Barnum’s Angel

The Pale Chronicles

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Pub Date 06 Oct 2022 | Archive Date 29 Nov 2022

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To some, Lily was just a beautiful little girl. To others, she was a freakish albino who ate live chickens in a freak show. Charles Darwin called her his impossible girl and tried in vain to classify her. P. T. Barnum called her his angel and tried to take advantage of her.

But the creature Barnum thought to turn into a money-making feature attraction is neither girl nor angel. She is something other, a species of unimaginable abilities, with the power to destroy—or save —our world. The power is hers alone, but only the strange blood coursing through her veins will decide when and how to unleash a power she struggles every day to control.

From the cold, barren shores of Tierra del Fuego and the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle to the bustling crowds of Victorian London, Lily's story—and her quest—unfolds in a thrilling historical fantasy for all ages from award-winning author Len Boswell.

To some, Lily was just a beautiful little girl. To others, she was a freakish albino who ate live chickens in a freak show. Charles Darwin called her his impossible girl and tried in vain to classify...

A Note From the Publisher

Len Boswell is the author of eleven books, including award-winning mysteries, fantasies, and memoirs. He lives in the mountains of West Virginia with his wife, Ruth, and their two dogs, Shadow and Cinder.

Len Boswell is the author of eleven books, including award-winning mysteries, fantasies, and memoirs. He lives in the mountains of West Virginia with his wife, Ruth, and their two dogs, Shadow and...

Advance Praise

"Masterful!" -Michael Hartnett, author of Blue Gowanus

"Magical!" -Courtney Filigenzi, author of Clover Doves

"Masterful!" -Michael Hartnett, author of Blue Gowanus

"Magical!" -Courtney Filigenzi, author of Clover Doves

Available Editions

ISBN 9781685130381
PRICE $5.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 25 members

Featured Reviews

What a truly wonderful story and apparently the start of a series. Wonderful characters galore such as PT Barnum, Charles Sickens and Charles Darwin. The author has a unique way of blending true facts about the above people and seamlessly compliment the story. A rare and one of a kind tale. Thank you to Netgalley, the author and publishers for an e-arc in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Barnum's Angel by Len Boswell was a fun book and is apparently the first in a series.
The book was very fast-moving and really held my interest.
It is the story of a young albino girl from birth through adulthood.
The extensive and various storylines that involve albinism are why this series is called the Pale Chronicles.

I loved the use of real characters throughout this fiction, such as PT Barnum and Charles Darwin.
I enjoyed the book and would certainly be open to reading Book #2, whenever it comes along.

Thanks to NetGalley and Black Rose Writing for a free ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinions.

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Barnum’s Angel was a great read. The book held my attention as I like the work of oddities and anything Barnum. The idea of the egg with barnicles and its misplacement and the journey and explanation of the events that transpire was amazing. This book is part history but mostly fantasy. Not to give the story away,Lily is an albino that has been doomed to be a carnival attraction. She is sought out by Barnum for her uniqueness and what happens is crazy. The outcome becomes years of police work ( which is pretty interesting) and an unexpected turn of events. I am hoping a sequel will follow.

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I read this book while I was on a cruise ship sailing around Ireland, the land of fairies and leprechauns. So somehow all the "magic" in this book seemed to fit right in with my surroundings. This is certainly a book that will hold your attention and have you turning page after page to find out what happens next. And then comes the Epilogue. Well, let me. just say that if you didn't believe before the epilogue, you will after. I won't even try to describe the story because it would be too hard to do without giving away critical plot events. I will just say I would highly recommend that you read this book.

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When PT Barnum comes across and Artist Shell with a beautiful little girl name Lily that his heart does Bing have been doing half demon he thinks wink wink and gets the man to enter a contract with him so she can be in his show. Unfortunately after the very first show she proves to be more than the public can hang out though an NDN will be the only one who can save it. This was a lot of book and I don’t know how the author came up with the story but kudos to her. Not only was the descriptions excellent the drama was high in the story moved along swiftly I totally enjoyed this book I love historical fiction and this is now amongst one of my favorites. when the book 1st started I kept waiting for the wink wink just joking she’s normal but when it never came that just made for a much better book. If you love historical science fiction then you love Barnum‘s angel. I am not even really into science-fiction and I absolutely loved it! I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher but I am leaving this review voluntarily please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate my review.

