About the Books
The books in the Jewels of the Rainbow trilogy are based in the modern world with its technology, smartphones and cars, but also include time travel and magic. They are set in the far west of Cornwall, where Victoria has lived for over twenty years, and has known for over thirty. The first two combine the present day with West Penwith in the Dark Ages. The third book moves between west Penwith and an island which no one can reach.
Chalice of the Rainbow:
Gerry thought she was an ordinary young woman. She only came to Cornwall to get away from her cheating boyfriend. She’d never believed her great-aunt’s suggestion that she was telepathic. She didn’t expect to be drawn into the hunt for a jewelled gold chalice made in Cornwall 2,000 years ago - until she finds herself back in the Dark Ages. Gerry soon learns that other people want the chalice – for its value, its considerable powers and breathtaking beauty. As it gets harder to tell friend from enemy, today and in the past, Gerry finds herself in greater danger than she’d ever believed.
Guardian of the Stones:
For Gerry it was all over. The Chalice was gone, Justin was gone. Until the Jewels of the Rainbow reappear in a new form, and violence explodes back into Gerry’s life. Old enemies have returned, more terrifying than before. Gerry must find a way to combat new threats, with help from an unexpected ally. But as they start to work together Gerry doesn’t realise she faces another danger; of succumbing to the seemingly irresistible lure of the Jewels.
The Island outside the World:
When Allie comes to Cornwall on holiday, her dreams about a mysterious island come too close to reality. On the island she’s caught in a ruthless power struggle. In Cornwall she has her cousin Gerry’s magical rainbow ring, as well as help from the gardener, who’s as intriguing as her dreams. But can they protect her from the usurper who wants her dead?
The Island Outside the World
As readers, we approach the last volume of a trilogy with certain expectations. Soon, everything will be rounded off, ends neatly tied. The familiar characters will be placed where we feel we can safely leave them, without fear of them rising up again with something untoward in mind once our backs are turned.
To an extent, all this is true of Victoria Osborne-Broad’s ‘The Island Outside of the World.’ The main character of the first two novels, Gerry, is now leading a regular and settled life - although still troubled by a yearning for those rainbow gemstones that have been causing so much grief. The boundary-crossing villains have been confined to quarters. Down there under the granite of West Penwith, all seems well. Just a little smoothing and putting in order, we think, and everyone can live happily ever after.
But the cover of this third book offers a hint that – rather than returning for a final doomed gasp from the evil forces that lay below those windy moorlands in the first two volumes of the trilogy – we might be required to move on. The magical items hovering in their inhospitable setting of sea and rocks on the first two covers seem to have been replaced by a pretty little quayside, with… well, isn’t that a pub? And a person? Some change of emphasis here, surely.
And so it proves: we are not very far into the new book before we find that we have not only a change of setting – but new adventurers, in a new land, involved in a racy story of danger, mis-appropriated power and the quest for freedom. ‘The Island Outside the World’ is less of a time-slip fantasy than the previous books in the trilogy, and more of an old-fashioned romance in the style of William Morris or C S Lewis. There is a lost domain, with a Gothic-style castle and a lonely dowager who alone guards the secrets of right and title. Ships venture across sparkling seas bearing strange cargoes. Heroes – male and female – battle to free ungrateful dullards from the tyrants who seek to enslave them.
The story moves along nicely and is involving and easy to follow, with well-defined and engaging characters. The events in the ‘real’ world and the world of romance complement one another in a well-constructed plot, and as a reader I moved with ease and a very willing suspension of disbelief between the two.
And so this, the third volume of the trilogy, raises the question: have we reached the end of the story that began with the ring, the chalice and their jewels? Or do we have the beginning of a whole new series?
L.C. 25 January 2021
I've just finished reading book 2 today. Thoroughly enjoyed that, the level of excitement rose phenomenally! Such control of plot, and of character and setting! So clever and creative! Roll on the third volume!
K.B 11 December 2019
Just read your books!!! It was an utterly pleasure to read your very exciting books and I can't wait to read the third one!!! It especially was so good to be able to imagine the places you describe in your stories! You write very visual! So thank you very much and please let me know when the third one is ready.
H.V 25 November 2019
I loved adventure through time, especially the journeys into an atmospheric and ancient Cornwall. Gerry is a warm and likeable character, her human story balancing nicely with the dark suspense of the gripping plot. Great for a relaxing and refreshing read, I think the powerful story makes it equally accessible for lovers of the region or those who've never been to Cornwall, and readers of all types. The cover is evocative and unique - more please!
N.R 7 February 2019
Guardian of the Stones
Victoria Osborne-Broad has been merciful to her readers. Left in suspense at the end of Chalice of the Rainbow, part one of the ‘Jewels of the Rainbow’ trilogy, we have not had to submit to the tenterhooks for very long. Victoria’s back with part two – Guardian of the Stones. Hilary Mantel, please take note.
