House of Shadows by Nicola Cornick


London, 1662:

There was something the Winter Queen needed to tell him. She fought for the strength to speak.

‘The crystal mirror is a danger. It must be destroyed –

He replied instantly. ‘It will’.

Ashdown, Oxfordshire, present day: Ben Ansell is researching his family tree when he disappears. As his sister Holly begins a desperate search, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to an ornate antique mirror and to the diary of Lavinia, a 19th century courtesan who was living at Ashdown House when it burned to the ground over 200 years ago.

Intrigued, and determined to find out more about the tragedy at Ashdown, Holly’s only hope is that uncovering the truth about the past will lead her to Ben.

For fans of Barbara Erskine and Kate Morton comes an unforgettable novel about three women and the power one lie can have over history!


Ben is wanting to know all about his family. He begins to research his past and his family history when he disappears. His sister is determined to find out what happened to him. In the process, she discovers more than she bargained for.

This book is rich in history. I love a book which has me researching. I had to look up the Winter Queen. She is not someone which I was very familiar. This novel follows her pearl and her mirror throughout the years. These items were thought lost to history until Holly discovers the mirror. There is magic attached to these items. You need to read the novel to find out what all this magic entails. The recovery of these artifacts keep you guessing till the end.

This story rotates between time periods. The Winter Queen, 19th century courtesan are just a few of the historical figures recreated in this tale. However, I did feel there were several plot problems. One is very noticeable. When Ben disappears you very seldom hear anything else about it. A word or two dropped several chapters apart. It is like an unimportant factor. But, he is the reason his sister is researching. It just sort of falls to the wayside. The story more or less follows Holly and her discoveries. This is minor in the grand scheme of this novel and does not take away from the story. And the story is riveting and creative.

I have a huge amount of cover love! This cover is super. Makes you just want to dive in and get started!

I received this novel from Harper Collins for a honest review.

Purchase here

Barnes and Noble


About fredreeca

I am an avid reader and paper crafter. I am a mom of 2 children, 5 dogs and 1 cat. I am a huge St. Louis Cardinals Fan
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4 Responses to House of Shadows by Nicola Cornick

  1. FictionFan says:

    I love your picture! Those cases are just fab! 😀

  2. macjam47 says:

    Great photo! I agree about the cover, it is fabulous. The story sounds intriguing and will more than likely end up in my TBR.

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