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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.
- ISBN-13: 9781442453449
- ISBN-10: 1442453443
- Publisher: Simon Pulse
- Publish Date: May 2012
- Page Count: 256
- Reading Level: Ages 14-UP
- Dimensions: 9.53 x 6.54 x 1.02 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.01 pounds
Series: Order of Darkness (Hardcover) #1
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-06-11
- Reviewer: Staff
Gregory (The Other Boleyn Girl) makes a hypnotic YA debut with the first book in her planned Order of Darkness series. Set in 15th-century Italy after the Ottoman Empire captured the city of Constantinople, this historical fantasy follows two distinctive 17-year-old protagonists. Luca Vero is an alleged faerie changeling, who is kicked out of his monastery and sent on an ominous mission by the Pope: to document incidents of the uncanny that are believed to be the work of Satan and signs of approaching end times. Isolde is denied her inheritance and trapped in the role of Lady Abbess at a nunnery. Luca's first assignment sends him, his servant, and his clerk to investigate the nunnery, where women have been plagued by visions, sleep disturbances, and stigmata wounds since Isolde's arrival; she and her servant Ishraq are accused of witchcraft. Gregory creates an immersive medieval world that is under the sway of both unfounded superstitions and very real supernatural forces. Though dialogue-heavy scenes are occasionally labored, powerful imagery, picaresque humor, and a polished literary style should captivate mature readers. Ages 14–up. Agent: Anthony Mason. (May)