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The Phantom Tree

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4.07  ·  Rating details ·  2,876 ratings  ·  488 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 Seymo

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Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published December 29th 2016 by HQ (first published December 1st 2016)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  2,876 ratings  ·  488 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
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Kylie D
My name is Mary Seymour and I am the daughter of one queen and the niece of another.

Mary Seymour, a child lost to history, it's presumed she died at the age of two in 1550. Until the present time when Alison Bannister comes across a painting of her in a local gallery. The celebrated historian who found the painting is convinced it's a portrait of Anne Boleyn, but Alison knows better. For Alison was Mary's childhood friend...

The Phantom Tree is a fascinating read, the coming together of the two t
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James
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
Susan
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
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Lori
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
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
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, Cormick’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 Boleyn, but Alison knows it’s Mary Seymour, the daughter of Queen Katherine
...more
Jennifer
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
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Bex (Beckie Bookworm)
black-and-white-angel-oak-tree-louis-dallara

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
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Sentranced Jem
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
FOR GOODREADS

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 li
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Sheila
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,
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Zoe
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
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Tiffany Marin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pamela  (Here to Read Books and Chew Gum)
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,
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Susan
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
...more
Fareya
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
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Amber
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
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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
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Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
Honestly, for the majority of this novel I thought I would be rating it one or two stars. I really did not get into the story until the last third of the novel but at that point, I couldn't stop reading.

I think if you have a historical background or knowledge regarding Anne Boleyn, Mary Seymour, or the Tudors, this book may be an amazing pick for you. However, as the average 'layperson', the only history I know regarding this era is very minimal.

Most of this story was very dry. It was difficul
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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
...more
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!
Jeanette
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Sorry, I just didn't enjoy this book. The posit was ok. The Tudor and earlier eras were interesting. Not the ones in the present. Alison's entire present day story line didn't seem to "fit" into this book. For me, Reginald's reaction made much more sense.

Is this book historical, romance, s.f., occult? I don't think it knows itself.

And where is the dual telepathy coming from to fit into all this? Beats me.

I read every word but I still don't understand the ending to any satisfaction for the leng
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Althea | themoonwholistens ☾
// RECEIVED AN ADVANCE READER COPY FOR REVIEW //

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

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


plot:

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
...more
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
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Tia
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
Betty
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review coming soon.
Adele
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
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Ashley Gallegos
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
If I could sum up this book in one word, it would be weird. The author spent more time on the subplots than on the actual plot. The Darrell/Cat thing? Weird and never really explained. Everything came to a weird abrupt ending. I’m just not really sure what the point to it all was. It took a long time to get the book going just to kind of go in circles that got interesting but lead nowhere. It’s a good thing I was sent this book for free to read for a review because this is one author I will not ...more
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
Dianne
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.
...more
Nicki
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
...more
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International bestselling author Nicola Cornick writes dual-time historical mysteries that draw on her love for genealogy and local history. She studied History at London and Oxford and worked in academia for a number of years before becoming a full time author. Nicola acts as a guide and researcher at the stunning 17th century hunting lodge, Ashdown House and is a member of the Board of Trustees ...more

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“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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