Changeling

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Changeling

by Philippa Gregory
Illustrator Fred van Deelen, Sally Taylor

Simon Pulse | May 29, 2012 | Hardcover

Changeling is rated 3.25 out of 5 by 8.
Dark myths, medieval secrets, intrigue, and romance populate the pages of the first-ever teen series from #1 bestselling author of The Other Boleyn Girl.

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.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 272 pages, 9.25 × 6.25 × 1 in

Published: May 29, 2012

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1442453443

ISBN - 13: 9781442453449

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Reviews

Rated 2 out of 5 by from Could have been better Luca Vero is a seventeen year old who gets recruited by the Pope Nicholas V to be an inquisitor after Luca challenges his religious order's beliefs with new science. This sets Luca, servant boy Frieze, and Brother Peter, who is to write their findings and who has mysterious envelops he's to present to Luca at certain times with directions to their next stop, on a journey to investigate strange happenings and deal with them. Isolde is also seventeen and, after her father's death, has the options of either marriage or the nunnery. She chooses the nunnery but soon the nunnery encounters the same strange happenings Luca is supposed to investigate. I wanted to like this book, I love the time period the book is set in and I do think the author did a good job getting the details of that time right. But there was a lot that just fell flat as well. The book was both a fast and slow read. Fast in the sense that it wasn't complicated and there wasn't a lot of tiny plot details but slow in that not a whole lot seemed to happen in the book. It was pretty black and white, this is how it is, easy to figure out. The characters, there wasn't a whole lot of depth to them and no one really showed much growth yet, but with the pace of the plot there wasn't really time for them to have any growth. It was hard to pinpoint a time frame in how many days/weeks/months passed during the book as well. I wouldn't expect a lot of growth in a few days or a week's time but a few weeks or months, I would definitely expect to see more growth than what was given. I did enjoy the character of Frieze and his sarcastic comments and banter even though at times I did want to hit him over the head but mostly, he was funny and enjoyable. I will pick up the next book because I hate giving up on series and I always have hope that it will get better.
Date published: 2013-06-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Didn't Like I have read all of Philippa's books - but this one was not up to her usual writing style. I found myself completely bored at times and there seemed to be a lack of substantial material/storyline. Very predictable as well. The length of the book was so short and could have been enhanced to make it a more worthwhile storyline.
Date published: 2012-06-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Highly Alluring and Promising Beginning 3.5 stars!! From the ink of Philippa Gregory, one of the most popular historical fiction novelist, comes Changeling! A very promising beginning to what will probably become one of my favorite YA historical series. Philippa Gregory's first YA novel was stunning from beginning to end and now I'm falling even more in love with historical YA novels. I would also love to see more of this genre on the shelves because it is not only fun or aesthetically beautiful, but it is also instructive. Changeling, the first book of The Order of Darkness series has all of this plus everything else I'd love to see in a book: very well crafted characters, an alluring setting, adventure, danger, romance (though not enough) and an captivating plot. However, I do have some issues with this book. Changeling is only 272 pages! Seriously, I wouldn't minded reading 500 pages of Luca and friends at all. I feel that 272 was too short and because of it, many question were left unanswered. I feel like this book suddenly ended when the best of it was going to start. Don't take this the wrong way, I loved Changeling and I really enjoyed reading this book, but regardless all the excellence this book sparkles with, I feel there was something missing. *cough* Pages *cough* Believe me when I say that this book is fascinating. However, due to the shortness of the novel, there are a few things that didn't satisfy me. For example, I wished I would have learned more about Luca (the male main character) and the "changeling" topic. The book is called changeling but the "changeling" is barely mentioned and by the end of the book, many questions are still on the air. So, why is the book called Changeling? Then, the last few pages of the book were heading towards some epic-ness, but right then it suddenly ended. In addition, The Order of Darkness has very little involvement in this novel which is very regretful, after all, the series is called The Order of Darkness yet we don't see or learn much of it. Also, I wish there would have been more interaction between Luca and Isolde (the female protagonist) since they only start to share some nice moments during the last 50 pages of the book (see? this is why I think the book was too short, it was just beginning when it suddenly ended!) Regardless my frustration about the short length of this novel, I really, really love it and I highly recommend it! Once the whole series is out, I'm pretty sure I will rate the whole series with 4 or 5 stars. The writing is wonderful as well as the historical setting and the dialogues are very clever. Needlessly to say that the characters sparkle an stand out of the pages with their own charismatic personalities. Luca, Isolde, Freize, Ihrap are, for me, the strongest point of the novel. Overall, the first installment in The Order of Darkness is a promising and highly alluring beginning for this new series. It didn't fulfill my expectations but I still really enjoyed this book! It kept me hooked from the very first page and it made me fall even more in love with historical settings and history itself. Changeling is highly captivating and the writing flows through the pages. But, I am not satisfy. I want more. I NEED more! So please dear Philippa Gregory, please give me a thicker second book of the Order of Darkness! I will gladly read 500 pages of Luca, Isolde, Ishraq and Freize! I'm begging you for more!
Date published: 2012-05-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Liked It, But Still Feel Disappointed... Changeling, the first novel in the Order of Darkness series and marking Philippa Gregory's YA debut, was a historical fiction novel with a book description that instantly hooked me in. However, once I began reading the book, I couldn't shake the feeling of being disconnected in some way, despite all the mystery and suspense, sadly. Philippa Gregory has a descriptive style of writing that makes it easy for readers to visualize the fifteenth century setting. I was very much interested in learning more about the customs of the people in Italy during this time period, curious about their simpler ways of living and their strong religious beliefs. It's an age where the Church held enormous amounts of power, and things that couldn't be explained as acts of God were immediately suspected to be the evil works of something supernatural. In fact, after reading the book, I still have no idea if something paranormal actually occurred... or if everything was just twisted by perception. But while I absolutely enjoyed reading about the setting, I had very mixed thoughts on how the characters