Though three more books follow this adventure, Angélique and the Ghosts is effectively the final chapter of the saga for the majority of Anne Golon’s readers because it was the tenth and last to be translated into English – so far, at least.
The English version of the title has been criticised for being inappropriate, with some readers suggesting that it should at least be Angélique and the Ghosts of the Past. In fact, the literal translation of the French title, Complot des Ombres is something quite different – Conspriracy of Shadows. Published in 1977, it ended a five-year wait for Angélique’s followers who had left their heroine shattered by her struggles against the demon in the previous adventure.
Now, overjoyed to be reunited with her true love, Angélique paces the familiar decks of the Goldsbro on its journey towards Quebec.
She must again risk betrayal in order to cement her position as joint leader of an independent stronghold between two warring powers.
But as they invade the king’s fiefdom, Angélique, still an outlawed woman in France, is anxious, sensing a plot.
Foiling attempts on new friends, she encounters a figure from her past – one who brings with him echoes of shadowy ghosts, manipulating events from afar (and hence the title of the book).
Events march steadily towards a climax as Angélique progresses up the freezing estuary to her destination.
For the first time in fifteen years, Angélique stands on the outskirts of a bustling French community – the cloistered and claustrophobic capital of French Acadia, Quebec.