#BookReview – THE PALACE OF LOST MEMORIES by C.J. Archer #historicalfantasy #fantasy

I read this one back in December, but held off writing my review until I’d read the entire series – always a good sign! I did read one or two other books in between, but always purchased the next in this 6 book series as soon as I’d finished the previous one.

The setting is a fairly standard medieval society, but a fascinating geography lends a whole new slant on things, and is critical to the changes going on as we enter this entrancing new world.


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.

My review

The Palace of Lost Memories (After the Rift, #1)The Palace of Lost Memories by C.J. Archer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This turned into one of those series I had to binge read, and I don’t do that often, believe me. I have now read all six, and it was worth it.
In this opening story we are introduced to Josie, the strong-minded daughter of the local doctor. She is the village midwife, but is banned from studying to be a doctor simply because she is a woman. When Josie meets Hammer, the Captain of the Palace Guards, her life begins to change in startling ways she would have believed impossible.
The charming slow-burn romance runs the length of the series, which takes in the presence of magic few believe exists, royalty (or is it?), nobles both fair-minded and foul, commoners struggling with their lots in life, and a medieval-style society riddled with injustices and prejudice. Beneath it all is a bizarre mystery: none of the palace staff have any memories from before they woke up knowing their allotted roles as servants, guards, cooks, gardeners etc.
When the king’s favourite lady is poisoned, the doctor is called, taking Josie to the palace as his assistant. Once she stumbles onto the secret of the lost memories, she simply cannot walk away, placing her in danger she’s unaware of at all turns.
Set against solid and imaginative world building, all the characters are vividly and highly individually drawn, with the prose and dialogue all flowing past without drawing attention – always a sign of great writing. Whilst the mystery of the poisoning is wrapped up in a satisfying manner by the end of this book, the ongoing questions about the staff memory loss will drag you straight on into the next book.
If you enjoy great characters, a strong female lead, mysteries abounding, and plenty of twists and turns in the plot, then this series is for you.

View all my reviews

Take a look at the entire series – aren’t those covers gorgeous? – HERE


  1. Hoo boy this sounds really good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I really enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like a great read, Deborah. Can I take a month out of my regular reading to binge 6 books? That’s always the question. It’s soooo tempting. Heading over to Amazon to think about it. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I bought the first since it’s free. Can’t go wrong with that, and if I’m hooked, I’m hooked. 🙂 It will be all your fault. Lol (just kidding. Thanks for the great review.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🤣👍😘 I’m a bad influence, I know 😜

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like my kinda book, Debby! Thanks so much for sharing your great review! Adding it to my ever-growing monster of a list! 😁❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’ll love it 😘

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you Teagan, for this nice review, I find that after reading so many books over so many years only a small number stick out in mind, and those I go back to often as though visiting a dear friemd. Always a pleasure to read anything you write.


  6. Wow! That’s high praise! You’ve got me intrigued too!. Great review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Deb, it’s one of those books that grabbed my and never let me go.

      Liked by 1 person

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