Friday, June 7, 2013

Review of Changeling by Philippa Gregory

Title/Author: Changeling (The Order of Darkness #1) by Philippa Gregory
Publisher/Date published: Simon Pulse, May 24 2012
How I got this book: bought it
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: 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.

Guys, I love Philippa Gregory. I have never read a book by her that I didn't enjoy very much. Until now.

I cannot help but feel that this novel was just sort of... boring. Philippa Gregory always makes history come to life for me and manages to make me be on the edge of my seat, rooting for things I know can't be, because hey, it's history and it can't be changed. And I expected this to be so for her YA series as well. But I feel pretty lukewarm about Changeling.

We meet both Isolde and Luca, and well, they are probably the least interesting characters in this novel for all of them being the main characters. Pretty boy meets pretty girl and sort of falls for her, even though he said vows of celibacy, OOPS! Beside that Luca was pretty smart, I didn't really care much for him.

Both of their 'sidekicks', Freize and Ishraq are SO MUCH MORE interesting! Freize has a way with animals that's just beautiful and he's all mysterious and funny and I totally liked him! And Ishraq is a strong, loyal woman who I'd love to have as a friend. She knows about medicine and fighting and is just a take-action kinda person. I liked it. I expect much more entertainment from them than from the main characters.

Mostly, my complaint is that nothing much happened. Or, well, their were 2 mysteries that are solved by this motly crew, but I never felt any urgency at solving the mystery and the solution to the second one was kinda lame. I mean, I know people didn't know everything we know now, but seriously, that was kinda... stupid.

I sincerely hope that this book just suffered from being the first in a series and serving as build-up and that Philippa Gregory will step up her game in the next book, like she normally does, and that there'll be intrigue and romance and just all of those good things I come to expect from her books, because frankly, this was a bit disappointing.

My rating: 2,5 stars


  1. This is her first attempt at historical YA, right? I was wondering how it was... I know it's not good to assume things, but part of me can't help but feel that she only started this series because she wanted to cash in on the YA trend that's so popular right now.

    I think I'll wait until the whole trilogy is out and see what the general consensus is before I try it out.

  2. I think i agree with Sarah.
    Ive seen another couple of reviews, that all say similar things. So, well see if theres some more action in book 2! :)

    Great review

    Theresa Jones

    Also, feel free to stop by my blog to enter my $100 Giveaway!

  3. I started this one and didn't get very far – the writing style was bothering me and I just wasn't feeling it. After reading your review I'm thinking it's probably just as well I didn't spend a lot of time trying to slog through it! Sounds like it wouldn't have been worth it, unfortunately. Good to know, thanks for the honest review :)

  4. Oh no! I am, like you, a huge fan of Gregory and I have this book waiting for me. What a shame! It seems like it has a great potential. It's sometimes weird how the sidekicks can be more interesting than the MC's.


  5. YES. This is EXACTLY how I felt about this book! I wanted to like it, since I do like her other stuff, but I just didn't. It fell kind of flat for me.