I received this book for free from publisher unsolicited in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Order of Darkness #1
Published by Simon Pulse on May 24th, 2012
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, Historical, Love & Romance, Paranormal, Young Adult
Source: publisher unsolicited
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.
I’ve always wanted to pick up The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory and I’m sad to say I should have done it earlier. I’m not a big historical fiction fan myself but when I heard she was writing a Young Adult series I couldn’t help but be curious. Luckily Simon and Schuster providede with an ARC!
I pretty much devoured this book. She writes with a fascinating plot with characters you can’t help but love. Luca and Isolde are two characters with such similar personalities that I loved it when they interacted on the page. I was surprised by how much religion and faith was woven in this book and I really enjoyed how well it worked with the plot. The mystery, and the evil that Luca has to uncover is a mission that will probably take him into different worlds he has ever known. I’m not sure why there was a werewolf thrown into the mix at the end, but I’m glad it wasn’t fantasy themed and the error was beautifully wrapped up. The theme of love is definitely in the heart of this novel, and I can’t help but root for the couple. I just love how the two main characters are so attracted to each other even though they’re of men and women of the faith. Considering Isolde was forced by her brother, I’m sure she doesn’t believe whole heartedly in becoming a nun. Not when the gorgeous Luca is around. What an intricate relationship they have and I can’t wait to read what Philippa Gregory has in store for the series.
It has changed me into a historical fiction fan! Now that I have to wait for book two, I’m sure Gregory’s other books can keep me preoccupied.