The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose CapettaThe Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta

The Brilliant Death

byAmy Rose Capetta

Hardcover | October 30, 2018

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about

Teodora di Sangro is used to hiding her magical ability to transform enemies into music boxes and mirrors. Nobody knows she’s a strega—and she aims to keep it that way.

The she meets Cielo—and everything changes.

A strega who can switch outward form as effortlessly as turning a page in a book, Cielo shows Teodora what her life could be like if she masters the power she’s been keeping secret. And not a moment too soon:  the ruler of Vinalia has poisoned the patriarchs of the country’s five controlling families, including Teodora’s father, and demands that each family send a son to the palace.

If she wants to save her family, Teodora must travel to the capital—not disguised as a boy, but transformed into one. But the road to the capital, and to bridling her powers, is full of enemies and complications, including the one she least expects: falling in love.
Amy Rose Capetta has written several novels for young adults and holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from VCFA. She first dreamed of writing about Vinalia when she was younger than Teo. Once upon a time her father’s family lived in Italy, in a small town in the mountainside. Now Amy Rose lives in her very own mountain...
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Title:The Brilliant DeathFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:352 pages, 8.5 × 5.87 × 1.19 inShipping dimensions:8.5 × 5.87 × 1.19 inPublished:October 30, 2018Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0451478444

ISBN - 13:9780451478443

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lovely Book Full of Magic and Intrigue Thank you to Bookish First and the publisher for providing me a copy to review. I read this book because in the Editor's Letter in the beginning and I knew that I had to read this book because Hello, who doesn't love a Miyazaki style story with a Renaissance Italian setting! I also strongly suggest to not read the synopsis as it kind of made the book sound weirder than it actually was. This book really reminded me of An Enchantment of Ravens as it was short (around 330 pages) but it felt like I was reading a much longer narrative. The prose was well written and the plot moved rather fast; there weren't any scenes that didn't contribute to the overall plot of the book. The story did end wrapped up but there is definitely room for the author to write a sequel if they chose. My favorite part of the book was the magic. In Vanalia, those with magic are called Strega, which is Italian for Witch and that makes total sense considering that the setting is Italian inspired, and they aren't loved but they aren't exactly persecuted. Teo, the MC, had magic that was almost like a whole other character. It had a temper and sometimes did what it wanted. Also, I am not going to spoil it but Teo's ability is awesome and so unique. And speaking of magic there is Cielo, Teo's meet-cute friend to lover and a totally awesome character! Cielo is a shapeshifter as long as they have their book with spells. Though I enjoyed the magic, I wish that The Brilliant Death was explained better especially since it was a key feature of the story. This book was quite queer. Cielo and Teo are both genderfluid. I really liked that Capetta wrote these characters the way that she did because I haven't heard of many books where there is one genderfluid character let alone two and in a relationship, which I totally ship by the way. The setting of Vanalia was quite interesting though I wish that Capetta went into more detail on who the Capo is. I understand that he is trying to usurp the families that rule to "unify" the land but I didn't really know who he was and I want more of a backstory on him. One thing that I didn't really get vibes of is the "Mafia-style" of the families that the synopsis promises. Yes, they were a bit ruthless but the fate of their world is at stake here so I can understand why they do what they do. The other characters besides Cielo and Teo were not the best but they were also not the worst. Teo's brother, Luca was sweet and I wish that we could have had more time with him. Then there is Teo's other brother, Beniamo was a complete terror that deserved more then he received. Overall, I definitely enjoyed this novel and I am excited to read other books that Capetta has written.
Date published: 2018-11-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lovely Book Full of Magic and Intrigue Thank you to Bookish First and the publisher for providing me a copy to review. I read this book because in the Editor's Letter in the beginning and I knew that I had to read this book because Hello, who doesn't love a Miyazaki style story with a Renaissance Italian setting! I also strongly suggest to not read the synopsis as it kind of made the book sound weirder than it actually was. This book really reminded me of An Enchantment of Ravens as it was short (around 330 pages) but it felt like I was reading a much longer narrative. The prose was well written and the plot moved rather fast; there weren't any scenes that didn't contribute to the overall plot of the book. The story did end wrapped up but there is definitely room for the author to write a sequel if they chose. My favorite part of the book was the magic. In Vanalia, those with magic are called Strega, which is Italian for Witch and that makes total sense considering that the setting is Italian inspired, and they aren't loved but they aren't exactly persecuted. Teo, the MC, had magic that was almost like a whole other character. It had a temper and sometimes did what it wanted. Also, I am not going to spoil it but Teo's ability is awesome and so unique. And speaking of magic there is Cielo, Teo's meet-cute friend to lover and a totally awesome character! Cielo is a shapeshifter as long as they have their book with spells. Though I enjoyed the magic, I wish that The Brilliant Death was explained better especially since it was a key feature of the story. This book was quite queer. Cielo and Teo are both genderfluid. I really liked that Capetta wrote these characters the way that she did because I haven't heard of many books where there is one genderfluid character let alone two and in a relationship, which I totally ship by the way. The setting of Vanalia was quite interesting though I wish that Capetta went into more detail on who the Capo is. I understand that he is trying to usurp the families that rule to "unify" the land but I didn't really know who he was and I want more of a backstory on him. One thing that I didn't really get vibes of is the "Mafia-style" of the families that the synopsis promises. Yes, they were a bit ruthless but the fate of their world is at stake here so I can understand why they do what they do. The other characters besides Cielo and Teo were not the best but they were also not the worst. Teo's brother, Luca was sweet and I wish that we could have had more time with him. Then there is Teo's other brother, Beniamo was a complete terror that deserved more then he received. Overall, I definitely enjoyed this novel and I am excited to read other books that Capetta has written.
Date published: 2018-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant Read The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta has to be one of my favorite reads of the year. I loved how she created a powerful individual through Teodora DiSangro and her unique personality really strikes a chord with readers. Capetta referenced her Italian-inspired influences into a highly colorful narrative which blended into the story so seamlessly. I also wanted to commend Capetta for creating Cielo. Capetta found a very natural way to be inclusive of a gender fluid individual and, even more so, took on a powerful stance on gender definitions. It's refreshing when authors break gender barriers by equipping themselves with the great faculty of storytelling. Altogether I found this is a book that takes fantasy to a higher level.
Date published: 2018-10-30

Editorial Reviews

Raves for The Brilliant Death:★ "A delicious and magical intrigue too tempting not to devour." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review★ "A highly original magic system and a protagonist who is as ruthless as she is fiery make for a fast-paced adventure." --School Library Journal, starred review“Mario Puzo meets Ursula Le Guin in a gender and genre bending tale as lush as it is vivid, and as daring as it is dangerous. The hype is deserved and the magic is real."--Alex London, bestselling author of Proxy and Black Wings Beating "The Brilliant Death is a mesmerizingly written tale of identity, courage and family, wrapped up in magic that feels both folktale-familiar and enthrallingly innovative."--Alwyn Hamilton, New York Times bestselling author of Rebel of the Sands "Writing so good it will give you goosebumps, and a story that will sweep you into a wild adventure full of old magic, new love, and dark delight."--Alison Goodman, New York Times bestselling author of Eon and Eona“This first in a duology is a luminously imagined, Italian-inspired fantasy that thoughtfully speaks to ideas of gender perception and identity. A rich world, with much left to be explored in the next volume.” – Booklist   “One of the most artful, gorgeous, romantic books in the LGBTQIAP YA canon.” – B&N Teen Blog   “A unique mashup of fantasy, historical fiction, and queer romance… the kind of book you won't be able to stop talking about.” – Bustle