Basic Erskine regression story
Kingdom of Shadows is a parallel tale of Clare Royland in the 1980’s and Isobel Buchan in Scotland at the time of Robert The Bruce in the latter 13th and early 14th century. Clare is married to stock broker Paul Royland who gambled with insider trading and lost and needs to sell Clare’s Scottish Castle Duncairn to raise desperately needed funds. Unhappy in her marriage, Clare turns to yoga and meditation and she begins to see visions of the past as Isobel Buchan of Scotland relives her past through Clare.
The retelling of Isobel’s life in Scotland, an unhappy marriage and her ultimate affair with Robert the Bruce and capture by Edward I and imprisonment in one of those infamous cages on the castle wall is interwoven with that of the present day Clare whose husband intrigues to have her proven insane so that he can lay claim to her property. Erskine does point out in her notes at the end of the book that Isobel, her crowning of Robert at Scone and capitivy are historical fact, but the affair with Robert is merely supposition by the author.
I did find the story entertaining enough and it kept me reading, but this is definitely not one of Erskine’s best — that would be Child of the Phoenix or Hiding from the Light. While I enjoyed the story set in the 13/14C, I really didn’t particularly care for Isobel, she was a little too self centered for me and as for Clare — likeable enough but bordering on TSTL for putting up with that pompous pig of a husband and not seeing him for what he really was. If you’re an Erskine fan and can get your hands on a copy somewhat cheaply go for it, but don’t go out of your way either.