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Blog Tour: A Shape on the Air by Julia Ibbotson: A Book Review

A Shape on the Air by Julia Ibbotson

Publication Date: October 9, 2021
Genre: Historical Mystery
Series: Dr. DuLac, Book 1
Source: This book was given to me by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: For fans of Barbara Erskine, Pamela Hartshorne, Susanna Kearsley, Christina Courtenay

     Can echoes of the past threaten the present? They are 1500 years apart, but can they reach out to each other across the centuries? One woman faces a traumatic truth in the present day. The other is forced to marry the man she hates as the 'dark ages' unfold.

      How can Dr Viv DuLac, medievalist and academic, unlock the secrets of the past? Traumatised by betrayal, she slips into 499 AD and into the body of Lady Vivianne, who is also battling treachery. Viv must uncover the mystery of the key that she unwittingly brings back with her to the present day, as echoes of the past resonate through time. But little does Viv realise just how much both their lives across the centuries will become so intertwined. And in the end, how can they help each other across the ages without changing the course of history?

My Review: Dr. Viv DuLac is a professor in medieval studies. One night she learns that her lover has been cheating on her. Due to the stress of her break-up, she goes back in time to 499 CE. She witnesses the life of another individual, Lady Viviane, whose life mirrors her own. Lady Viviane is forced to marry a man that she hates. Could both women from different time periods help each other throughout their hardships?

Dr. Viv DuLac is a highly accomplished woman. She is an academic and lecturer of medieval studies. When her first love fails, she soon finds another man named Rory who also claimed that he was in the past of 499 CE. I found this to be very interesting and wanted to know the connection between her and Rory. Therefore, I found her story to be just as compelling as Lady Viviane’s story.

Lady Viviane’s story was very intriguing. Even though I loved both timelines, I thought that Lady Viviane was a more interesting character than Dr. Viv DuLac. She was a very strong and courageous woman who had a dark past. I found her story to be very mysterious, and I was curious to learn what happened to her in the end. Thus, her story was very emotional and heart-wrenching.

Overall, this novel was about trauma, loss, and renewed love. I found all the characters to be very fascinating. There were a few flaws to the novel. The beginning started out very slow. The middle of it tended to be a bit repetitive. Nevertheless, I did like how it ended. I like how it focuses on the origins of King Arthur. I found the story to be very atmospheric, engaging, and meticulously researched. Mrs. Ibbotson superbly made medieval Britain come alive for it felt as if I was walking alongside Lady Viviane. A Shape on the Air is filled with suspense and romance with a dash of the paranormal. I recommend this novel for fans of Daughters of Fire, Quest of the Scottish Warrior, and The Outlander!

Rating 4: out of 5 stars

Available on Amazon

Praise for Julia Ibbotson and A Shape on the Air

     “In the best Barbara Erskine tradition … I would highly recommend this novel” Historical Novel Society

     “Amazing …a really great book …I just couldn’t put it down” Hazel Morgan

     "a beautiful tale … a must-read for fans of time-slip and time-travel" Cathie Dunn

     "gripping, with a very real sense of sense of threat and danger, an enthralling mystery focused on hidden treasure, a wholly convincing romance, all across both timelines!" Anne Williams

     "Lovely identifiable heroines in both time periods … I love the strength and vulnerability" Melissa Morgan

     "Meticulously researched and wonderfully evocative. Loved it!" Anne Harvey

About the Author

     Acclaimed, award-winning author Julia Ibbotson is fascinated by the medieval world and the concept of resonances across time. She read English at Keele University, England (after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana, West Africa) specialising in medieval language, literature and history, and has a PhD in socio-linguistics. She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but became a school teacher, then an academic as a senior university lecturer and researcher.

     She has published a number of books, including memoir, children’s medieval fantasy, a trilogy set in Ghana, and medieval time-slip, as well as academic works. Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga and walking in the countryside in England and Madeira where she and her husband divide their time.

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    Enter to win a copy of A Shape on the Air by Julia Ibbotson!

     The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on February 24th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

A Shape on the Air


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