CHANGELING by Philippa Gregory


From the "Order of Darkness" series, volume 1
Age Range: 14 - 18
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A paranormal/historical potboiler for teens from Gregory.

In June 1483, in Rome, the gorgeous supposed orphan and novice priest Luca Vero, 17, rumored to be a faerie child, is sent forth by the Inquisitor to find evil. At the same time, beautiful Isolde of Lucretili, in one fell swoop, finds her father dead, her brother claiming her lands and castle, and herself sent off with her Moorish companion, Ishraq, to be the abbess at the local nunnery. The convent is a hotbed of madness, and when Luca and his companions investigate, they accuse Isolde and Ishraq of witchcraft. But he learns the true evil lies elsewhere, and Isolde and Ishraq escape amid a grisly denouement. There is no character development to speak of, except for Luca’s manservant, who is funny and may have useful hidden talents for subsequent volumes. For a period piece, Gregory indulges in ridiculous-sounding anachronisms. A brigand actually says, “Now, little ladies, put your hands in the air…and nobody will get hurt.” A lot of talk is given over to the weakness of women so that Isolde and Ishraq can contradict it—which Isolde does in distinctly noncanonical fashion: "[Y]ou would destroy us who are made in the image of Our Lady Mary and put us under the rule of men?" Even the actual writing is sloppy, in keeping with the overall construction.

Gregory says in her author’s note how much fun she had writing this. Perhaps some may enjoy reading it. (Paranormal/historical fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 29th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4424-5344-9
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2012


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