STRAVAGANZA by Mary Hoffman

STRAVAGANZA

City of Flowers
Age Range: 11 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A crackerjack conclusion to a superior historical fantasy trilogy. British teen Sky Meadow has his hands full taking care of his invalid mother when an antique perfume bottle sends him to a magical alternate Renaissance Italy as the newest “Stravaganti.” Masquerading as a novice friar, Sky is tasked with preventing violence between the rival families of Giglia (the equivalent of Florence), as the di Chimici (Medici) clan prepares to cement their dominance through multiple dynastic weddings. But the Machiavellian Duke Niccolo also has plans for the young Duchessa of precariously independent Bellezza (Venice), embroiling the Stravaganti and their allies in labyrinthine plots and counterplots. Hoffman sensuously evokes a world drenched in sunshine, perfume and the glitter of gems and lace, where scientific and artistic brilliance intermingle with poverty, cruelty and political vendettas. While character development is perfunctory, nobody will care; not when feuds, floods, tournaments, banquets, poisonings, spies, sculptors, rock stars, princes, orphans, weddings, stabbings and a final climactic duel supercharge a narrative which somehow manages to artfully resolve the plot threads of all three volumes. Bonus: Fans should flock to the history section to investigate the fascinating setting. (Fantasy. 11+)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2005
ISBN: 1-58234-887-1
Page count: 496pp
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2005




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