Changeling by Philippa Gregory
(#1 in the Order of Darkness series)
Genre: Historical Fiction
Read: July 2012
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Italy, 1453. Seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is brilliant, gorgeous—and accused of heresy. Cast out of his religious order for using the new science to question old superstitious beliefs, Luca is recruited into a secret sect: The Order of the Dragon, commissioned by Pope Nicholas V to investigate evil and danger in its many forms, and strange occurrences across Europe, in this year—the end of days.
Isolde is a seventeen-year-old girl shut up in a nunnery so she can’t inherit any of her father’s estate. As the nuns walk in their sleep and see strange visions, Isolde is accused of witchcraft—and Luca is sent to investigate her, but finds himself plotting her escape.
Despite their vows, despite themselves, love grows between Luca and Isolde as they travel across Europe with their faithful companions, Freize and Ishraq. The four young people encounter werewolves, alchemists, witches, and death-dancers as they head toward a real-life historical figure who holds the boundaries of Christendom and the secrets of the Order of the Dragon.
The first in a series, this epic and richly detailed drama is grounded in historical communities and their mythic beliefs. It includes a medieval map of Europe that will track their journey; and the interior will include relevant decorative elements as well as an interior line illustration. And look for a QR code that links to a note from the author with additional, detailed information about the setting and the history that informed the writing. With Philippa Gregory’s trademark touch, this novel deftly brings the past—and its salacious scandals—vividly and disturbingly to life.
Changeling by Philippa Gregory was an interesting read. I didn’t really find that I cared one way or another about it. Changeling wasn’t be but it wasn’t memorable either. I can remember vaguely patches of the story (lesson: write reviews promptly after finishing a book), but overall I remember a young man, his kitchen animal whispering squire/page, a young woman and her companion…oh! and a wolf and some crazy nuns.
This was my first Philippa Gregory novel and I feel like that might have been a mistake. I don’t hold this as a bad story against Gregory. I just have a feeling that I would vastly enjoy her adult titles more than this type of book.
This feels like a very botched up review but I honestly can’t drum up enough feeling to write a better one. It’s a solid three stars. Not bad, but not great either.
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