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The Shadow of Albion (1999)

af Andre Norton, Rosemary Edghill (Forfatter)

Andre forfattere: Se andre forfattere sektionen.

Serier: Carolus Rex (1)

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404661,520 (3.66)19
Young Sarah Cunningham is ripped from the present day and thrust into a volatile alternative Europe of 1805 where King Henry IX rules over the English Empire, America has no revolution, and Napoleon Bonaparte marches unchecked across Europe.
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Viser 1-5 af 6 (næste | vis alle)
I found this book on my shelves recently and had no memory of it. So I re-read it, and I found only one character was familiar... and even him I might have had confused with a similar spymaster in another book.

Enjoyable, but I think I'm likely to forget it all over again. ( )
  akaGingerK | Sep 30, 2018 |
This is a fantasy set in an alternate early 19th century England, in which the Stuarts still rule (Charles II having been succeeded by his son rather than his arrogant and pig-headed brother), and the Lord Protector of the American colonies is Thomas Jefferson, Earl of Monticello. This book is the first of a projected series whose intended length is unstated, but th e series title is Carolus Rex, which is suggestive: in this book, in 1805, the king of England is Henry IX, and his only son is Prince James.

But none of these characters are our protagonists. The book opens with Sarah Conyngham, Marchioness of Roxbury (a peer in her own right, apparently slightly more common in this world than in our own), dying of her own foolishness in getting soaked and spending another few hours enjoying herself rather than getting inside and getting warm and dry. Unfortunately, this England can't really afford to be without the Marchioness of Roxbury; the Old People still walk the land, and England's safety depends in part on the promises that exist between Roxbury and the Old People--and Roxbury at present has no heir to take up the responsibility. So a replacement Roxbury is needed, and one is found: one Sarah Cunningham of Baltimore, in the USA, from our world. With her parents dead, she has traveled to England to live with a distant cousin, and en route from Portsmouth to London she will be killed in a carriage crash.

Except that, of course, the dying Roxbury and her allies intervene, and the two Sarahs change places. With her own memory temporarily suppressed and a few of the late Marchioness's allies working to fill in her "memory" of the dead woman's life, Sarah Cunningham, with some bewilderment, takes up her new role.

That's the set-up. The plot, like the plots of many good regency novels, involves a plot: specifically, a plot by an ambitious Catholic lord to prevent the Prince of Wales' marriage to the Danish (and Protestant) Princess Stephanie, and instead marry him to his niece, thus bringing England back into the Catholic fold. There is, of course, also a parallel French plot (yes, Napoleon's career is much the same, in this world) to prevent the Danish marriage and draw Denmark into a French alliance, to become a platform for a French invasion of England. Prince Jamie is being encouraged by the Catholic plotters to resent the Danish betrothal and the Danish princess, and he also wants to have Adventures, specifically to go fight against the French--a prospect which naturally appalls the king, who doesn't have a spare heir handy. So in addition to forbidding any such hare-brained plans as joining the fighting, King Henry wants the Danish princess to have the right kind of social backing when she arrives, so that she won't become so socially isolated that Prince Jamie's resistance to the marriage gets popular support.

To that end, he wants one of the most influential women in society, the Marchioness of Roxbury, to be Mistress of Robes. For that, she has to be married. No problem; she's betrothed--a childhood betrothal--to the Duke of Wessex, who happens to be one of King Henry's most loyal men, and a covert agent of the Crown. (He's ashamed of being a spy, of course, being an honorable man and a creature of his culture, and even more ashamed of the fact that he enjoys it.)

Wessex and the faux Roxbury don't like or trust each other, and the fact that she has absolutely no memory of the formal renewal of the betrothal, which supposedly took place when she was sixteen, strengthens Sarah's previously weak and vague suspicions that something is very strange, and she's not who everyone thinks she is.

It's from this point that things start to get complicated. Recommended if you like regency novels. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
By Andre Norton and Rosemary Edghill, though I suspect Edghill wrote most of it - it's not very stylistically Norton). Alternate-history adventure-romance with magic & lots of intrigue - fun stuff. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Fiction is lovely when done right. And Andre Norton has entertained me since I was a young reader borrowing her books from the local library.

This story is a historical romance/fiction set in an alternate history where Charles Stuart II (King of England) announces that the Duke on Monmouth is actually his legitimate heir and so the Stuart's continue to rein instead of James (brother to Charles and Catholic to boot) taking the throne. In this alternate world America never breaks off from England as the Stuarts are better at keeping on friendly and reasonable terms.

Our main character is a girl from Boston from the real world who is drawn into this other world to replace a Duchess who is dying before fulfilling a promise that must be fulfilled. She has to figure out how to be an aristocrat without giving herself away. She also has to deal with being promised in marriage to the Duke of Wessex, our other main character. He, is busy leading a life of intrigue as a spy for the King during the time of war with France lead by Napoleon. He's not very familiar with the Duchess (they were betrothed when they were both children) and he's not really sure he wants to settle down and he does not want to give up being a spy to marry a silly woman whose main interests in life are parties and fashion.

Of course adventures begin that lead to our two characters getting caught up in intrigue and travel in this time of war as they begin to discover that the other may not be the person they thought they were. ( )
  Chris_El | Mar 19, 2015 |
Shadow of Albion is a historical fantasy set in the Regency period of an alternate world. The story begins when Sarah Cunningham is stolen from this world to a parallel one to perform an unspecified task to do with the Mooncoign estate and the Old People of England. She is drugged to suppress her real memories, and takes the place of the Marchioness of Roxbury.
As the Marchioness of Roxbury she marries the Duke of Wessex, an aristocrat and a spy, and as his wife she is kidnapped to stop his espionage activities. Meanwhile the Duke is searching for a Danish Princess who is to wed the Crown Prince of England as part of a treaty. Against the backdrop of war between Napoleon and the Grande Alliance, Wessex’ espionage activities takes him from Copenhagen to Paris and all over France, his character somewhat between The Three Musketeers and James Bond – all the nifty gadgets and a loyal sidekick.
The fantastical elements aren't very integrated in the story, they are very understated to the point of only occuring as plotdevices - bringing Sarah from one world to another, disappearing Princess Stephanie into thin air.
The plotline is full of holes, there are several unresolved plot elements, and the characters aren’t properly fleshed out. The need that drives the true Marchioness to exchange place with Sarah is never explained, and seems all the more like a plot device since the Dowager Duchess of Wessex never enter the story after she causes Sarah to be brought to this reality, and gets her married to her grandson. No one follows up on the drugging and ensure that Sarah is properly brainwashed, and the Duchess apparently have no worries about marrying her grandson to someone who is not whom she seems, and might not be properly educated to take her place. The Old People contacts Sarah on several occasions, but never explains what her charge is. And when Sarah regains her memories, she is neither upset with her kidnappers, nor does she contemplate trying to go back to her real world.
The flaws make this story no more than average, but the Regency atmosphere is a joy, and I thoroughly enjoyed a world where England did not sink the Danish fleet. ( )
  amberwitch | Jan 20, 2008 |
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Andre Nortonprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Edghill, RosemaryForfatterhovedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
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Young Sarah Cunningham is ripped from the present day and thrust into a volatile alternative Europe of 1805 where King Henry IX rules over the English Empire, America has no revolution, and Napoleon Bonaparte marches unchecked across Europe.

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