Title: The Red Necklace
Author: Sally Gardner
Publisher: Dial Books
"The winds of change are blowing through Paris in the winter of 1789, both for France and for our hero, a striking and mysterious Gypsy boy named Yann Margoza. He was born with a gift of knowing what people are thinking and an uncanny ability to throw his voice, and he has been using those skills while working for a rather foolish magician. That work will soon end, however, and on the night of the magician's final performance, Yann's life will truly begin. That's the night he meets shy Sido, an heiress with a cold-hearted father, a young girl who has only known loneliness until now. Though they have the shortest of conversations, an attachment is born that will influence both their paths.
And what paths those will be! While Revolution is afoot in France, Sido is being used as the pawn of a fearful villain who goes by the name Count Kalliovski. Some have instead called him the devil, and only Yann, for Sido's sake, will dare to oppose him."
In my opinion, this book was the perfect historical fiction novel. It has all of the interesting elements that make a great story - mystery, suspense, love, hope, etc. The characters are all so unique and interesting that you can't help but love them. You honestly start to care about what is going to happen to them all - well most of them... except for the evil characters :). The language of the book is so rich that it just pulls you in and keeps you intrigued. It's very well written!
One thing that does bother me about this book is the cover art. Yep, that's it! The cover art! See, the girl on the front cover is a Blonde aristocrat-type. I would have liked to see the actual girl character - who is dark-haired and meek. I dunno, that's just one of those things that bothered me a little. But if that's it, we're doing great!
The book doesn't really leave you on a cliffhanger, but it certainly leaves room for MUCH more story. I really hope there is a second book to keep the story going - just because there are so many conclusions to the story that are possible.
I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone looking for historical fiction. It's a great story that keeps the reader interested. There is a little complication with the names (mostly the non-first string characters), just because I tended to forget who was who. But it's an intense and interesting book that I plan on recommending to just about anyone.
Other blog reviews:
Monster of Books
Bookshelves of Doom -- Where I learned there WILL be a sequel!! Woo hoo!!!