and the actual storyline developed. It was in these areas that it felt very obvious that Philippa Gregory had made a switch from writing adult to YA because the writing seemed too simplified and toned down. And in a way, Changeling felt oddly episodic, with two parts melding together to form one larger story arc in a way that led to slower and more exciting moments oscillating. Isolde and Ishraq were two brave and forward-thinking young women, certainly ahead of their times. It was very sweet to see their loyalty and sisterly affections for one another, and their refusal to be docile to the whims of men was refreshing. I found it rather entertaining to see the pair put Luca and Freize in their places when they doubted their capabilities. Luca could be quick to judge, but thankfully, Freize was always right there to be a voice of reason and could stop him before he acted on impulse. While I can easily talk about their personalities though, the book didn't seem to offer very much on their personal thoughts and emotions... or if it did, it wasn't deep enough for me. While I did feel a bit disappointed with Changeling, I am still very much curious to see how the series will continue in the next book and what challenges Luca, Isolde, Freize and Ishraq will have to face next in their quest. If you're a fan of Philippa Gregory and historical fiction, I have no doubts you'll be rushing to read Changeling right away. While my first experience of reading a novel by Philippa Gregory hasn't been the smoothest, I have hopes it will only improve from here. You can also read this review at: http://midnightbloomreads.blogspot.ca/2012/05/changeling-by-phillippa-gregory.html
Date published: 2012-05-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read but not as good as her adult titles There's a lot of great things about this book. It's set in Italy during the Inquisition. It doesn't hit you over the head with yet another teen romance. There's a secret society. Nuns sleepwalking and having visions. The list go on and on. True to form, Gregory creates some amazing and likeable characters. I always feel like I get to know her characters so well. I especially loved Isolde. She's strong, brave and intelligent. She gets into some unfortunate situations but she never seems to lose herself because of them. Same goes for Ishraq. It was nice to have some strong female characters in a historical fiction novel. But my favourite character, by far, was Freize. He not only provides some much needed comic relief but he is often the voice of reason and intelligence. Changeling has a lot of great elements that Philippa Gregory is famous for, but one thing I thought it was missing was the detail. That's not to say the Italian world of 1453 doesn't come alive on the page. Because it does. But it's missing the careful detail and thought that I'm used to seeing in her work. This book is only 272 pages but there are two complete stories held within it - the story of the nuns and the story of the werewolves. I think that both of these stories could have easily been their own novel but they were both shoved together in one. At the very least it could have used more than 272 pages - everything just felt too rushed. Changeling is a fun and quick read. I completely lost track of time while I was reading it and the pages just seemed to turn themselves. I just wish there are been MORE of it. I can't wait to how the follow up books turn out. Final recommendation: YA historical fiction and paranormal fans are sure to fall in love with the start of this new series, but fans of Philippa Gregory's adult titles may be a little disappointed with this new YA project. This and other reviews at Hooked on Books (http://christashookedonbooks.blogspot.com)
Date published: 2012-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A compelling start to the Order of Darkness series? Double check! *Copy provided by publisher for review* Being a complete and total fan of the wonderful Philippa Gregory, it goes without showing that I was incredibly excited for her first-ever teen novel in an upcoming teen series! As a bestselling author, Philippa Gregory has countlessly pulled me into her novels effortlessly. Titles like The White Queen, The Red Queen, The Virgin's Lover, and of course The Other Boleyn Girl, have been some among the very few historical titles I've come to adore. With the sound of an incredibly promising new teens series from the "Queen" herself, I knew I had to take a dive into it immediately! The setting? Italy in the year 1453. The characters? Luca Vero and Isolde; two characters of which are inexplicably pulled together by an exciting chain of events. Seventeen year old Luca is so much more than another pretty face - he's also a genius. After being accused of heresy (going against the church with his beliefs and statements), Luca is recruited into a secret order working for Pope Nicholas V called "The Order of the Dragon". Enter Isolde, a seventeen year old girl who has been sent to a nunnery against her wishes. Over night, the nuns suddenly begin to walk in their sleep and claim to see visions. There Isolde is accused of being a witch and preforming witchcraft on the innocent nuns, leading Luca to be called in to investigate. There the two meet each other and Luca begins to learn that there's more to the incidents occurring at the nunnery then have been told. A historical setting? Check! An addicting fantasy element? Check! Romance? Check! A compelling start to the Order of Darkness series? Double check! *no wait...triple check that!* Diving into Changeling by Philippa Gregory, I found myself coming face to face with the irresistible Luca Vero, the aforementioned gorgeous boy who is cast out for his religious beliefs and knowledge of science. With his undeniably appealing charm, I was instantly pulled into Luca's story that first starts off the novel. His cunning and brave personality was certainly one I enjoyed! Then there was Isolde, a girl who I instantly connected with emotionally. After the untimely death of her father, Isolde has been left with only two choices; to marry a less than appealing lord or become a nun. Left with no other choice, Isolde becomes a nun, leaving behind a life of leisure and happiness behind. Unlike many other female protagonists I've read in the past, Isolde was one that strongly kept to herself. I had the most difficult of times trying to figure her out, however luckily towards the end of Changeling I found myself learning a little bit more about her. Isolde, without a doubt, is one character that readers will have to be patient with. Changeling by Philippa Gregory is wonderfully told in two alternating point of views; that of both Luca and Isolde. At first, unfortunately, I found myself having a hard time keeping up with much of Changeling's events. As a title at a total of 272 pages, I didn't expect so much to happen. However, after several chapters I finally found myself becoming accustomed to the alternating POVs and much of it's events. Changeling by Philippa Gregory, in comparison to her other titles, was incredibly different. Whereas her other novels were, at times, a little on the predictable side, Changeling was not. Changeling was one title I instantly fell head-over-heels in love with, one that consistently pulled me in time and time again and refused to let go. Needless to say, it was absolutely wonderful! Changeling by Philippa Gregory is a must read for every fan of her novels! I highly recommend readers who love romance, historical settings, incredibly appealing characters, and mysteries, to add Changeling to their reading piles asap!
Date published: 2012-05-01

