Friday, May 25, 2012

Review: Changeling by Philippa Gregory

Changeling by Philippa Gregory
The Order of Darkness #1
Release Date: May 29th, 2012
Nuber of Pages: 266
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Simon & Schuster Canada
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.

I hadn’t read anything by Philippa Gregory before getting my hands on this book. I didn’t really know what to expect when it came down to the writing, to the story, but I was happy with what I was given. The Story was interesting. I love historical novel, even though I don’t read enough of them.

Luca, one of the main characters was really interesting. He is intelligent, and he seems able to think for himself, which is always important when you’re given that much power over people by the Church. Still, there were moments in the book that I really got the feeling he was a little full of himself, mostly because of the way he acted with Freize. Isolde, the second main character, was really interesting to me, even more than Luca. We got to see a little of her life before she is sent to the nunnery.  She seemed strong, intelligent and well spoken. Then came the arrival of Luca at the nunnery, where Isolde already is. We then meet a different Isolde, who seemed really isolated. It made me unsure of whom she really was. I like that in a character. I don’t need to be told flatly everything about her to know her.

There weren’t only those two characters, of course. Where I liked Isolde, it took me a while to really like Ishrap, mostly because we aren’t told much about her. Well, we’re not told that many good things about her. One of the characters that I really liked was Freize. He was funny and I liked that he was ready to do right thing even if it meant trouble for him.

Overall, I really enjoyed that book. It was well written; it interesting and it made me curious about what will happen next. The only thing I have to say I was disappointed in was how it was developed. The thing is, there are two stories in this book. There is what happens at the nunnery, and then there’s what we could call the werewolf story. Was I the only who felt that it should have been two books? I wish it had been that way, and that because of that, the story had been more developed. I wanted to know more. The book isn’t that long (under 300 pages).  It would have felt more complete that way. I don’t like getting the feeling in the middle of the book that the story is done.  I think that’s why I felt like there was something wrong that I couldn’t find at first, something missing. Other than that, I was really satisfied with my first book by Philippa Gregory. I’m still looking forward to read more.

The Trailer


  1. I've read some of Philippa Gregory's other books, and I'm looking forward to seeing what she does with a YA story. I'm glad to know the characters are just as dynamic here. Thanks for the review!

  2. So many adult authors are trying their hand at YA. I find that interesting. I have never read a novel by Philippa Gregory, and I think that if I ever give her a try I'll try one her adult novels.
    Thanks for the review.

    Sara @ Just Another Story

  3. Great review! I have never read any of Philippa Gregorys's books but this one is very high on the TBR pile even though I have heard many mixed reviews.