Thursday 6 July 2017

The Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley @lucindariley @panmacmillan

Following on from the bestselling The Seven Sisters and The Storm Sister, The Shadow Sister is the third book in Lucinda Riley's spellbinding series, loosely based on the mythology of the Seven Sisters star cluster.
Star D'Apli├Ęse is at a crossroads in her life after the sudden death of her beloved father - the elusive billionaire, named Pa Salt by his six daughters, all adopted by him from the four corners of the world. He has left each of them a clue to their true heritage, but Star - the most enigmatic of the sisters - is hesitant to step out of the safety of the close relationship she shares with her sister CeCe. In desperation, she decides to follow the first clue she has been left, which leads her to an antiquarian bookshop in London, and the start of a whole new world . . .
A hundred years earlier, headstrong and independent Flora MacNichol vows she will never marry. She is happy and secure in her home in the Lake District, living close to her idol, Beatrix Potter, when machinations outside of her control lead her to London, and the home of one of Edwardian society's most notorious players, Alice Keppel. Flora is pulled between passionate love and duty to her family, but finds herself a pawn in a game - the rules of which are only known to others, until a meeting with a mysterious gentleman unveils the answers that Flora has been searching for her whole life . . .
As Star learns more of Flora's incredible journey, she too goes on a voyage of discovery, finally stepping out of the shadow of her sister and opening herself up to the possibility of love.

The Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley was published in paperback by Pan MacMillan on 20 April 2017 and is the third in the Seven Sisters series.  I read and reviewed the first two books in this series here on Random Things:  The Seven Sisters (November 2014), and The Storm Sister (January 2016).

I can safely say that Lucinda Riley is one of my all-time favourite story tellers. The Seven Sisters series has, so far, been made up of three huge volumes, yet despite their size (there are over 700 pages in this one), I fly through them. The writing is perfect, the storyline is ingenious and riveting, this author really is top class.

The Shadow Sister of the title is Star D'Apliese; third sister of the family. She and her five siblings were all adopted by Pa Salt; a wealthy man who loved each one of them and gave them a wonderful childhood, and enabled a sparkling future for each of them. When Pa suddenly and quite mysteriously died, the six sisters gathered together at the family home and learnt that he had left each one of them an envelope. Each envelope held clues about their heritage.

It is perfectly easy to pick up The Shadow Sister and read it without having read the two earlier books, but personally, I'd advise anyone to start at the beginning. Whilst the story is easy to follow and the author gives references to the earlier books, it would be such a shame for anyone to miss out on any of this spectacular saga.

Star has always been the quietest of the sisters, living in the shadow of sibling CeCe. The two of them have set up home in CeCe's new flat in London and although Star is wary and a little frightened, she is determined to find out more about her birthright. The clues in her envelope lead her to a quaint bookshop in the city of London, where she picks up a trail that will lead her to the Lake District and reveal stories and secrets that reach back almost one hundred years, and feature royalty, scandal and literature.

Lucinda Riley's real strength is her ability to weave a story featuring more than one era and this one is impeccably done. As Star learns more, and the reader is introduced to Flora McNichol, Alice Keppel, Beatrix Potter and the King of England, the telling is seamless, and intriguing and totally compelling.

The Seven Sisters series can only be described as 'sweeping', and The Shadow Sister is, in my opinion, the best story so far. The intrigue and scandal, the exquisitely described location and the overwhelming love story are captivating. I adore this series, and am so looking forward to the next instalment.

Lucinda Riley was born in Ireland, and after an early career as an actress in film, theatre and television, wrote her first book age 24.
Her novel Hothouse Flower was selected by the Richard and Judy Book Club in 2011 and in only four years she has been translated into 30 languages and sold over 5 million copies worldwide.
She is a multiple New York Times bestselling author and has topped the bestseller charts on numerous occasions in a number of European countries.

Lucinda Riley's bestselling novels include Hothouse Flower, The Girl on the Cliff, The Light Behind the Window, The Midnight Rose, The Italian Girl and The Seven Sisters.
Find out more about The Seven Sisters series at the website
Find out more about Lucinda Riley at her website
Follow her on Twitter @lucindarileyFind her Author Page on Facebook 


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