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The Phantom Tree

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  2,232 ratings  ·  410 reviews

‘There is much to enjoy in a sumptuous novel that slips between present day and 1557.’ - Sunday Mirror

“My name is Mary Seymour and I am the daughter of one queen and the niece of another.”

Browsing antiques shops in Wiltshire, Alison Bannister stumbles across a delicate old portrait – supposedly of Anne Boleyn. Except Alison knows better… The woman is Mary Seymour, the

Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published December 29th 2016 by HQ (first published December 1st 2016)
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AlldayEyreday In an author’s note at the end, Nicola Cornick explains the inspiration for the Fenners were some cousins of the Seymours, the Darrells. I assume…moreIn an author’s note at the end, Nicola Cornick explains the inspiration for the Fenners were some cousins of the Seymours, the Darrells. I assume that’s why she chose the name of “Darrell” for Thomas. (less)
Olivia Farr If you click on the buy links under the book summary, it will tell you how much at different retailers and in different formats!

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4.05  · 
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 ·  2,232 ratings  ·  410 reviews

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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
4 stars to The Phantom Tree, the untold story of Mary Seymour! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

My first book by Nicola Cornick, The Phantom Tree, was highly recommended by my friend, Stephanie, at Stephanie’s Novel Fiction! A genre-spanning work involving historical fiction, romance, light mystery, and time travel/fantasy, Cornick’s lyrical writing had me immersed and charmed from the first chapter.

Told in two narratives, the first is the present day with Alison. A friend of hers has found a rare portrait of Anne Bole
Last year, I read another novel by Nicola Cornick and found myself eager to try The Phantom Tree when I saw it listed on NetGalley. I was awarded the book about a month ago and scheduled it for this week. If you've never read something from Cornick, think of it as a combination of historical fiction, fantasy, romance and mystery. All four elements are usually incorporated into her style and provide a very intense and sometimes Gothic read. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading m ...more
This is a time travel book, telling the story of two women; both orphans. One is Alison Banestre, the second Mary Seymour, the daughter of Katherine Parr and Thomas Seymour. This is, of course, an alternative history, as Mary Seymour is supposed to have died young. However, although she is not mentioned in historical records past her second birthday, her fate is unknown. In this novel, Alison (a fictional character and not based upon any known person) and Mary Seymour meet at Wolf Hall.

Both of
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved the fact that this time travel story had someone going from the past to the present which I’ve not seen done much previously. Mary Seymour was definitely my favorite character and the way her departure was handled did not do her justice. I felt the conclusion was ‘cheesy’ and a huge let down given how much I enjoyed the rest of the novel. I know this sounds weird but I wish I’d just stopped reading when it started wrapping up and created my own ending. A strong 5 star until the conclusio ...more
3.5 stars

This is the first book that I have read by Cornick, but it certainly will not be my last! I am really torn on my rating for The Phantom Tree because, on one hand, I really enjoyed the story. But on the other hand, there were a few things that just kept bothering me throughout the entire story.

Let’s start with the not so positive, shall we?

First off, I have no issue with time travel books. I am willing to suspend belief and thoroughly enjoy the story. I have read a few other time trave
Bex (Beckie Bookworm)

5 Stars
Arc Book Review
Release Date-21/8/18

So this was one that initially drew me in by being described as for fans of Barbara Erskine and I have to say I agree completely.
I myself have been a huge fan of that particular author for many years; in fact, she's an auto-buy for me and "The Phantom Tree" I found was in a very similar vein, combining the past and present just so effortlessly.
What I loved about this the most was the rich factual history that was interwoven amongst the fiction.
It's almos
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it

Historical Fictional fans rejoice!
Give a round of applause for The Phantom Tree!
For those who are as obsessed as I am with the Tudor court, for those that love the anything to do with 16th century England, this book is for you.
This is my first Nicola Cornick book and I have to say this, her writing style was beautiful!
The way she described scenes were detailed and you couldn't help but imagine it vividly. The Phantom Tree is haunting and filled with mystery.

To be honest, this book had a little
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 stars--I really liked it.

Ever since discovering Mariana, I've adored time slip/past life novels. I started seeking them out: Green Darkness, the Outlander books, etc. So when I saw this on Netgalley, I jumped to request it. And I wasn't disappointed.

