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The Goddess and the Thief by Essie Fox

The Goddess and the Thief

Historical Fiction   Literary Fiction   eBook Favourites   
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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

A romantic lush Victorian gothic novel, complex in scope and concept but glorious in execution. Alice, whose mother died not long after she was born, has been raised in India, so when her father decides it’s time to return to Britain, it’s a huge upheaval. She’s left in the care of her aunt, Mercy, who unbeknownst to her father dabbles in the occult. At Mercy’s home in Windsor she’s forced to take part in sham séances, till she starts to have strange visions of her own and meets the charismatic and enigmatic Lucian Tilsbury who is obsessed with the Koh-i-Noor diamond and reminds Alice of all that she loved of India. Tilsbury wants to steal the diamond from Queen Victoria who is desperately mourning Prince Albert’s death. Then Alice’s aunt is called to Windsor Castle to conduct a séance and Alice finds herself in the presence of the diamond itself...

If you like Essie Fox you might also like to read books by Susanna Clarke, Tracy Chevalier and Wilkie Collins.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Brought up in Lahore, Alice Willoughby finds her world turned upside down when her father entrusts her to the care of her Aunt Mercy in Windsor. Suspicious of her aunt and homesick for India, Alice falls under the spell of the strange Mr Lucian Tilsbury, a frequent visitor. A plan is afoot to steal the Koh-i-Noor diamond, a priceless jewel that carries both blessing and curse, coveted by a displaced maharajah and by the grieving widowed queen, and Alice must find a way to safety in a mire of intrigue.
~ The Good Book Guide


The Goddess and the Thief by Essie Fox

Uprooted from her home in India, Alice is raised by her aunt, a spiritualist medium in Windsor. When the mysterious Mr Tilsbury enters their lives, Alice is drawn into a plot to steal the priceless Koh-i-Noor diamond, claimed by the British Empire at the end of the Anglo-Sikh wars. Said to be both blessed and cursed, the sacred Indian stone exerts its power over all who encounter it: a handsome deposed maharajah determined to claim his rightful throne, a man hell-bent on discovering the secrets of eternity, and a widowed queen who hopes the jewel can draw her husband's spirit back. In the midst of all this madness, Alice must discover a way to regain control of her life and fate...


'The plot of this novel is intricate and beautifully turned, and echoes of Frances Hodgson Burnett and George MacDonald Fraser are entirely intentional - Fox's raids on the story-box cleverly enhance the sense of mystery.'


'A richly textured, highly coloured and entirely pleasurable read.'


'Dark secrets, hidden pasts and childhood mysteries are the focus in this sensual entertaining slice of Victoriana, rich in historical detail.'


'With just as many twists and turns as Wilkie Collins aat his unpredictable best, Fox's take on the Victorian mystery novel will transport you to a world of intrigue and superstition ... A gem of a read.'


'The author captures the essence of Victorian life in this richly textured novel...hugely enjoyable. If you love all things Victorian, you will love this.'


'Beautifully turned and very beguiling ... Fox cleverly weaves in real characters such as the widowed Queen Victoria and the Maharajah Duleep Singh, with Indian myths and legends, to produce a terrifically engrossing read.'


'Delights in the underworld and exotica of Victorian Britain...Memorable and unusual'


'A dark enthralling story... I was totally engrossed!'


'A shadowy sensual world... [a] beguiling, imaginative and original tale.'

-HELLO magazine

'Terrifically atmospheric and an engrossing plot.'


'This is a tale of lost families, haunting prophecies and obsessive love. Not one to miss! 8 out 10 stars.'


About the Author

Essie Fox

Before taking up writing Essie Fox worked as an illustrator – designing greetings cards and wrap, and decorative ceramics. She is the creator of The Virtual Victorian a wonderful guide through the Victorian world. Her debut novel The Somnambulist was selected as a Channel 4 Book Club choice in January 2012 and was shortlisted in the New Writer of the Year category of the 2012 NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS. Essie Fox divides her time between Windsor and Bow in the East End of London.

Click here to read a Q&A with Essie Fox about Elijah's Mermaid.

Author photo © Graham Keuteniu

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Book Info

Publication date

20th November 2014


Essie Fox

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Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co


336 pages


Historical Fiction
Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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