The Palace of Lost Memories, After the Rift book 1, by C J Archer.
This is the third series by Archer that I am reading. The story follows Josie, a 24 y/o midwife and apothecary, also assistant to her father, the local doctor. She lives in a seaside town on the Fist Peninsula that has recently seen an influx of people due to the new king’s palace near the town that was build within mere weeks.
After having met some of the palace guards, Josie is hoping to get a chance to visit the palace and marvel at its beauty. That chance soon arrives when a female visitor to the palace is poisoned and her father is summoned to help.
Of course, Josie, together with the palace guards, tries to find out who poisoned the lady. She also wants to find out some of the other mysteries (no spoilers) that surround the palace and its inhabitants.
Worldbuilding: The Fist Peninsula is a fictional place that sounds very much like Britain in the 18th or 19th century; Josie has learned a lot about medicine as her father’s assistant, but is not allowed to go to university, no woman is. The possible magic that is hiding in the palace is not further explained, but Josie and her friends hint at magic at play.
Characters: Josie is a young woman who knows what she wants. She can stand her ground, has brains to use and isn’t easily intimidated; still, she has to obey the written and unwritten rules of her time, but she pushes the boundaries whenever it seems in order. Hammer, the handsome captain of the guards, is the possible love interest. We don’t know much about Hammer, for a reason (spoiler), but he seems to be a trustworthy fellow, even if he keeps telling Josie she shouldn’t trust him. The secondary characters are fleshed out convincingly and round up the narrative.
Overall: I listened to the audiobook narrated by Marian Hussy. It was a good narration and I enjoyed my time spent at the Palace of Lost Memories. CJ Archer’s books are my brain candy, if you want.
3.89 stars out of 5.0 (Glass and Steele will always be my favourite, sorry-not-sorry)