Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner

Okay, so I usually love reading historical fiction, but something about The Red Necklace just put me off. I'm not sure exactly what turned me off... the illustration on the cover maybe or it might just be that it is set during the French Revolution, which is definitely NOT my favorite time in history. So, yes, I started reading it with a bad attitude. And yes, everyone sometimes feels that way! I know, I know! Boy, was I wrong.

The beginning of the story focuses on a boy, Yann, and his mentor, a midget named Tetu. (I kept thinking, "de plane, de plane" from Fantasy Island. If you don't know what I'm talking about you are too young!) They are gypsies and are working with an illusionist in a Paris theater. Apparently these two are the ones with the magical talent to make all the illusions seem real. At a house party, Yann meets the daughter of an aristocrat that will play an important part in his life and the choices he makes. After his boss is murdered, Yann travels to England to live with a gentleman, meets all sorts of interesting people, and even gets finds himself in Paris right after the storming of the Bastille.

Filled with descriptive scenes of terror, The Red Necklace, sure kept me turning the ol' pages way into the night. I desperately wanted to see Yann triumph over Count Kalliovski and rescue Sido. This book will appeal to those who love adventure stories as long as you don't mind a few gory scenes. I couldn't believe I didn't want to read it! I know, silly me. Don't judge a book by its cover... how many times do I say that to others! The Red Necklace is a wonderful story and I give it a B, recommended.

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