The Shadow of Albion by Andre Norton and Rosemary Edgehill

Published: 1999

Genre: alternate history/fantasy

Length: 350 pages

Setting: England and France, early 1800s

Interest: I was looking for an N author and for my reading challenge and came across an Andre Norton book. I read a lot of her stuff as a kid and enjoyed it, so it seemed a safe and enjoyable bet.

Summary: The Lady Roxbury is dying of consumption, which is a problem since she is tied to the land and has no heir on which to pass her role. She and Dame Alecto make a wild game and trade places with Sarah Cunningham, Roxbury’s persona in a parallel universe. Dame Alecto tries to convince Sarah she’s really Lady Roxbury, but Sarah’s down-to-earth personality eventually reasserts itself. During this time, the Duke of Wessex, long betrothed to Roxbury, is pushed into marriage. He is unwilling, because he’s secretly a spy, and doesn’t want to pass on that trait or get Roxbury involved in such a sordid profession. Wessex is sent to find the missing Danish princess, key to an important treaty between Denmark and England. Roxbury is kidnapped trying to help a friend escape a snare for the Prince of England. They meet up in France, finding the rightful King of France hiding from Napoleon.

Final thoughts: A delightful book. I wasn’t familiar enough with the history to really catch the differences. It basically felt like a historical novel instead of an alternate history novel, but a well-written story either way. Lots of intrigue, both French and British, with a touch of romantic tension. I wanted a bit more payoff of the romantic culmination at the end to be perfect, but I enjoyed watching Sarah take charge of her life and Wessex do his spying. It reminded me a lot of The Scarlet Pimpernel. I’m sad the library doesn’t have the second book in the series.

Title comes from: Napoleon is looming on the horizon of England, threatening both the crown and magic of the land

Reading challenges fulfilled: 91/100 in my Finally to 100 Challenge, and an N in my Author Alphabet Challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!


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