This is by far the most disappointing Kearsley book I have read to date. In fact I believe I have never given one of her books below 3.5 stars before. But Splendour Falls? It absolutely failed to impress.
First of all, by the end of the novel I barely recognized any point to it. The summary overestimates the historical input and the mystery included in the novel by far, in fact there was very little of either. There were very brief viewpoints told from the 1100s (I believe) with Isabelle and her "treasure" and will he/won't he rescue me from this castle. Unfortunately these viewpoints were written quite well and were the best the novel had to offer. I really question why Kearsley did not simply (or ever does in fact) write a straight-forward historical fiction novel.
This was made all the more frustrating by the fact that the protagonist of this novel in present day (almost 20 years ago now, however) is exceedingly dull. She is quite hell bent on being anti-love, her basis being her parents divorced pleasantly when she was an adult. I really cannot understand the problem? How can you be scarred from THAT? But regardless, the novel really has very little romance in it, in fact I don't understand why the author even bothered. The romance is unbelievable, forced and so awkwardly quick in the end that I don't see how I was supposed to care or be invested as a reader.
So the novel included almost no historical element, little mystery and a very ridiculous love aspect but that may not be my biggest complaint. The book was boring. BORING. The protagonist wanders around Chinon for endless pages with absolutely no purpose, events occur that have no impact on the overall story but it goes on for paaaaaaages. The descriptions and events with no impact are told with such verbosity I could not help but come to dislike this book. There was simply no redeeming quality to the book for me, which was rather surprising considering how much I've enjoyed other Kearsley novels.
If you like verbosity, wandering walks in the countryside detailed for no reason but to have words on a page and including just enough historical element to make you believe there MAY be more coming only to be disappointed--this is the book for you!