Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Book Review: Changeling, by Philippa Gregory

Gregory has brought her immense talent for historical fiction to the YA world. I thoroughly enjoyed Changeling!

We are in Italy in the 1450s. Luca has been taken from his monastery because he has been accused of blasphemy. You see, he has used his talent for mathematics and his intelligence to determine that the relic the monastery holds probably isn't authentic. But instead of being executed, Luca is recruited by the Order of Darkness, who are authorized by the Pope to investigate suspicious claims and confront the people's fears. All of Christendom is sure that the end of days in imminent.

Meanwhile, Isolde's wealthy father has passed away. Instead of inheriting the castle and becoming the leader her father trained her to be, her brother tells her that her father changed his mind on his death bed. Isolde ends up taking vows she doesn't believe to become the Lady Abbess at the family's nunnery.

When strange unexplained things begin to happen at the nunnery, Luca arrives to investigate. The nuns are having visions, nightmares, and some of them display the stigmata.

So that's the setup and pretty much all I'm going to say about the plot. The historical setting is always enjoyable to me. The total helplessness of women -- just unbelievable. Luca is successful, after many false starts, at figuring out what is going on. Isolde ends up being accused of causing the unexplained events, and of course, is thought to be a sorceress. Therefore, she is on the run with her companion, Ishraq, to save their lives.

There may be a bit of magic in Changeling, but it certainly isn't the entire story. The relationship between Luca and Isolde becomes very complex. Ishraq is very mysterious. Luca's companion, Freize is somewhat of the comic relief, but also saves the day more than one time. There's much more to the story AFTER they leave the nunnery that will keep you quickly turning pages.

I'm looking forward to reading about the next adventure of this group. Stormbringers just came out in June.  This series will appeal to those who enjoy medieval stories with endearing characters and some mystery and adventure. Changeling pretty much has everything! There is also an interesting author's note, about the accuracies (and inaccuracies) in the story which I found very interesting.

Published by Simon Pulse
Copy obtained from the library
256 pages (qualifies for my Books You Can Read in a Day Challenge!)

Rating: 4.5/5

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  1. This is a book that's been on my TBR for awhile. I was thrilled Gregory was doing YA! :) I'm so glad you enjoyed Changeling, Annette. Thanks for sharing a wonderful review!

  2. I'm so glad to see you enjoyed this one. I have it on my shelf and it keeps getting bumped for galleys. I need to try to make time for it sooner rather than later!

    Also, on a side note, I see you're listening to Blackberry Winter. I adore Sarah Jio and hope you love the story as much as I did. :)


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