Order of Darkness 1: Changeling
- Simon & Schuster Ltd
- Publication Date:
- 24 May 2012
- Fantasy & magical realism
Commanded by sealed orders, Luca is sent to map the fears of Christendom, and travel to the very frontier of good and evil. Seventeen-year-old Isolde, a Lady Abbess, is trapped in a nunnery to prevent her claiming her rich inheritance. As the nuns in her care are driven mad by strange visions, walking in their sleep, and showing bleeding wounds, Luca is sent to investigate and all the evidence points to Isolde's criminal guilt.
Outside in the yard they are building a pyre to burn her for witchcraft. Forced to face the greatest fears of the medieval world - dark magic, werewolves, madness - Luca and Isolde embark on a search for truth, their own destinies, and even love as they take the unknown ways to the real historical figure who defends the boundaries of Christendom and holds the secrets of the Order of Darkness.
Showing 1-4 out of 7 reviews. Previous | Next
After the death of her loving father, Isolde's world is turned upside-down: according to her elder brother, instead of leaving her the lands and the home she grew up in, her father decreed on his deathbed that she would be married or sent to the nunnery. Heartbroken, grieving, and with no other options, Isolde sets out for the nunnery with her childhood friend Ishraq.A few months later, Luca Vero - a brother accused of heresy for questioning the authenticity of an ancient artifact - is sent by the Pope to investigate that very same nunnery. When he arrives, he discovers a shocking truth: every since the arrival of Isolde and her companion, the nuns have been experiencing horrible visions... and some have even received gruesome marks on their bodies. Something is not right, and it's Luca's job to find out what's going on. Now, armed with nothing but his orders from the Order of the Dragon, Luca must find whoever is responsible for the strange events occurring inside the holy place - even if it means arresting the mysterious girl who is so much more than she appears to be. First off, I'd like to say a big thank-you to everyone at Simon & Schuster for allowing me to read and review an ARC from one of my favourite authors of all time. Thank you so much for the opportunity! I've been a huge fan of Philippa Gregory's for years, and I swear I shamelessly let out a little fan-girl shriek when I opened up Changeling. Changeling was an amazing read that encompassed all of my favourite genres: romance, historical fiction, and even a little bit of paranormal. I adored every minute of it - and that is not an exaggeration. The characters were so well-written and deep that I felt like I knew them personally. I admired Isolde's spirit and Luca's refusal to believe something just because he was told he had to. The supporting characters were awesome as well and added another layer to the story - Freize was definitely one of my favourites.Gregory did an amazing job weaving this story together - there's no doubt in my mind that she's one of the master storytellers of our time. Her descriptions of Italy during the 15th century effortlessly pulled me in, painting an amazingly clear picture of Luca and Isolde's world in my mind. She also managed to create some of the best character chemistry I've ever read - I can't wait to see where she takes it in the next installment of the series. I definitely (bold, underline, italics, whatever else I can do to that world to emphasize how much I mean it) recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, romance, paranormal YA, and anyone who is a fan of Philippa Gregory's work.
My thoughts on the audio:Charlie Cox has appeared on series such as, Downton Abbey and Boardwalk Empire. His acting credits are numerous to say the least. Cox takes on Phillipa Gregory's Changeling with little fault. His voice is very pleasant to listen to. He reads the dialog with expression and great feeling. The only problem I encountered was with the narration. When the characters weren't speaking Cox's voice was very low, and at times almost mumbling. I had to listen very carefully so that I didn't miss anything. If he continues narrating this series, I hope that is something that he will work on. Other than that, this is an enjoyable listen. My thoughts on the story:Changeling is the first book in a new young adult series, Order of Darkness by Phillipa Gregory. Gregory is well known for her historical novels about the Tudors. She once again dives into the past for her latest novel.The story follows Luca Vero who is accused of heresy for questioning the Church. He doesn't take things at face value. However, his questioning gets him recruited by the Pope to join The Order of the Dragon. He is sent out on missions to investigate strange and unusual things as well as to root out evil. You could call him a paranormal investigator of sorts. Luca is sent to investigate a nunnery that has had occurrences of strange events. There his meets Isolde, a lady abbess, who was sent there by her brother after her father passed away. Isolde is being accused of witchcraft, a series charge. Both Luca and Isolde are out to discover the truth.The story line was interesting. Luca is sent out on missions to discover the truth behind the superstitions and fears of medieval times. Luca is very observant and level headed. He doesn't give into histrionics easily, but has an eye for detail. He is thrown off by Isolde. Isolde is not like the women of this time period. She is very strong and intelligent. Luca admires her from the beginning. Isolde's characters is a bit of a mystery. Together with her long time friend and companion, Ishraq, they risk everything to find out the truth and live life on their own terms.Changeling is a good first book to this series. The story kept my attention throughout. Gregory did a fantastic job at exploring how fast superstition and rumors can cause hysterics in medieval times. How one whisper of dark magic could turn a whole town into a raging mass. It was a little predictable at times, but it's definitely worth checking out. I think fans of Phillipa Gregory will enjoy this series. Gregory will reach a younger generation with this new series. I will definitely want to keep up with this series to see what the author has in store for Luca and Isolde.
I really enjoyed Philippa Gregory's first outing into YA fiction. I have read quite a few of her books including all of the Tudor ones. I love the way she tells a story and I was glad to have one of her books that I could share with my 12 year old daughter. Some her books, especially the older ones, contain graphic sex scenes that would make Mr. Fifty Shades blush. It was nice to see a G rated offering that was family friendly and had a great plot.
Received for Review in AudioOverall Rating: 3.50Story Rating: 3.25 Character Rating: 3.75Audio Rating (Not part of the Overall Rating): 3.00First Thought When Finished: This was an enjoyable quick read but the pacing was a little off.What I Loved: The setting in Changeling is so vivid that you can't help getting sucked in immediately to these characters lives. The setting, time, and general atmosphere were as critical to the story as the characters. I really loved both Luca and Isolde! They were such strong people who were a nice combo of smart and strong. Their companions were all strong characters too and the story just shined through their dialogue and interactions.What I Liked: Initially I wasn't sure if I would like the multiple stories but in the end I think it worked perfectly to flush these characters out more. Luca's "job" was both fascinating and unusual. Though there is a throw out to paranormal, you quickly realize that there was a very real time where people believed and feared these things that were unusual. I really liked this piece of history being thrown in.What made me go huh?: This is being touted as a Historical YA book but to be honest if you were 17 or 18 in that time period you were clearly already an adult. I thought the characters were a little too naive and sheltered at times. This however is just a quirk of mine.Audio Specific Review: Charlie Cox did a wonderful job with all of the characters! However, the pacing was a little slow to me in certain areas of the story. I am not sure if that was due to the narration or the story itself.Final Thought: If you are a fan of Historical Fiction I think you will enjoy Changeling.
Reviews provided by Librarything.
No reviews here.