The Palace of the Stars

Love, Magic and Mystery Book 1

Fiction - Time Travel
289 Pages
Reviewed on 03/03/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I wrote this book based on true events in the town of York, Western Australia, but, I soon got carried away with my research. Carried away to a funky little building that I thought would make the perfect bookshop for my character, Mari. There was an earthquake in the town. There was a goldrush. There was a coma survivor with strange shifts in consciousness. There was a beat-up policeman called Michael. So, all these I put into my story, too. I scrounged around the town at midnight, chasing vibes and atmosphere. I began to feel what it might have been like to be lost in time. My imagination took a fierce hold, which led me to explore enhanced consciouness...MAGIC!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

The Palace of the Stars is the first book in the Love, Magic, and Mystery series by Karina McRoberts. Former police officer Michael Harker (Mike) wakes up injured from a coma and devoid of his past memories. Cared for by an elderly woman named Mari Linden, Mike's life takes another drastic turn when he accidentally stumbles through a time portal that opens up in Mari's bookstore. He finds himself transported to the year 1904 in York, Australia. After getting acquainted with J.T. Gordon, the impresario of the Palace of the Stars, Mike ingratiates himself with his friends and fellow workers. He is particularly enamored by the enchanting star performer, Mae Belle. But when a series of murders threatens the lives of his newfound friends, Mike must help capture the killer before he inflicts further damage.

Filled with mystery, intrigue, and a whole lot of fun, The Palace of the Stars takes you on an adventure odyssey you don't want to end. With colorful characters and an unpredictable plot, author Karina McRoberts tells an enthralling tale of friendship, romance, time travel, and much more. Each character oozes personality and feels full of life. McRoberts gives every single one of her characters a distinct voice, and their vibrant disposition makes them an absolute joy to read. Mike is the main protagonist, and the reader is made privy to the reveals through his point of view while he navigates the extraordinary circumstances he finds himself in. I had a wonderful time reading The Palace of the Stars. Recommended to readers who love time-travel adventure.

Pat Paleeya

The Palace of the Stars takes the reader on a sizzling and most enjoyable adventure! Karina`s smooth transition from present day English to Victorian English is without fault and a joy to read.
Such imagination captured and penned could only result in a work of stunning characterisation, romance, drama, humour, and of course, skulduggery!
--Pat Paleeya, Book Reviews, Have-a-Go News

Will Yeoman

A richly realised and highly evocative novel that will appeal to readers of crime, romance, and historical fiction alike. The Palace of the Stars is a gripping murder mystery and a moving romance as much as a tribute to the real people and places of 19th century York. Featuring the caring and perceptive Mari Linden, her convalescing charge Michael Harker, an ex rookie cop, as well as colourful characters such as the charming impresario, J.T. Gordon, the Chinese Chopin-playing barman, Mr Sam, and the beautiful, mysterious Mae Belle.
--William Yeoman, Arts Editor, The West Australian

Grady Harp

Don't Measure Your Time in Minutes, Treasure Your Time in Moments

Australian author Karina McRoberts is a writer, artist, musician, theater producer, and conservationist – a rich tapestry from which to derive novels of magical realism and romance stories. Her writing style is infectiously fascinating, able to make such mysteries as time travel and associated strange romantic affairs not only credible and entertaining, but also an inspiration to strive for living to our creative potential.

Opening her story with an introduction to ex-policeman Michael Harker in the presence of the strange, elderly Mari Linden, sets the tone for this mystery. Harker is the investigator of this new series McRoberts has sculpted and the character proves to be a fascinating man to follow in subsequent books as well. There is an earthquake and Harker is transported 100 years into the past where he encounters JT Gordon of the Palace of Stars music hall, coping with both mental disunion from the time change as well as the unfolding romance with the dancer/stage magician Mae Belle and her plea for him to solve a series of murders.

Written with a jolly sense of humor as well as a lamplight for trespassing into the past, McRoberts makes the novel ring with a fine atmosphere that allows us to suspend disbelief and enjoy the journey. At book’s end she gives information about the music in the story, the fashions of the day, social welfare, the Chinese immigrants in Australia and health care at the time of the story, including a description of diseases and toxins of the time, and much more. Adding information such as this not only enhances the novel but also is fine teaching on the author’s part. This is a terrific diversion from reality and an invitation to explore magic!
Grady Harp, San Francisco Review of Books

NNLight

5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of the best books I have ever read!

Reviewed in the United States on December 20, 2018
Verified Purchase
A wonderfully written supernatural mystery that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. It starts off in an energetic, chaotic fashion that immediately grabs attention. The reader feels for Mari, and wonders what is going on with Michael. I, for one, never expected the portal.

Rare is the author who can engage effectively in duality. Telling the story of Mari in the present and of Mike in the past at the same time. . . brilliant! I was never confused which is the danger of this written approach.

Michael finding himself and love in 1904 was the most incredible part of the book. I loved the intricate details of history and the growing connection with Mae. I was brought to tears with the tragedy in 1904. I was blown away beyond comprehension by the end of the book!

This is one of the best books I have ever read and highly recommend to everyone!

NNL Vine Voice

M. Price

M. Price

I Love This Book!

The Palace of the Stars is the first in a trilogy of novels by Australian author, Karina McRoberts. Michael Harker, a rookie policeman is badly beaten and due to the severity of his injuries, finds himself out of the force almost before his career has begun. Whilst recuperating at the bookshop of Mari Linden, a time portal opens and Mike finds himself transported back to the Victorian era. There Mike finds employment at The Palace of the Stars, a theatre where he meets and falls in love with dancer and stage Magician, Mae Belle. Mae Belle encourages Mike to investigate a series of gruesome murders but back in the future all is not well, Mari's bookshop is under threat and if the shop is condemned, Mike has no way back.

I loved this book, for me it has everything- time travel (I am STILL looking for a portal, so far without success), murder, magic and romance. I also loved the author's style of writing - it's one of those books that draws you in and as it's the first of three novels reaching the end does not mean saying goodbye.