Having established the complex situation – with time travel, dark powers and perhaps even darker characters –Osborne-Broad has allowed her readers a more relaxed pace. Guardian of the Stones is a smooth ride, as the shock absorbers (the knowledge of who, when, where and why) come pre-fitted. Reading volume one, I found the list of characters at the back of the book indispensable, but I was able to enjoy Guardian of the Stones with only occasional reality checks – if that is an appropriate term in this context.
So in this second volume, the characters and plot are given room to breathe and grow. We meet some old friends, and some acquaintances from Chalice of the Rainbow become rather more. The characters become more intriguing and – for me at least – one or two prompted speculation. Is everyone what they seem? Or is something darker lurking beneath?
Guardian of the Stones offers us rather less wandering on the moorlands, compared to the first book, and more driving down to Long Rock; less hopping back and forth through portals and more hopping on a plane or train bound for the far north, or for the remote eastern reaches (I refer, of course, to London), of the 21st century UK. As a reader, my thraldom to strange tales of fantastic worlds is less than complete – so that suits me just fine. But fans of the genre need not fear – that chalice is still throbbing with power, and the novel builds to a nail-biter of a climax as to whether that power will once more fall into the grip of the dark side.
And volume three? It already has a great title: The Island Outside the World. Osborne-Broad’s readers can only hope for not too long a wait.
L.C. 19th June 2019
This book created a wonderful atmosphere of mystery and suspense, whilst at the same time bringing to life convincing and realistic characters. The landscape of West Cornwall forms a backdrop to it all in a delightful way, and anyone who knows the area will recognise the places. I feel I almost know Gerry, so much can I sympathise with her dilemmas...Bring along Book Two!
12 December 2018
Loved this book, it was the first time I've read fantasy and I'm hooked. Victoria captured the atmosphere of Cornwall perfectly and mix that with a "thriller" that time shifts constantly and you'll be hooked also. All the characters, both ancient and modern are real and believable - cannot wait for Vol 2 of this trilogy!
5 December 2018
I live in the area this book is set in and found it a lovely local read. Look forward to book two. If you're on a break in teh area and reading it make a trip to some of the settings if you are able...brings the book alive
B 15 September 2018
I bought this for my 14 yeard old daughter who's a big fan of the Harry Potter style of fantasy books. She loved it and polished it off in less than a week on holiday. Thoroughly recommended.
L.H. 15 August 2018
Mystery and time travel are an irresistible combination for me, and this has the added bonus of a remote Cornish setting. I found it well written and engaging, and with some strong characters. I am looking forward to the sequels!
13 August 2018
I grew up in the days before the internet, smartphones or even computers. A solitary child, I read and read: children’s books, classics, and whatever I could borrow from the library. When I was older a colleague lent me a copy of Anne McCaffrey’s ‘Dragonflight’, and I was hooked. I read more of this and other fantasy series, and some sci-fi. I drafted a book involving telepathy. That one sank without trace, but I kept going, and finally completed a novel set on an island cut off from the world by a magic barrier. I started the round of submissions to fantasy paperback publishers and discovered (a) that they wanted agented submissions, and (b) they only wanted books guaranteed to have large sales. Meanwhile I’d qualified as that now extinct creature, a professional librarian.
After hosting an author talk at my branch I spent 3 or 4 years trying my hand seriously at romantic fiction, then returned to fantasy. I revised my island book, tried agents, but still no joy. By now I was living in Cornwall. How I came first came here and met my husband is a romantic tale in itself, starting with a remarkable coincidence which would look contrived if used in fiction.
Next I sent a short story to a competition and got positive feedback. It had originated from a book I’d done a few chapters of some time before. So I dusted them down, began to revise and continue the story, and realised I had to move the action from London to Cornwall. Swiss Cottage became Penzance, Hampstead Heath turned into Chapel Carn Brea, and my heroine lives in a house based on where I live. It has the stunning views, the gardens and the peace, but it’s our house as it would be if we had the money possessed by the fictional owner and didn’t do holiday lets. The plot brings magic and time travel into the modern world of cars and smartphones, and the Cornish setting is central.
I gave up the day job with the Council, and my life changed. I went to talks and workshops for writers, beginning at the Penzance Literary Festival. I joined writers’ groups, met other writers, and made new friends. Best of all, some of us starting meeting in our houses, reading out what we were working on and getting constructive feedback. I finished a sequel, and realised I had a trilogy in hand when I had the classic light bulb moment: how to combine my first two books with the magic island.
By now I had gained the confidence to get my writing ‘out there’. I approached a Cornish firm for ‘assisted’ i.e. self-publishing, with my first book. What followed was far from what I’d expected; hurdles, pitfalls, blind corners in a maze, provide your own cliché. With the second book I assumed that this time I really knew what to expect, but I’ve been proved wrong again.
However there have been magic moments: giving talks and having genuinely positive responses; being asked when the next one’s coming out by eager readers. The day I first saw my book in my local library, and realised why my copies had never looked right; they didn’t have library jackets on. And the afternoon walking through some local gardens when I saw someone sitting on a bench by a lake, reading my book. And to come full circle, I had a joint slot at the Penzance Literary Festival, which I first went to the month after I left the Council and plunged into the real world of writers.