This is the first book I've read that has someone going forward in time, and that was a nice twist. Alison, the main character (and time traveler), is prickly and determined, and I liked her for that. No spoilers, but I found the plot bittersweet,
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Absorbing, heartwarming, and incredibly intriguing!

The Phantom Tree is a well-paced, evocative, time-travel novel set in England during both the mid-1500s as well as present day and is told from two different perspectives, Alison Banestre, a strong, heartbroken, young lady running from scandal, and Alison Bannister, a successful, driven, young woman searching for a way home.

The writing is effortless and immersive. The characters are multifaceted, tormented, and sympathetic. And the plot using a
Tiffany Jones
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a time travel book, telling the story of two women; both orphans. One is Alison Banestre, the second Mary Seymour, the daughter of Katherine Parr and Thomas Seymour. This is, of course, an alternative history, as Mary Seymour is supposed to have died young. However, although she is not mentioned in historical records past her second birthday, her fate is unknown. In this novel, Alison (a fictional character and not based upon any known person) and Mary Seymour meet at Wolf Hall.

Both of
Pamela ✨I Blame Wizards✨
Nicola Cornick’s The Phantom Tree, while not perfect, was a pleasant surprise. It was an easy read with some fantastic elements of historical fiction that were believable and genuine. It had similarities to A. S. Byatt’s Possession but lacked its literary focus and genuine depth, yet despite this it was an enjoyable read, if not entirely convincing in its narrative.

The Phantom Tree tells the concurrent stories of two friends, separated by time. Allison Bannister is a woman living in the present,
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-copies
Immersive is the word I’d pick to describe my reading experience of The Phantom Tree by Nicola Cornick. The story is an entertaining blend of history, mystery and romance with a slight fantasy element. Narrated in dual timelines of present day and mid-sixteenth century, and set in London and Wiltshire, this complex, multilayered tale is full of drama and deceit with bits and pieces of Tudor history.

One evening in present day Wiltshire, Allison Bannister comes across a dated Tudor portrait in an
The Phantom Tree is a story of two girls separated by time, their relationships, and the search that holds them together across centuries.  It's a romance, it's a time travel story, and it's historical fiction.  I was not quite what I expected.

I went into The Phantom Tree expecting something more akin to Philippa Gregory's writing - a court of Tudor intrigue, incredible characters and a respectable amount of villainy.  While there is nothing particularly wrong with The Phantom Tree, it is first
Patricia Romero
Life in the time of Alison and Mary was not good. With the death of their parents each has become an orphan living with unwelcoming and terrorizing relatives who would just as soon see them dead.

This was a time when women were owned by their fathers, husbands, guardians. Double standards abound. While the men bed anything they want, the women are then left damaged and in desperate straits. 

When Alison runs away and ends up in modern-day London, she plans to go back and find her infant son, taken
Jenny Wheeler
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am a fan of Australian writer Kate Morton so a cover promo line on The Phantom Tree advising that "Fans of Kate Morton will enjoy this gripping tale" had me pretty well convinced of the story's pedigree before I'd even opened it, and it didn't disappoint. I found it hard to put down again, which I guess is the best endorsement you can have for a time travel mystery!

Alison Bannister is a reluctant exile from the mid sixteenth century, and Wiltshire's Wolf Hall, on the run from an unscrupulous s
Kate Hewitt
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! As a fan of Tudor history and Katherine Parr in particular, I have always been curious about what might have happened to her daughter Mary Seymour, so I was thrilled when I saw Nicola Cornick had written about it. This is everything you want in a historical timeslip--mystery, romance, and great descriptions. Can't wait for her next book!
~ Althea ~  ☾

“I felt his smile. It was wonderfully comforting.”

This book got me shaking at how cute the couples are :)


The writing style was simply enchanting and very descriptive. It had a really good start which I found essential, especially for fantasy books, to be able to get the attention of their readers. It had the detail that fantasy books call for. I enjoyed the story a lot because aside from the fantasy or historical aspect, it was also very am
Jenny Q
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I was drawn to this book for two reasons: one, that it features Mary Seymour, daughter of my favorite of Henry VIII's wives, and two, that it features time travel from the past to the future. From the very beginning, when Alison Bannister spotted Mary's newly discovered portrait in a gallery window (mistakenly identified as Anne Boleyn because of the initials on a box, which actually stand for Alison Banestre), I was hooked.

