Who recommends: Preeti, Julie, Kathleen, Suzanne, Isabel, Margaret
Who discommends: Shelley, Danielle, JW
Yep, finally finished it the other night. I did like it; but with reservations. It was pretty obvious it was written by two hands and I know I liked the one better (I'm sure it was Edghill's touch).
The plot was too involved. It could have been a much simpler story and the romance could definitely have been beefed up. Basically, I found the ending a touch unbelievable. There was not enough interaction between h/h to end so abruptly.
The setting was good and I did enjoy that. In all, I was disappointed because it could have been so much better. But it was still good enough to finish, just a little lackluster for me.--Julie
Since I love books by Andre Norton and Rosemary Edghill I really wanted to love THE SHADOW OF ALBION. Unfortunately I did not. It started off well enough (and I am a Regency nut, so was really enjoying that part) but the story line just bogged down for me in the last half of the book. I finished it, noted everyone was rescued and sorted out and was really irritated by the threads left dangling. Much of the book was a set up for action that we may get to see if there is a sequel - I find this 'nails on the chalk board' annoying.--Shelley
If I didn't like Regencies so much, I wouldn't have enjoyed this book. I have a feeling that the parts I liked best are the ones written by Edghill. Hopefully she'll spin this off to do her own books in the series without Norton.--Preeti
An interesting world, just not enough romance for me. Perhaps the sequel will have more.--Danielle
A marginal recommendation. This book seemed like a somewhat uneasy amalgam of the two writers. I liked the characters, but the pace of the story seemed to vary between a stroll and a gallop. Another book that seems to imply a sequel could be coming.--Kathleen
Good thing I read THE SHADOW OF ALBION before starting THE LAST DRAGONLORD or it would have suffered horribly in comparison. I was predisposed to enjoying it for the pseudo Regency setting alone and I did enjoy it, although it was a little choppy and the romance was not totally satisfying. I have read most of Edghill's Regencies but have to confess that I have yet to pick up anything by Norton.--Isabel (03 Sep 99)
I couldn't really care about the characters in THE SHADOW OF ALBION. I thought they did a good job with world-building, lots of subtle details, but I never felt involved.--JW (03 Sep 99)
Ummm. Well. Hmmm. I've read quite a bit of Andre Norton, though not for some years, and have only read one book by Rosemary Edghill but these books were not as good as I had expected. The setting is an alternative England where Charles II was succeeded by his oldest son rather than his brother. There is also magic. I found this a bit annoying because the idea was that there are many alternative universes, each branching off at some critical moment and I could not see how the accession of Charles II's son caused a universe with magic.
The heroine (Sarah), from our world, is dragged into the book's world to take the place of her dying counterpart. She is brainwashed into believing she is the other woman, who has some unspecified task to complete. The hero (the Duke of Wessex) is a trouble-shooter for both the King and the government. Although the hero and the heroine's counterpart have been betrothed for years neither particularly wanted to marry, and our Sarah's arrival doesn't change this, however they are pushed into it. The hero immediately takes off on business. At this point the book starts going downhill. There are French plots against England, English plots against the King, French plots against Napoleon, etc. The heroine's trying to work out what's going on, the hero thinks she's involved in at least one of the plots, she's got peculiar memories popping up and there's something she's meant to do but she can't remember what. There is very little interaction between the h/h however they manage to fall, somewhat unconvincingly, into love. This really annoyed me as I know both Norton and Edghill can do better romance.--Margaret (21 Sep 01)
LEOPARD IN EXILE, the sequel, was more of the same, though taking place mostly in New Albion (England's North American colony). The plot is a little cluttered - we have the Marquis de Sade, the rightful French king, voodoo, black magic, an angel, the holy grail, the devil, assorted Indians, Thomas Jefferson etc etc. These are poured into Nouvelle Orleans and stirred vigorously. The result is not a pretty sight, however everything ends well for our band of heroes. It seems to me that the books include every element each author thought of. This leads to plots with a lot of action but not much real plot, characterisation or romance. They are not too bad but are certainly not as good as they could be. On the whole I would recommend the books but would suggest you borrow rather than buy.--Margaret (21 Sep 01)