About the book:
The king’s magnificent palace was built in a matter of weeks. No one saw the builders, no villagers are allowed beyond the gilded gate, and only one servant has ever left. The haunted look in her eyes as she was recaptured by the palace guards is something Josie, daughter of the village doctor, has never forgotten.
For Josie, the palace is a mystery that grows more intriguing after she meets the captain of the guards, a man known only as Hammer, as mysterious and captivating as the palace itself. Whispers of magic fuel Josie’s desire to uncover the truth, but an ordinary girl like her can only dream of ever being invited inside.
When the king decides to take a wife from among the eligible daughters of the noble families, the palace gates are finally thrown open and the kingdom’s elite pour in. In a court where old rivalries and new jealousies collide, the king’s favorite is poisoned and the doctor is summoned. As her father’s assistant, Josie finally sees inside the lavish walls, but she soon learns the palace won’t surrender its secrets easily, for not a single resident, from the lowest servant to the king himself, has a memory from before the palace existed.
In the search for the truth, Josie is drawn deeper into danger, and the answers she seeks might shake the very foundations of the kingdom.
Review by Katy Haye:
C J Archer has created a glorious, immersive fantasy world for the After the Rift series. The Palace of Lost Memories was a fascinating fantasy mystery and a great start to the series. I thoroughly enjoyed unravelling the mystery with Josie and Hammer, although they only begin to scrape the surface of the bigger mystery in this, first, book.
Josie was an excellent main character: complex, strong and capable yet vulnerable and realistically nuanced. Hammer was a delight who often made me smile along with Josie (inadvertently on his part), and I loved the subtlety of the romance thread, while the secondary characters were also very well delineated and memorable.
C J Archer is definitely an author to look out for because this was a delightful and fresh fantasy story.
Love fantasy? Try Katy Haye’s Princess Witch series. First in series is Dragon Thief. Princess Jurelle wants revenge on her vicious father, but her actions unleash magical powers she has no idea she possesses – and which place her in terrible danger.