– More About This Product –

Changeling

by Philippa Gregory
Illustrator Fred van Deelen, Sally Taylor

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 272 pages, 9.25 × 6.25 × 1 in

Published: May 29, 2012

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1442453443

ISBN - 13: 9781442453449

About the Book

Dark myths, medieval secrets, intrigue, and romance populate the pages of thefirst-ever teen series from #1 bestselling author of "The Other Boleyn Girl."

Read from the Book

Changeling CASTLE SANT’ ANGELO, ROME, JUNE 1453 The hammering on the door shot him into wakefulness like a handgun going off in his face. The young man scrambled for the dagger under his pillow, stumbling to his bare feet on the icy floor of the stone cell. He had been dreaming of his parents, of his old home, and he gritted his teeth against the usual wrench of longing for everything he had lost: the farmhouse, his mother, the old life. The thunderous banging sounded again, and he held the dagger behind his back as he unbolted the door and cautiously opened it a crack. A dark-hooded figure stood outside, flanked by two heavyset men, each carrying a burning torch. One of them raised his torch so the light fell on the slight dark-haired youth, naked to the waist, wearing only breeches, his hazel eyes blinking under a fringe of dark hair. He was about seventeen, with a face as sweet as a boy, but with the body of a young man forged by hard work. “Luca Vero?” “Yes.” “You are to come with me.” They saw him hesitate. “Don’t be a fool. There are three of us and only one of you, and the dagger you’re hiding behind your back won’t stop us.” “It’s an order,” the other man said roughly. “Not a request. And you are sworn to obedience.” Luca had sworn obedience to his monastery, not to these strangers, but he had been expelled from there, and now it seemed he must obey anyone who shouted
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From the Publisher

Dark myths, medieval secrets, intrigue, and romance populate the pages of the first-ever teen series from #1 bestselling author of The Other Boleyn Girl.

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.

About the Author

Philippa Gregory is the author of several bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl, and is a recognized authority on women’s history. She studied history at the University of Sussex and received a Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh. She welcomes visitors to her website, PhilippaGregory.com.
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