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Devil's Sonata: Evil never dies [Kindle Edition]

Elizabeth Edmondson
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

DEVIL'S SONATA



Evil never dies.
A gothic tale of magic and necromancy in a remote boarding school on the moors of North Yorkshire, for fans of A Discovery of Witches of The Historian.

It begins with a book.
It ends in fire.

Beauregard Abbey is an elite boarding school in the wilds of North Yorkshire – a school built in the ruins of a monastery renowned for corruption and the study of dark magic until its destruction by Henry VIII five centuries ago. When a grimoire, a book of evil spells, is unearthed in the abbey church, the school turns to an expert – Zuleika Rathbone, neuroscientist and historian, scholar of witchcraft, ghosts and other such creations and delusions of the mind.

Or so she thinks. On the day of her arrival at Beauregard, she unearths an eighteenth-century violin, walled away for three hundred years, and the thin veneer hiding Beauregard’s cursed, necromantic past begins to crumble. As a brilliant young violinist, picked to play the instrument, becomes cruel and malevolent, and the school’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream turns darker and darker, Zuleika finds herself – and the school – in the grip of an ancient evil . . .

A story of Gothic suspense on remote moorlands from Elizabeth Edmondson, whose family hails from one of the wildest corners of England.


Editorial Reviews

Review

Music and strange happenings -- I enjoyed this atmospheric and well written novel. There are many interesting characters such as Zuleika herself, Wyndham Tilbury - an art expert, Sylvia - the charismatic actress suffering from Bell's palsy and currently teaching drama at the school, Sylvestra - a new pupil with her ever changing hair colour and her visions. Then there are the unpleasant ones - the cold and vaguely evil headmaster - Odo Fitzhoward, Arabella - the pupil who behaves like the devil incarnate, Jack Mallins - another unpleasant pupil. -- Damaskcat (Amazon UK)

I found this book enthralling. It starts slowly but the characters and the setting draw one in until one is completely caught up with the story. The sense of place is extraordinary. The abbey, its surroundings and the moodiness of North Yorkshire weather are given powerful life. The characters are individual and quirky (although the wicked headmaster is a bit of a stereotype)and develop throughout the story. You don't feel you know all about them, you feel that you are getting to know them in fits and starts.The plot is complex and with more depth than many books in the Gothic genre. Legend, history, art, music and folk lore are all thrown into the pot and stirred. -- Mrs. K. A. P. Wright

I was expecting a typical teen horror story, but was pleasantly surprised. The book is set in a British boarding school, so many of the characters are teens. But many others are adults, including the main character Zuleika. Most of the characters were well-developed and enjoyable to get to know. The setting, an old Abbey converted to a manor house and then a school, was almost a character in itself. -- pat1360

From the Author

Elizabeth Edmondson (who also writes as Elizabeth Aston) was born in Chile to an impeccably English father and a distinctly un-English Argentine mother. Educated by Benedictine nuns in Calcutta, Fabians in London, and Inklings at Oxford, she's lived in India, England, Malta and Italy.
Married, with a grown-up son and daughter, she's always been fascinated by the complexities of family life, especially the secrets, violence and intrigues that lie beneath the smooth façade of twentieth-century upper class English families, which are the subject of her novels.

Product Details

  • File Size: 541 KB
  • Print Length: 445 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Belsyre Books (July 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005CRRTOG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #629,771 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars nicely atmospheric August 8, 2011
By pat1360
Format:Kindle Edition
I was expecting a typical teen horror story, but was pleasantly surprised. The book is set in a British boarding school, so many of the characters are teens. But many others are adults, including the main character Zuleika. Most of the characters were well-developed and enjoyable to get to know. The setting, an old Abbey converted to a manor house and then a school, was almost a character in itself. The architectural descriptions made me wish for illustrations.

