Sunday, 17 August 2014

Changeling (Order of Darkness #1)
by Philippa Gregory
Rating:  2/5


Pages: 265
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: 2012
ISBN: 978-0-85707-730-1

Summary (via Goodreads)

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.(


I am a complete fan of Philippa Gregory and have read all her books to date so had to give this a go. Changeling is the first book in her new series The Order of Darkness which are aimed at a younger audience. The story follows Luca Vero (who I  believe is the main character in at least the next book too) and his friends as they journey around the world looking for sinners and the devil.

Overall, I gave this book a 2/5, however I do want to point out that this isn't meant as a bad review, the book was actually enjoyable at points. Having said this, I did struggle with it a bit. This was mainly because I am so used to her adult aimed books which have more happening in them plot wise and I think the characters are better established in her earlier works than in this book. One of the things I really missed in this book was the complex storylines and gripping romances that normally characterise a Gregory book. I think my main issue was that, for me, Changeling lacked the set-up I needed in order to get sucked into the story. At times I felt the book was predicable and even rushed. I think the main reason I struggled with this book is because it is aimed at YA readers and therefore is not something I was able to get excited over.

On the other hand, I pride myself on always trying to write a equal review and this book is no exception.. Although I didn't enjoy this book as much as I wanted to that doesn't by any means make it a 'bad' book. I think the themes and ideas behind the book are very interesting, I particularly like the way that The Order fits in to the catholic religion of the time.

I would like to end this review by stating that although I struggled with this book I do have the next two books lined up in a pile ready to read despite this as I feel that in order to really appreciate this series you need to get to the second book where the characters are established and the reader is starting to get a handle on the storyline as it unfolds.

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