The Cursed Baron – The Glorious Victories of Eleanor MacLeod Book One
The Cursed Baron begins with a gathering of guests at the MacLeod family home to celebrate Ellie’s birthday. During the night, her father Edmund is visited by Ellie’s mother, Eleanor, who died at her birth. She tells him that they must “bring her back to the light.” Eleanor tells Edmund and his current wife, Supriya, to take her memories and “use them to help Ellie know me…the real me, not just the enshrined martyr she grew up with. She needs to know who I really was.” From there, Edmund and Supriya using a combination of storytelling and sharing memories, tell Ellie the story of how Edmund and his wild Scottish thistle Eleanor really met and the beginning of their short and doomed love story. Their story begins when another young woman’s story ends in a tragic murder at a weekend party at a Baron’s mansion in the 1920s. Snow traps everyone at the estate and it is up to Edmund and Eleanor to solve the mystery. The murderer is one of those trapped in the mansion, and they will have to solve it before he or she strikes again. Everyone’s a suspect since they all have secrets to hide, some worth killing for.
I have not read very much fantasy involving Hindu mythology, and so I found this book to be a bit hard to follow at times. A note from the publisher states that “the author’s intent was to give enough background for an uninitiated reader to develop a relationship with the world of The Sita Chronicles, while introducing them to several new heroines whose stories haven’t yet been told.” From what I could tell, it would be much more beneficial to the reader to start with the other series before picking this one up. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery which began in chapter five. Once I reached that point, the pieces here and there referring to the Hindu mythology were easier to grasp than at the beginning. Ashley Mayers is a great writer, and this book was easy to read. She was true to her word claiming this to be an Agatha Christie-style murder mystery. The characters were well written and the plot intriguing. I will be reading
The Sita Chronicles before I attempt the next book in this five-book series. If you enjoyed her previous series, or if you enjoy mysteries and/or fantasy epics, you should read this series.
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