Ms. Edmondson's plot starts off quickly with the discovery of an old book of spells, then a Venetian violin. The horror builds slowly as we progress through the school year and through the staging of "A Midsummer's Night Dream". And then suddenly, it's over. I was expecting much more of a grand finale. In fact, the ending is my only complaint about the book. Dare I hope there will be further adventures for Zuleika and company? I was definitely left wanting more.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to review it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An unfinished book June 30, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Usually I really like and enjoy E. Edmondson's stories, especially the atmosphere and the way the characters are portrayed. I don't have a problem with slow-paced stories, and what could be found out about hte plot sounded highly promising. This was why I bought Devil's Sonata in the first place.
When settling down to read it however, I was disappointed. Characters are introduced, presumably meant as protagonists (Zuleika Rathbone, Arabella) but you don't really find out what makes them tick: their actions are not motivated, and from time to time they disappear completely from the scene to make way for other characters equally unmotivated. Several threads of the story remain hanging in the air (what is the matter with Nicholas Beauregard for example? Why is Wyndham Tilbury interested in what goes on at the Abbey? What is the role of Alice Joram?), and the story stops rather suddenly to end in a deeply unsatisfying epilogue which refers to events that apparently took place during a climatic final chapter which has not been written or at least is not included in the kindle version.
The last bit leads me to my main point of criticism: I like my books finished, and this one is not: In several places you can see that sentences are left unfinished or uncorrected (e.g. words are repeated), after full stops you find alternative versions of those sentences, sometimes in notes. In at least one case you find a paragraph, in this case a whole conversation, twice. Concerning content, I find it unconvincing to be told every last detail, be it ever so minute, about the preparation of the play's production and hear nothing about the actual performance during which apparently something quite momentous seems to have happened. All of this leaves the question open as to is the kindle version the real thing, and if so, where was the editor on this book?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music and strange happenings April 9, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Zuleika Rathbone has travelled from America to Yorkshire to study a grimoire - collection of spells - found inside a stone pillar in the cloisters of Beauregard Abbey. The Abbey is now a prestigious public school though the current head of the Beauregard family lives in the grounds. Zuleika is a scientist who studies the brain in connection with esoteric beliefs and practices. Zuleika discovers an old friend teaching at the school and soon gets to know and like many of the staff there but the Abbey itself and its Venetian inspired eighteenth century wing gives her the creeps.

When she is asked to stay on and research and write a history of the Beauregard family Zuleika is in two minds about doing so. There are things going on at the school that she is dubious about and her discovery of an old violin with a malevolent feel to it almost makes her turn down the offer. A catalogue of accidents and strange happenings, abrupt changes of character and behaviour among the pupils and a planned school production of Shakespeare's `A Midsummer Night's Dream' which acquires some very dark overtones all add to the ominous atmosphere which pervades the Abbey and all who live and work there.

I enjoyed this atmospheric and well written novel. There are many interesting characters such as Zuleika herself, Wyndham Tilbury - an art expert, Sylvia - the charismatic actress suffering from Bell's palsy and currently teaching drama at the school, Sylvestra - a new pupil with her ever changing hair colour and her visions. Then there are the unpleasant ones - the cold and vaguely evil headmaster - Odo Fitzhoward, Arabella - the pupil who behaves like the devil incarnate, Jack Mallins - another unpleasant pupil.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Came away unsatisfied September 18, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
While reading "Devil's Sonata" I was very grateful for Wikipedia. Living in the US all of my life, references to sixth-form students are Greek to me. I found that in a few other instances of slang, some of which the dictionary in my Kindle did help with. This was the only thing that gave me any difficulty with the book. Otherwise, I did enjoy"Devil's Sonata".

At times I forgot the fact the Zuleika Rathbone was the main character. There are so many interesting characters that none really receives enough focus and development. I didn't find anyone that I was really rooting for and no one that I picked out as my "bad guy". The one character that should have been both a victim and an antagonist is kept on the edge of the story. I can't really remember any first person interaction with Arabella, just what is reported in the third person by another character. Arabella gets one paragraph in first person on the last page. It almost seemed like there was to be a great revealing of secrets and coincidences, but it just never came to fruition. I don't think I would recommend this book to a friend unless they wanted to know more about education in the UK and how to direct a production of a "Midsummer's Night Dream".

I received a complementary copy of the book for review.
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More About the Author

I write historical mysteries that I like to call Vintage Mysteries, since they're set in the nineteen-thirties, forties and fifties.
They're stories of love, marriage, families and friendship, where the loyalties, feuds, secrets and betrayals of the past cast long shadows into the present.
I'm fascinated by characters who are quirky, mysterious, funny, unexpected and interesting and I want readers to share, as I do, in their joys and sorrows.

With dramatic and glamorous settings from icy lakes to Italian villas, from wintry Budapest to fashionable France, from Cornwall to the Lake District, the landscapes are as powerful as the stories are complex.
The tense realities of life mingle with supernatural elements : ghosts, prophetic dreams and voices from the past, but fun and humour also dance in and out of the light and darkness of the stories.

My aim is to enthrall, delight and amuse readers as they are transported to a different era.
A review posted by a reader said my books take you out of the daily world and make the impossible seem possible--that's just what I want them to do.

My novels have been translated into several languages and published in many different countries.

I was born in Chile, have lived in India and Italy and now live in Oxford, where I went to university--and where I've taken up bell-ringing.

I also write as Elizabeth Aston; please visit my other author page and have a look at those books.

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