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The Falconer's Knot

3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,013 Ratings  ·  124 Reviews
The award-winning author of the Stravaganza series has done it again with this atmospheric adventure set in Renaissance Italy. Sixteen-year-old Silvano da Montacuto has wealth, good looks, and a new hawk-but none of these can save him when his bloody dagger is found near a dead body. For his own protection, he is sent to a Franciscan House, where he poses as a novice, or a ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,832)
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Laura
I'm sorry i just couldn't get into this novel and there was a big reason...The way the book was formatted!!! It drove me bloody bonkers that I found it distracting....You'd get a few paragraphs then that little annoying leaf would show up and you'd be taken off to another character and before you can blink another leaf would appear....It just broke up the story way too much. It would of been better to have super short chapters instead OR just focused on certain characters in that area then finis ...more
Lia
Sep 01, 2011 Lia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, mystery
I initially toyed with the idea of writing this review in the style of the book, which would be to split it up into small pieces in such a way that none of them would be complete enough in themselves to fulfill their idea. It seemed like every three to twelve paragraphs the story was broken to return to another set of characters, so I never got a sense for any of them. And the story had no cohesion. It also seemed to have a bizarre and perhaps unconscious message that beautiful people should hav ...more
Dorian
Dec 27, 2015 Dorian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's a relief to be done with this book.

Why did I dislike it?

- It's written in third person omniscient, yet has frequent page breaks to skip between people's heads. There seems to be little point to these breaks, because even in Chiara's head, we can see Silvano's thoughts.
- The writing style is basic and not at all beautiful. It's dull, and there's a fair bit of telling going on, without much showing.
- The answer to the mystery is obvious, at least for part of it. As for the rest, it comes do
...more
Jeffery
Apr 26, 2011 Jeffery rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
I rarely read young adult fiction, but I picked this up at a library sale and thought it would be a quick, fun read. It was quick but it wasn't all that fun. As this is a murder mystery, one might expect there to be more time spent on the mystery of the murder, but this is not the case. Too bad. There was potential here, but I felt the characters never got fleshed out enough. Much of the action was too contrived and conveniently laid out. And the obligatory side story wherein the author teaches ...more
Madhulika Liddle
In a small town near Assisi in Umbria, in 1316 CE, sixteen year old nobleman Silvano finds himself holding a dying man, a sheep farmer who's been stabbed by an unknown assailant in the street. The problem? Silvano was courting the sheep farmer's young and pretty wife, Angelica; and the dagger stuck between the man's ribs is Silvano's. Silvano is the prime suspect.

Helped by his father, Silvano flees for sanctuary to a Franciscan friary, where he poses as a novice and works in the friary's colour
...more
Hazel West
Thoughts on the Overall Book: I liked this book a lot, I love the setting of Medieval Italy and to top it all off with a mystery that just makes it all the better. It was a good easy read and the kind of thing you can read before bed. I wouldn't say it was actually a cozy, but it wasn't dark either, it was just an enjoyable read, but I will say that I was guessing right to the end when the mystery was solved. I figured out parts of it, but it was pleasant for me to be surprised by the result and ...more
Robin Kass
Mar 23, 2012 Robin Kass rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a story about a boy named Silvano. He is accused of murdering the husband of a girl named Angilca, who he had fallen in love with. Silvano is then must run from the accusations, by going to be a friar. Once ha gets there he becomes a color making and gets very close to the color master Brother Ansoleth. Though Brother Asoleth's true love was stole to be a wife of a different guy, and that man shows up at the friar's house and is murdered. This puts both Brother Ansoleth and Silvano at ri ...more
Ericalovespie
Jul 16, 2014 Ericalovespie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a good book. I even learned all the names of the masses they had in monasteries during early Christian ages.
But that's not the point here. It really was a good book. The story was intruiging and I really do love a good mystery novel. The murders and the musteries that unravelled throughout the story kept me hooked from start to finish. It wasn't overcomplicated, but easy to read and likeable. Really likeable.
The characters kept me interested throughout. They were young, curious and fearle
...more
Rebecca Heywood
Aug 05, 2013 Rebecca Heywood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i much enjoyed this book. Made me understand the world of friars and nuns a bit better. Plus, I knew who was going to get together romantically, but I could not figure out the second murderer. Therefore, I was kept interested to the end!
Marleen Berends
Aug 05, 2014 Marleen Berends rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linley
Jul 11, 2015 Linley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-star-reads
A satisfying easy murder mystery set in times gone by. The Italian churches are being painted and the pigments are made in the local convent and friary. Into the lives of the monks and nuns come two young people, one seeking sanctuary and the other sent by her family. The writing can confuse as Hoffman has broken up chapters into snippets of story and there are plenty of characters, however if you like historic murders and you aren't too critical, then it's enjoyable.

