Blog Tour- The Forgotten Palace

The Forgotten Palace

By Alexandra Walsh

What it’s about?

The Forgotten Palace

In an underground labyrinth a lost soul wanders, waiting for revenge, waiting for love…

London 1900
Alice Webster has made the worst decision of her life. When her Aunt Agatha offers her the chance
to go on a Grand Tour she jumps at the opportunity to get away from the glare of scandal. Heading off to see the world as the century turns, Alice begins to believe her broken heart can be healed, and a chance encounter on a train bound for Paris changes everything. When their journey takes them to a Cretan house thick with history, and the world-famous dig at Knossos, stories from the past begin to echo through Alice’s life.

London Present Day
Eloise De’Ath is meant to be a grieving widow. But if people knew the truth about her late husband, they’d understand why she can’t even pretend. Needing to escape, Eloise heads to Crete and the house her father-in-law Quinn left her, and slowly Quinn’s home begins to reveal its mysteries. In his office Eloise discovers his life’s work: the study of the Victorian excavation to find the Minotaur’s labyrinth. Fascinated by the diaries of a young woman from the dig, Eloise is drawn into Alice’s tale of lost love and her growing obsession with Ariadne, the princess of the labyrinth.

Three women divided by time but connected by the long-hidden secrets of the past. As their stories join in a golden thread, a terrible injustice might finally be undone…

What I think:

I thoroughly enjoyed Alexandra Walsh’s Marquess House series, so was really looking forward to The Forgotten Palace, and I was not disappointed!

The mainly dual narrative focuses on two women living very different lives.

In the present day, Eloise is widowed after the unexpected death of her husband and heads to the Greek island of Crete to reevaluate her life and recover. The house left to her by her father-in-law is full of historical artefacts and documents, and while she is clearing out the property, Eloise becomes increasingly drawn into Quinn’s unfinished research.

Alice Webster also escaped to Crete. In 1900, having caused a scandal, she heads to Europe to save her reputation and heal her broken heart. Once in Crete, she becomes involved in the archaeological dig at Knossos. Eloise reads her diaries and finds startling connections between herself and Alice that could lead to even greater revelations.

This is such an engaging story. I really enjoyed both of the main timelines and the dip into Greek mythology. Interwoven with the main timelines are glimpses of the real Ariadne and her life in Crete which serves as the basis for the Minotaur myths.

The sections with Alice travelling through Europe and the depiction of the archaeological dig were particularly evocative. Alice is a capable and intelligent young woman who is hampered by the conventions of Victorian society. Once in Crete, she is able to apply her talents with a measure of freedom and discover her true self and true love.

Alice is incredibly privileged and, at the beginning of the book, very naive and self-indulgent. Distance from her family allows her to reflect on her mistakes and the hurt that she has caused. She is lucky that she is given time and opportunity to redeem herself. I warmed to her more as the story developed and she matures.

Eloise is a stronger woman than Alice. Her story is gradually revealed as she establishes her life in Crete and grieves for her marriage. Like Alice, she has to reestablish some of her relationships and forge new ones. The differences between them show how the world has changed for women in the century that has passed. But there are still significant parallels.

The secrets of Sfragida House are all gradually revealed as the historical objects link the minotaur myths and Ariadne to Eloise via Alice. I loved the exploration of the connectedness of women across time and the concept of labyrinths, both literal and metaphorical.

This was a great read – compelling characters, evocative settings, and plenty of secrets to be discovered.

About the author:

Alexandra Walsh is the bestselling author of dual timeline historical mysteries, previously published by Sapere. Her books range from the fifteenth century to the Victorian era and are inspired by the hidden voices of women that have been lost over the centuries. Formerly a journalist, writing for national newspapers, magazines and TV, her first book for Boldwood will be published in Spring 2023.

Social Media Links –
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Thank you to Alexandra Walsh and Boldwood Books for gifting me a digital copy of The Forgotten Palace and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this wonderful blog tour.

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