Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Changeling by Philippa Gregory

I'm actually wondering why it took me so long to pick up this book. I mean, I have read Phillipa Gregory before (Ok, so I only read The Other Boleyn Girl) and I like her writing, so why would I feel hesitation for a YA book?

In Changeling, young (younger than me) Lucas is sent to record the ending of the world, as he investigates if certain miraculous happenings truly are miraculous. On this first assignment, he has to investigate the miraculous happenings at an abbey, which seems to accuse the new and reluctant Abbess Isolde as the instigator of all the strange happenings. On Isolde's side, she's trapped in the abbey after she doesn't gain the inheritance her father promised her. Personally, I think her brother lied about what she got, or he tricked his father into depriving Isolde of her inheritance.

What shone for me, was the characters. The plot was a little.... strange. It's supposed to be a mystery, but the deduction took place too fast, and there was no way for the reader to guess how everything took place. Guessing the person responsible was easy, because it was quite obvious (in terms of character motivations and such). Plus, I don't understand why there was a second plot after the first one. It didn't seem to have any connection to the story. Well, it was a sweet plot.

That being said, the characters more than made up for it. Apart from Peter, the grumpy scribe, there are four main characters - Lucas and his manservant Frieze, Isolde and her maidservant Ishraq. I love the loving-but-disrespectful way Frieze treats Lucas, and the sisterly relationship between Isolde and Ishraq was touching. And as the group know each other more, the Lucas-Isolde and Frieze-Ishraq interactions are amusing. And the fact that after a book there aren't any couples makes me root for the (obvious) pairings.

I really hope that there's a second book. I want to see if Isolde can regain her inheritance, more about the Order for which Lucas works and of course, to see what happens between the characters.

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