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To begin the review, I would question the use of the phrase "a thrilling historical fantasy for all ages". Some parts of the narrative were quite gruesome and graphically portrayed in explicit detail. So do not be fooled by the cute cover picture because looks can be deceiving.
That being said, Barnum’s Angel is an intelligent and inventive read. The use of historical figures enhances an all-embracing riveting read centred around Lily, a girl with a peculiar mutation.
Bought to the shores of England in unusual circumstances by an unsuspecting Charles Darwin, this is a tale of historical fantasy with more than a touch of gothic horror added to the mix.
There is a haunting gothic atmosphere about London, where we meet well-known historical figures and fictional characters. Charles Dickens makes a fleeting appearance, and P T Barnum plays a pivotal role, as does Darwin. But for me, Enku, the friend of Lily and Detective Charles Frederick Field, were the stars. Enku endures much in trying to protect Lily from the outside world. Detective Field is a tenacious individual who refuses to give up the chase.
There is a tangled web of deception and deceit around every corner as unscrupulous individuals either want to exploit or cause harm to our main protagonist, Lily. This makes for excellent reading as chapters are short and sweet but always have an edge and promise of more excitement on the way.
Barnum's Angel, is far more than a coming-of-age story, as you will discover as you get to grips with the narrative. It is an emotional roller-coaster with much thought-provoking on several fronts.
Len Boswell has created a true page-turner that fulfils all its promises. Downsides were very few. The climactic conclusion was slightly rushed for me. You knew what was coming and more or less, who was to be involved. But it was over in a flash. Considering how things were so protracted previously, things could have been splayed out a little.
It is also vastly frustrating that this is only part one of The Pale Chronicles. This means we must wait for the next chapter in this enthralling and spellbinding historical fantasy thriller.
I enjoyed Barnum's Angel immensely and would have hesitation in recommending it.
Thank you, NetGalley and Black Rose Writing, for this advanced copy.

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Barnum's Angel by Len Boswell is a wonderful story and thankfully is only the first in a series to come.

Throughout the story we get to follow a young albino girl, Lily, throughout her life as a carnival attraction piece.

It is a fast paced read which holds the reader's attention easily. The story is intriguing, and the characters are well written, my favorites are Charles Sickens and Charles Darwin. The Authors' writing style is out of this world. The descriptions and plot keep you sucked in and left wanting more. I would recommend this book and do look forward to what comes next.

Thank you NetGalley for the ARC.

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This book has left me speechless. I finished and then sat back and asked myself "what the heck did I just read?" Based on the synopsis I was not prepared for what unfolded within the pages. The sheer audacity of what Boswell did was nothing more than astonishing. To take something so austere as Victorian England, the beginnings of Scotland yard, and the renowned English naturalist Charles Darwin, and introduce such an element of fantasy truly unsettled me.
In truth though, I liked it. While fantastical, the story flowed brilliantly. There was such a great interspersing of historical elements which only enhanced the story. What began as a quest for the truth turned into a police chase of epic proportions. Lily will haunt you long after you finish this one. Hopefully Boswell doesn't wait to long to get book two to us!

I received a copy of this title via NetGalley.

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I've always loved stories about the strange and curious, so of course, I knew I'd like this book from the get go. And, I was right! It's a very well-balanced mix of historical fiction and fantasy, with the setting of P.T. Barnum's "freakshow", starring an albino girl named Lily. There's murder and mystery and best of all, dragons! What more could a girl ask for.

Overall, it felt just long enough to tell the story as it should be told, and just short enough for the reader to remain engaged.

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Burnham’s angel is both a humorous historical fiction and a fantasy based on characteristics of well-known historical figures. We meet Charles Darwin and we get a personal view into what he’s like. The ambitious P. T. Barnum who runs the famous Barnum and Bailey Circus also plays a major role. This novel was written by the prolific Len Boswell.

Charles Darwin in his journey on the Beagle, makes collections of a number of different unique organisms. He encounters a mysterious figure who gives him an egg covered in barnacles that capture Darwin’s interest. He asks Darwin to take the egg back to England with him. During the journey Darwin loses the egg and thus begins the mystery. During a trip to the theatre to watch P.T. Barnum, Darwin sees the beautiful Lily transform into a horrific animal. Darwin ends up housing Lily and he conducts research with her permission to determine if she is a new species. In the meantime, Barnum, for different reasons, wants Lily to return to his circus. He engages the police who during their search encounter an individual who resembles Lily but behaves in a completely different manner.

The thing I love most about this book is the character development. We meet and become personally acquainted, with such famous figures as Charles Darwin, and P. T. Barnum. There is even a cameo appearances by Charles Dickens who is on the lookout for people upon which to base his characters. The story is a work of fiction but the known personality traits of these characters are incorporated into a fascinating work of fiction. This is a very unique approach.

The story of time is of a fascinating romp into a world of speciation, and whether or not, there are actually individuals of different species who live among us. How do they cope? How do they conceal themselves? On one side we have Darwin trying to define and help the species, while on the other side, Barnum is trying to exploit them. Fantasy it may be here, but the issue will be very real if a new species is ever discovered.

This is a fascinating novel, especially for those that know the characters and what they achieved in their lifetime. It is a personal look their personality traits and determination. I give this book a five on five mainly because it is unique and fascinating. I’d like to thank NetGalley and Black Rose Writing for providing me a digital copy of this work. I provide this review voluntarily.

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