Friday, 8 June 2012

#111 Book Review: Changeling

Changeling (The Order of Darkness #1)
Release Date: May 29th 2012
Author: Philippa Gregory
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Source: Publisher for Review
Format: Paperback
Where to Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository
More Info: Goodreads
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
Looks awesome and really reflects the book. I did not imagine the characters in the book like the guy and the girl in the cover but their clothes fit the setting of the book well!


Changeling, Changeling, what makes you a Changeling? 

I’ve heard great things about Philippa Gregory’s books. Her adult books were very well-known and one of her books, The Other Boleyn Girl was also made into a movie. I’ve never read any of her adult books before. When I first knew that Gregory was going to make a YA novel, I was ecstatic. I wanted to have a taste of her writing and her YA novel seemed like a good chance for me! It’s also been a while since I read a historical fiction book and Changeling’s summary intrigued me.

Changeling is written from both Luca and Isolde’s POV. I really enjoyed the historical setting of this book. Changeling is set in the 1400s in Italy and Gregory’s vibrant descriptions of the setting made me able to imagine the whole setting of the book in my head. Italy during the 1400s seemed like such a beautiful but dark city. The story behind Changeling was appealing and exciting. The story progressed slowly, as we are introduced to the characters and their story. I wasn’t hooked into the story until near the end of the book where it was filled with actions and so many things were going on. The ending was okay. It didn’t make me dying to read the next book but I still can’t wait for the sequel!

The book also comes with small illustrations of the setting and the illustrations are wonderful!

Luca Vero is supposedly a Changeling. Many people claimed that Luca’s parents were not his real parents because they were nobody but Luca was extremely smart and highly intellectual. Luca was an orphan in the beginning of the book and was recruited into The Order of the Dragon. He was given the task to investigate the strange things happening in a nunnery and this is where he meets Isolde.
Isolde’s life changed drastically when her father died. She was supposed to inherit her father’s lands but ended up living in this nunnery because apparently it was her father’s wish, stated in his will. I adore reading her growing relationship with Luca and also Isolde’s confidence. I also enjoyed reading about Freize, Luca’s companion and Ishraq, Isolde’s companion. They were all very enjoyable to read about!

Philippa Gregory’s newest YA novel, Changeling, is an alluring novel with a great historical setting Even though the story didn’t quite hooked me, I adored the setting and the concept behind Changeling.  If you adore Philippa Gregory’s adult novels, then I recommend you to check out her YA novel too! If you love historical fiction, why not try Changeling as well?
3 Forget-Me-Not flowers for Changeling!
  Thank you Simon & Schuster Australia for the review copy!

Check out the book trailer!


  1. Aww, shame this was just an average read for you! I've seen very mixed reviews for this. I hope I enjoy it :) Look forward to seeing this gorgeous setting!

  2. I've seen a couple mixed reviews around for this one now, but since I'm a fan of Gregory's adult historicals, I'll definitely try to check this one out at some point! :)

  3. I usually don't like historicals, but I'm not sure if I'll try to read this one or not.

    Old follower

  4. I haven't tried her adult books, but I've heard good things about this one and can't wait to read it myself. Historical fiction isn't always my thing but this book sounds good. Great review, Celine! :)

  5. Great review, Celine! I'm reading this one now. I'm *LIKING* it. It's interesting, but like you said... I'm not really *HOOKED*
    The characters are interesting enough, as is the premise, and I'll TOTALLY read the next book, but yeah... ANYWAY! Glad you liked it! xx

  6. I'm glad that you liked it! I just won this book and I can't wait to get started. Her other books are AMAZING, so you should try them out! :) Especially the ones about The Tudors. Well-written and they read so easy :)

    Thanks for sharing ^^

  7. Awesome review Celine! I have this book waiting for me on my bookshelf. Love the premise of this story, changeling and the beautiful Italy! x) I still want to read this book, but think I'm not going to be in rush to read this anymore. :D


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