"Exploring love and delusion, the paranormal and supernatural, this is a striking and chilling gothic descent into the consequences of obsession."
A piercing and wholly captivating historical novel that creates the most sinister and atmospheric of gothic tones. I first encountered the sublimely eloquent writing by award-winning author Ray Celestin in his debut The Axeman’s Jazz from the City Blues Quartet. Original, clever, and beautiful, I can highly recommend this collection of four novels. Palace of Shadows has a completely different premise and yet Ray Celestin’s mark is clearly stamped on every page.
In 1899, artist Samuel Etherstone travels to North Yorkshire after being commissioned to work on an ever-growing house by the heiress of the Chesterfield Gun Company. Chesterfield House stands centre stage and the sense of place is immense. As I started to read it was apparent that the Chesterfield story follows in a similar vein to the Winchester Mystery House in California and if you’ve ever visited there are aspects that will definitely strike a chord. It’s what Ray Celestin does so well, takes the known and creates an entirely new story full of wonder and in this case malevolent overtones. I love the way he writes, the focus here is a memoir, a journal, and letters. He creates a different voice within each section, stitching together a fascinating story it is all too easy to believe. I felt myself gradually drawn into the lives of the people in the house, and oh, that house! The foreboding descent into its depths are chilling, and yet oh-so addictive and that is why this novel joins our LoveReading Star Book collection. Beautifully atmospheric and absolutely convincing, Palace of Shadows comes with the most emphatic of recommendations from me.