An absolutely magical romance steeped in English folklore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
One of Lily’s absolute best books.
Go into this with an open heart and an open mind and you will be rewarded with a story which is just pure magic and so full of joy and happiness it made my heart ache.
It draws heavily on English folklore, Lily shows a deft hand for how she weaves the old Yule traditions and the more modern threats facing many an old country manor due to death duties, taxes and horrendous energy bills 😉
Barnaby Greenwood, Viscount Greenwood, is in a pickle, he’s got a rapacious builder trying to get hold of his wood and there’s no money to pay the bills, never mind find presents for the staff, support the annual village Christmas fete, not even for logs to burn in the cavernous fireplaces.
But when the gap between real and legend draws thin, Barnaby finds that sometimes all it takes is a bit of courage to speak up and allow yourself to be vulnerable.
There was not one single bit of this book that I didn’t love. It takes you on a wild ride through the Derbyshire countryside and introduces a whole host of wonderful characters, no more so that Cosmo, the beautiful Greek marble statue who comes to life in what at first seems like a dream to Barnaby.
Cosmo is one of Lily’s best creations, I’m pretty sure she’s actually met him in the dusty back room of some grand stately home (is the Duke of Devonshire missing one from Chatsworth perhaps 😁) and he is just everything that’s good about human nature in one glorious package. His whippet Cyrus is a bundle of fun too and with a very distinct personality.
I really loved the method by which Lily introduced potential hope for Barnaby and the estate and it felt grounded in reality among all the magical things which were happening around them. I also very much appreciated the sense of menace which is hanging in the air at times – you really don’t want to mess about with some of the creatures found in folklore!
This is the perfect festive book to cuddle up with on a cold night, sat in front of a roaring fire with a hot chocolate – or a good Scotch – and to just let the atmosphere of an old English country estate charm you.
#ARC kindly received from the author via GRR Tours in return for an honest and unbiased review