Title: Changeling (Order of Darkness #1)
Author: Philippa Gregory
On the Shelves: Young Adult> Fantasy/Historical Fiction
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.
Changling is the first of Gregory’s steps into the world of Young Adult fiction, and this was my first time reading Gregory at all- and I cannot lie, I’m not left with much of an impression. I also own the White Queen on my kindle because it was 99p in the summer sale last year, but I’ve yet to get around to it since I’ve heard very mixed things about Gregory, including those unfavourable of her. But I saw this book, saw it fitted two of my common genres: Young Adult, and Fantasy (I refuse to brand this as “historical fiction, nope) so I decided to give it a go.
And give it a go, I did It took me…4 days to read, even though it is only a short book of around 250 odd pages, and I honestly don’t remember too much about it already. The characters seemed to just fall into the stereotypes, so you have your misguided male lead, the confused female lead, the plucky comical male sidekick, and then the female leads sidekick, aka the love interest for the OTHER sidekick.; It took about 150 pages, aka half of the book for the plot to finally actually happen, and when it did, it was slow and didn’t pull me into the story at all. By the time I got to the end of the book, I wasn’t at all intrigued and can safely say I won’t be bothering with the sequel, Stormbringer.
I’m going to give the White Queen a chance some time in the future, because maybe Gregory just isn’t very good with fantasy and she might be better at her usual genre- but I can’t say that Changling has made me want to pick any more of her books up any time soon.
Have you read Changeling? What did you think of it?