Monday, September 10, 2012

Review: Changeling - Philippa Gregory

Changeling by Philippa Gregory
Series: Order of Darkness #1
Genre: YA, historical fiction, mystery
Published on May 24, 2012
Published by Simon Pulse
Pages: 256
Read From: 8.13.12 - 8.19.12

Cover Blurb: Quite honestly, I don’t care for it much - the only reason it caught my attention was because of the obvious era. Not only does the cover leer at me, but neither of the people look how I imagined Luca and Isolde, and the cover looks a little cheap; a amateur PhotoShop job.

What I Liked: Isolde and Ishraq are both strong female protagonists. Ishraq can defend herself without appearing macho, and she can be a bit sarcastic without having an Attitude. Isolde is practical and strong-willed, while being proper and feminine at the same time. They are women appropriate for the era. It took me a couple of chapters before I grew to like Freize, but I soon decided I liked his humor, and he was amazingly even funny when he tried to flirt with Ishraq.

What I Disliked: I liked Luca, and despite the fact that the majority of the story was told from his third-person perspective, I kind of felt like I didn’t know him. I really can’t say what it was about him that made Luca feel distant as a character; there was just something.

Believability: I spent a good portion of this book thoroughly unsure about what was going to happen next, because I kept expecting something weird to happen. But Luca discovers logical, believable, and plausible explanations for every weird, supernatural occurrence. I still wouldn’t be surprised if the series actually takes a supernatural turn - for some reason, I just keep detecting this underlying aura about it, - but for this one, the things that happen, and their explanations, are believable.

Writing Style: I liked it well enough; it fit the story, it wasn’t movie-ish, and was very neat and tidy.

Content: 2 s-words. Prince Roberto tries to rape Isolde (pg. 28-29), but he doesn’t even get himself undressed before Isolde knocks him out.

Conclusion: While this ends with a promising sequel, I did find myself, at the end of Changeling, thinking, That was it? While the events in the book are interesting enough, they are also rather anticlimactic - almost like if someone took a TV series like Merlin and strung two or three episodes together without connecting the quests. Luca would travel to one place, solve what was happening, and then continue on. There appeared to be no super-objective.

Recommended Audience: Historical fiction mystery fans, and Readers who like Philippa Gregory’s writing. This is a guy-and-girl read, and better for an older audience.

Others in the Order of Darkness Series:


  1. Is this a Tristan + Isolde retelling? Or just a coincidence in the name?

    1. It's just a coincidence, unless this is an extremely cleverly disguised retelling. ;)


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