Sleeper’s Castle – Barbara Erskine.

Barbara Erskine

 

Back of the book : 

War is brewing in the Welsh borders. For two centuries, Wales has lain under the english yoke, its people dreaming of independence. Finally it looks as though the charismatic Owain Glyndwr may be the man to bring them victory.

 

HAY-ON-WYE 1400.                                                                                                                                               

Nestled on the border lies Sleepers Castle, home to Catrin, an intelligent young woman with gifts her soothsayer father Dafydc is determined to suppress. Called upon to foretell Wales’ destiny, Catrin is caught in the middle of a dangerous political game. All she can see is blood and war coming closer.

HAY-ON-WYE. PRESENT DAY.                                                                                                                

Miranda has moved to Sleepers Castle to escape and grieve. Slowly, she feels herself coming to life in the solitude of the mountains. But everytime she closes her eyes her dreams become more vivid, and she’s drawn into a time where neighbour is set against neighbour, father against son. As her dreams turn to nightmares, Miranda and Catrin make a connection. Catrin is reaching out … and only Miranda can help.

Time is running out ….

 

What I think : 

Present Day …

Miranda ‘Andy’ for short, has upped sticks and left her Kew garden home and moved to ‘Sleepers Castle’ on the Welsh borders. She’s there for a year to look after the house for the Owner Sue, who’s gone back to her native Australia for a year. Oh, and to look after ‘pepper’ the cat. Its not really a Castle, just a very large, old house. Andy has recently lost her partner, Graham to cancer. When his ex-wife Rhona found out about his death she soon moved back in the house, claimed ownership and with the help of her sister, kicked Andy out onto the street with almost only the clothes she stood up in. Rhona seems to have forgotten that she had actually left Graham, for another man, long before he met Andy. She just blames everything on Andy, his death and the fact he didn’t want her back. she’s a bit mentally unstable and wants revenge.

Hay-on-wye 1400.

Catrin lives in Sleepers Castle with her father Dafydd, who is a ‘seer’ and a ‘Bard’. Her mother died in childbirth, she has been brought up by a ‘nanny’ or one of the woman from the village a lot of her life. Her father professes to be able to see into the future in his dreams. Now she is eighteen and no longer a child, she has started accompanying him on his summer tours around Wales. Whilst away, she too begins to have the ‘seeing’ dreams. But her dreams soon become nightmares of war, blood and death.

Meanwhile back in the now, Odd things have started to happen, Andy daydreams about her house in Kew and magically seems to be there, shadowy figures start appearing around the house, and Andy has also started having the same dreams as Catrin had, they seem to be a connecting over the centuries, and when Andy’s dreams also become nightmares, she knows that she must try and do something to help Catrin before its too late …

I really adore Barbara’s books, she really is the Queen of the ‘supernatural’. I really also like the way that her books weave back and forth from century to century. The research is superb and very accurate.

I really love the characters, but did feel that when Andy was dealing with Rhona, the ex-wife she should have stood her ground a bit more, I know that if I’d lived with a man for over ten years, as husband and wife, I would fight tooth and nail to stay in the home we’d built together, and not just let a wife that had left him years ago, come in and take over.

This one is very atmospheric, but not scary as some of her others have been, but suspenseful and a bit un-nerving. All in all a fab read that I would whole heartedly reccomend to all my friends. The only one complaint I have with this book and with most of her others too, is that the book is so big !! Its really hard to settle down with such a large tome !!

I give this wonderful read 10/10. (5 stars)

5 gold stars

 

Published by Harper Collins on 30/06/16.

I purchased my copy of the book at Tesco £8.00

 

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