From there a delicious story unfolds of two poor orphaned girls of noble
Listened on Hoopla while reading eArc

Really enjoyed. Didn't care for certain elements.
Wanted more information about the relationship 10 years previous.
How was the protagonist able to time travel? I felt that was never addressed or made clear.
I would recommend and plan, in future, to pick up more by Cornick.

eArc provided by Graydon House via Netgalley
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review coming soon.
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Nicola's stories take you on a journey through time, she opens your eyes to an era long forgotten but with her words history becomes alive in your head entrancing you in another world.

The Phantom Tree is a captivating historical time slip mystery romance that was utterly spellbinding, mystifying, tragic but equally beautiful. I didn't want the story to end, I was feeling quite bereft and emotional once I had finished reading ... signs of a good story!

The story starts in the present day with Alis
Gwessie Tee
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant loved it very much, as always Nicola did not disappoint thank you Nicola xx
It all started with an old portrait that holds the key to one woman’s past, present and future. A little dark with a stroke of fantasy, a kiss of romance and an intriguing mystery that will slip through time, THE PHANTOM TREE will enthrall readers while melding fact and fiction from start to finish.

Nicola Cornick has created a mood of gothic intrigue as she takes us on a journey through time to the sixteenth century Royal court and the mystery of a young girl who “vanished” from English history.
I came across this book on Instagram a couple of months ago and fell in love with both the cover and the synopsis. I love historical fiction as you know and I also love a good time travelling tale too. When I realised I needed one more book set in the 1500s to complete the 2018 When Are You Reading Challenge, how could I resist?

Told by both Alison in the present day and by Mary Seymour in the 1500s this was a very enjoyable story combining those two genres. I haven’t read many books set in this
Ophelia Sings
Nov 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Historical novels are almost as ubiquitous these days as those thrillers which all seem to have 'Girl' in the title. I'm not complaining - the current vogue for all things Tudor and the resurgence of interest in Richard III have meant that my fondness for escaping into the world of ruffs and rogues has been very well catered for. But in a genre whose output has reached saturation point, it does take something very special, something a little different, to stand out. Nicola Cornick's latest offer ...more
Basic B's Guide
Aug 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Fans of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir are sure to enjoy this historical fiction novel. Years ago, I was a huge fan of everything written about the Tudor family. I devoured book after book and could not get enough. My book club even went to a lecture about Henry VIII in an old mansion. Creepy fun times! My Mother was a bit obsessed with it as well. It was a fun topic for us to discuss and we often swapped books that we found and loved.

So, after years of setting aside the Tudor family stories I
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's easy to feel sorry for Mary Seymour. Daughter of Henry VIII’s widow, Katherine Parr, and her reckless fourth husband, who was executed for treason, Mary was orphaned by her first birthday. A burden to her relatives during her life, she was also obscure in death, which has gone unrecorded. Many assume she died as a child, but the speculation that she survived to adulthood presents a provocative “what if.”

Nicola Cornick’s second romantic time-slip novel (after House of Shadows) is a historic
Judy Lesley
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: time-travel
Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin - Graydon House Books for the digital galley of this novel.

This is my first foray into a novel featuring time travel. I think I have the writing skills of Nicola Cornick to thank for my enjoyment of this story because she managed to efficiently address all the niggle bits for me before they had fully blossomed into niggle bits.

The story concerns two orphan girls in the mid-sixteenth century who were sent away from court to be raised in obscurity. One was the
Melanie (Mel's Bookland Adventures)
This book really struck a chord with me. This whole idea of not fitting in and being at home, really, really hit home. Yes, the story is in places silly, coincidences are convenient etc. etc. but there was something wonderful about it for me. If you like Susannah Kearsley, I highly recommend picking this book up. It had for me the same vibes, I just ordered two more books by this author ;)
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International bestselling author Nicola Cornick writes romantic historical mysteries and witty and passionate Regency romance. She studied History at London and Oxford and was awarded a distinction for her dissertation on historical heroes. It was a tough study but someone had to do it. Nicola has a “double life” as a writer and guide at the stunning 17th century hunting lodge, Ashdown House.

“And suddenly I knew where Alison was, and what I had to do in order to find her son and get word to her.” 0 likes
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