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Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Review: Chasing Shadows by T.A. Williams


Time slip and historical novels have not really appeared on my reading radar much in the past- sure, I’ve picked up and enjoyed the occasional novel in these genres- but haven’t actively gone on the hunt for them… until the last few months. I’ve read some truly outstanding work both in historical and time slip romance recently- and I’m quickly finding that these are becoming two of my most enjoyed genres.

So, when I heard about T.A Williams’ new book, Chasing Shadows- a time slip romance set between 2016 and the early 1300s, I had to have a read. This genre is a departure from Williams’ previous work in the chicklit / romcom category, and I was really interested to read his take on such a different genre.

Our 2016 protagonists, Amy and Luke are both haunted by events in their respective pasts. Amy lost her family in the same accident that robbed her of her eyesight. And there are dark events in Luke’s past that he’s keeping close to his chest. The pair are thrown together by a well meaning, mutual friend when Amy decides to travel the Camino pilgrimage route to indulge her love of medieval history and to break her out of her insular life. But of course, she needs a guide and Luke is just the man. They begin their journey- thrown together in the most intimate and extreme circumstances.

In the 1300s we have Luc and Aimee. Aimee has lost her husband and travelling companions on the treacherous pilgrimage route whilst undertaking a task of vital importance for her husband’s order. A brutal attack has left Aimee blind and helpless. Luc is a Templar Knight who is running from his pursuers. When he encounters Aimee, the wife of his former comrade, he takes her into his protection and together they continue their epic quest to escape.

Williams's style is fluid and effortless, and the scene changes between the present day and the 1300s are perfectly timed to keep the pace of both moving swiftly. When a book has multiple viewpoints, I always find that I tend to favour one or the other, and the clear contender for me here was the historical element. These passages were structured far more in the style of a fantasy novel, with plenty of action, cliffhangers and danger, whereas the present day passages were far more character-led and introspective.

The time slip element of the book is incredibly subtle- hinted at as a possibility just a couple of times rather than overt time-travel between the historical periods.

Overall, this is a fascinating read that introduced me to a period of history that I have absolutely no knowledge of- though now I’m keen to find out more. The romance is warm and real, and I felt close to all of the characters by the end of the book. The epilogue in particular left me smiling, with a little tear in my eye. Chasing Shadows gives you one epic journey, two beautiful love stories.
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The Blurb:
Amy had it all – money, brains and beauty. And then the accident happened.

The Present Day: Left blind and without her family, Amy feels she needs to get away. On a trip along the Camino, she is accompanied by the mysterious and troubled Luke. Having been set up to help Amy by a mutual friend, Luke finds he is also running from his past…

1314: A Templar Knight, Luc, is also running. He meets the wife of a former comrade, now blinded in a terrifying attack: Aimee. Taking her under his wing, they must journey together through a dangerous world.

As they travel through the stunning scenery of Northern Spain, this couple, so very like Luke and Amy, emerge from the shadows of time carrying a treasure of inestimable value.

Chasing Shadows is an enchanting novel about the search for happiness, fulfilment… and love.

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