listen to this. Her books are a wonderful escape, aren't they?

    1. I haven't tried her books on audio - I'm sure they are really good, though. And yes, they are a great escape!

  3. I'm so glad you loved this book. I just signed up with NetGalley and was glad my request for this book was approved! I'm a big fan of Kearsley as well.

    1. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this one. I have a few other of her books that I'm hoping to get to soon! Netgalley is fun, but dangerous!!!

  4. I'm so excited to read this book! I'm sorry that I missed it when it was on Netgalley. Oh well, I guess that's an excuse to buy another book ;)


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