Lord of the Far Island
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Lord of the Far Island

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  1,624 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Lovely Ellen Kellaway was rescued from a bleak future by her newly discovered guardian, Jago Kellaway, Lord of the Far Island, off the wild coast of Cornwall. There, Ellen was drawn deeper and deeper into the secrets of a past as alive and threatening as the present. There Jago offered her the fabled Island Necklace worn by the mistresses of Kellaway Castle. But was it a p...more
Mass Market Paperback, Reprint of 0449211835, 320 pages
Published 1986 by Fawcett (first published 1975)
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LOTFI had its moments but was a little . . . formulaic? I guessed the villain by the simple process of discounting the obvious suspects and then picking the next most likely suspect. Agatha Christie, she's not. I was also more irritated with the love interest and his high-handedness than charmed by him, which isn't the main emotion you want to be feeling when you're reading a gothic romance. And the whole thing with the lifelong nightmares of a vaguely ominous room was in the end, I thought, a l...more
Feb 17, 2014 Tweety rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All Gothic fans
Recommended to Tweety by: Dorcas

Just as good as I remember!

Ellen Kellaway is an orphan taken in by her Aunt's good will, and for no other reason. She grows up as the poor relation always knowing, and dreading the day when she will have to go out and become a governess. But one day changes everything and now Ellen is marrying into a wealthy family.

Ellen, is not sure but that she has made a mistake in excepting Philips proposal. Why they hardly know each other! Unfortunately,Ellen doesn't know how to back out gracefully.

Then Ph...more
Raised by a wealthy distant cousin after the death of her mother, Ellen Kellaway is forever reminded that she is the Poor Relation. Resigned to her eventual fate as a governess, she is suddenly taken by surprise when childhood friend Phillip Carrington declares his love and proposes a whirlwind marriage, much to the chagrin of Cousin Agatha who was counting on wealthy Phillip marrying her daughter Esmeralda. Curiously, Phillip's family is thrilled with the match to a girl with nary a penny to he...more
Ellen Kellaway, was alone in the world when she was just five years-old. Her mother’s wealthy cousins took her in, and raised her alongside their own daughter, Esme. But they never let her forget that her every advantage was owed to the charity of others. And that while Esme was destined for a great marriage, she would have to go out into the world when she came of age, and earn her living as a governess.

Ellen didn’t like that at all. She appreciated what was being done for her, but she had no i...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Suspense Magazine
I really enjoyed this book. Much like Janet Evanovich, it was just a fun read. It was one of those books you like to curl up with for pure entertainment. I liked that you didn’t find out the whole story until the very end. It was done so well, you didn’t even know there would be surprises…and there were many.
Ellen Kellaway, the “poor relation” to cousin Agatha and her husband Josiah, was never allowed to forget how she got to live in the lap of luxury, even though she never got to touch it per s...more
BJ Rose
Ellen has had the same terrifying dream almost her entire life. She sees a room with red curtains, and the dreams progressively reveal a little more each time and give her the feeling of something terrible about to happen. The room exists nowhere in her life as a Poor Relation, the orphan of a mysterious marriage that no one will talk about. Then her life changes for the better with a marriage proposal, which unfortunately didn't end in marriage (view spoiler)...more
Typical gothic romance. Elements include: beautiful brash heroine! Dark brooding possibly homicidal hero/villain! (AKA read to the end to find out which, gothic fans, but if you're a fan of melodramatic gothics, you probably know already) A castle! Secret diaries! A smattering of dudes both handsome and inconsequential, ready to woo our heroine if she'd only look favorably on them! Names like Jago, and Carrington, and Esmeralda! A character with an unspecified learning disability, attributed to...more
Marcia McClure
Another book by "Vickie" is back in print! Hallelujah!

Ellen Kellaway, orphaned at age five, was raised by wealthy cousins, but was never allowed to forget that her every advantage was owed to the charity of others. However, when the son of a powerful London family asks for her hand in marriage, her world is opened up to untold wealth and social position. She never imagined that such an unlikely dream would come true.
Nancy Steinle gummel
Lord of the Far Island by Victoria Holt is a typical historical fiction. This book is one of Victoria's older books dating back to the 80's. In Victorian London, Ellen Kellaway is an orphan at age 5. Taken in by rich relatives, she is never afforded love. She is raised with Esmerelda, her distant cousin Agatha's daughter. Ellen is constantly put down by her cousin Agatha who despises her. When Esmerelda society debut coming up Ellen is aghast at the black velvet gown that is made for her. Philip...more
I read all of Victoria Holt mystery/romance books in my 30s. Holt books are a higher caliber of romance fiction than something like Harlequins. Historically accurate. Good recreational reading with something to keep you turning pages.
I really enjoy novels by Victoria Holt. If you read enough of them they become a little predictable. However in this novel it took me a little while to figure out who was the bad guy and who was Ellen going to fall in love with. Ellen is a poor relation who's mother left her home and then died shortly after. She has to rely on family to take care of her. She will eventually be destined to become a governess which she dreads. Ellen has a happy solution present itself but then encounters a major t...more
My rating: 3/5

Always treated as the poor relation, Ellen Kellaway was raised by her Cousins William and Agatha Loring. But with fire and spirit, she embarks on an exciting adventure to uncover the mystery surrounding her past.

When her cousin Agatha informs her that she has overstayed her welcome and 'lived on charity' long enough, Ellen is persuaded to take a post as governess to cousin Agatha's friend, the Honorable Mrs. Lemming.

Out of a desire to escape her present situation, she agrees to a...more
Also posted at my blog, TBR Mountain Range - come for a visit :)

A master storyteller, Victoria Holt transports us from London to the coast of Cornwall in a classic gothic romantic suspense, bringing back fond memories of her books read throughout the years.

How I love re-experiencing the type of books I loved as a teenager. For those of us who read Victoria Holt’s books during the years they were first published, they sometimes become how we compare all others like them. Even if we haven’t read t...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
==Apprehension rules delightfully==
Victoria Holt (pen name of Eleanor Hibbert) was a prolific author of romantic mystery and suspense novels with settings in creepy, eerie and freakish locales with people to match. Her books were consistently satisfying as proven by how many were published and now, thirty or forty years later, are being reprinted.

Comparing this book to Bride of Pendorric, it has similarities: the heroine's obscure origin and family relationships are gradually revealed, diaries a...more
Christy Johnson
I greatly enjoyed this! I've found all of Victoria Holts novels to be very Bronte-esque but this was one of the best I've read. The uncertain engagement, the questionable suicide, the haunting recurring dream, the enigmatic dark figure pretending at benevolence, the hushed up and hidden wife, the murder attempt, the enormous fortune, and the hero saving the girl in the end. This was very satisfying even if, or perhaps because of, it's strong resemblance to Jane Eyre. :)
Sherri Dub
I really enjoy this "old fashioned" type of romantic suspense novel. I wish they'd come back in full force.
Spoiler Alert**
In this story, a young lady sits at the edge of London's high society, as she is only a poor relation to a wealthy family, but she garners enough confidence in herself to remain true to her convictions and to learn how to protect her own interests.
After a scandalous engagement gone wrong, a dead fiancé and a visit from a mysterious man~Ellen is all but fed up with trying to b...more
I prefer this author as Victoria Holt as opposed to Jean Plaidy. This book was far more interesting than most of the Plaidy Royalty books I've read (save Katherine of Aragon). A mash-up between Du Maurier and Charlotte Bronte, Lord of the Far Island is the story of Ellen Kellaway, the poor relation who suddenly finds that all is not as it seems with regards to her heritage.

What I liked: The style of writing is very reminiscent of Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca in that the protagonist is the narrat...more
Victoria Holt is always good for a laugh. This book is a spirited Jane Eyre fan-fic. Taken with that grain of salt, I enjoyed it. I think the love interests in Holt's romance formula are generally underdeveloped and they always have "heavy-lidded eyes." What does that even look like? :P Nonetheless, Lord of the Far Island is solid escapism-fluff.
This is one of my favorite VH stories, a gothic set in Cornwall.
These stories will always be special to me because they were a mainstay during high school, and more importantly, lead me to other authors.
Annalin Woo
Essentially I read this because there was nothing else to read. Not sure if it was a letdown after Feast for Crows, but I found it a typical Gothic novel with a weak plot and too many handsome men. Oh well.
I forgot how much fun Victoria Holt's novels are. I'm glad I picked one up. I used to read them voraciously as a teen, and this one did not disappoint. I was trying to figure out who dun nit, and true to form, I was pleasantly surprised as the plot guided you on through questions and possibilities, until the surprise ending.
Ashleigh Oldfield
This is a lovely book to curl up by the fire with. The heroine is enchanting - lively, confident and resilient. Although I figured out very early on who the real 'bad guy' was (what can I say, I read a LOT of gothic romances in my teens) I thoroughly enjoyed the story. Victoria Holt really knew how to weave a story, and the narrative was engaging. I had initially picked the book up to read the first page as I was browsing through my collection, and only put it down again after nearly 100 pages....more
Jane Gardner
Love the descriptions. Very vivid and exciting. I'd forgotten how entertaining holt's books are.
Kathy G.
This was a great Gothic book. It had a good mystery and had me hooked until the end.

Ellen Kellaway was taken away from her father at the age of three. Her mother died two years later. She was raised by a distant cousin but always made to realize her station as the "poor relation." By fate she is loved by a rich young man and they are to wed. One week before the marriage, he dies. Was it suicide? Then, from seemingly nowhere, a relative of her father's come to take her away as her guardian until...more
Anne Sexton
I enjoyed it though not as good as some of the other Victoria Holt books. I have now read 5 of her novels in the last 2 months and the formula is getting a little old, though still enjoyable.
Pluses of this particular novel: There is a strong sense of place in this book as in most of the VH novels. The basic story is intriging. The Cornwall place is vividly drawn, and some of the people. The main character, Ellen.
Minuses: I can make exact parallels between some of the characters in this book and...more
Classic Victoria Holt.
I always enjoy Victoria Holt's romantic mysteries. This story was no exception; however, at moments I thought the story seemed disjointed, but eventually after a few twists and turns it all came together in a satisfying ending.
Ellen the main character was very likable. Her pert personality and whimsical imagination lead her down mysterious avenues and into rambunctious adventures. And of course Holt's story had me guessing what Ellen's fate would be right up to the very end.
I have a weakness for Gothic romantic suspense novels, and Victoria Holt is one of my favorite authors in the genre. This novel started out strong, but the ending, when you discovered who the true villain was, came very abruptly, without much foreshadowing leading up to it. It was all wrapped up so neatly and quickly that it was hard to feel much suspense. Not one of her better novels. If you're looking for a fantastic read, try her "The Shadow of the Lynx" instead.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Eleanor Alice Burford, Mrs. George Percival Hibbert was a British author of about 200 historical novels, most of them under the pen name Jean Plaidy which had sold 14 million copies by the time of her death. She chose to use various names because of the differences in subjec...more
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