Recommended to Y9 to adult e
...more
Sienna Li
This book had a slightly interesting plot line, but it was executed poorly. I would read a chapter, and start to become interested in the story line, and then the writer would jump to a different place. The chapters were not short or long enough to be well done. Also, the title of the book is referenced only once or twice in a completely random way. It was an awkward title that made me confused at the end of the book. Other than these main two complaints, the book was mediocre, just a quick read ...more
Amy
How do you get around to reviewing a book you've read over and over again? You just dont'. There is no way I could ever do justice to a book that has brought such pleasure and amusment, but I'm gong to try anyway because YOU need to read it.
Silvano da Montacuto has everything going for him: he is the only son a wealthy family, handsome, smart, and in love. Of course, the fact that said woman doesn't realize he exist (and is married to boot!)fazes him not a bit! He is certain he will win her lov
...more
Garret
Oct 31, 2012 Garret rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Falconer’s Knot is a book set in the Renaissance era of Italy and is mainly based around a small convent where there is a group of nuns and then directly over a wall is a group of friars. The two main characters are Silvano who is the son of a minor noble and Chiara, a poor peasant girl who gets shipped off to the convent by her brother after her father dies. In the beginning of the book Silvano is in love with a pretty farmer’s wife and gets accused of murdering her husband. Silvano goes to ...more
Brighde
Apr 06, 2008 Brighde rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who is literate
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kate Forsyth
Jul 21, 2011 Kate Forsyth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'A tale of poison, bloodshed and passion', the front cover tells me. Sounds just like my kind of book! I thought. And since I had read and enjoyed Mary Hoffman's Stravaganza series, which features modern-day teenagers travelling backwards (or sideways) to an alternative Renaissance Italy, I grabbed it off the bookshelf right away. I was not disappointed. The Falconer's Knot tells the story of Silvano, a young man who falls in love with the pretty face of a married woman. When her husband is foun ...more
Abby Johnson
Sep 17, 2007 Abby Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A rich historical fiction novel about a sixteen-year-old nobleman named Silvano who is in love with the beautiful Angelica. Angelica is married to a man she does not love and one day her husband is found murdered - stabbed with Silvano's dagger. Silvano claims that he didn't do it and his father sends him to take sanctuary at a friary in a nearby town while they figure out who the real murderer is. Meanwhile, the pretty, young Chiara is sent to the nextdoor convent because there is not money eno ...more
Amelie-reads
Jan 13, 2015 Amelie-reads rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english
This is a really interesting book, especially if you love Art. It reminded me at times of "The Pillars Of The Earth" (probably because of the convent, the friar and the medieval setting of the novel), which made me enjoy it even more. At times, it can be a bit slow, but in general, the author manages to keep you interested and wondering about the mystery that is the main plot of this novel and it's a novel quite easy to read.

I would recommend it without a doubt.
Roxane Colquitt
The Falconer's Knot included mysteries, Romance and an interesting twist at the end. The book is about a handsome, rich, young man named Silvano. He has fallen in love with a married woman named Angelica. However, one day, the town people found the husband of Angelica (his name is Tommaso) dead with Silvano's dagger in the dead center of Tommaso's chest. Silvano is accused of murder and everyone thinks that he's guilty. His father sends him to an Abby (a religious place) to hide from all the fus ...more
Alis
Feb 26, 2014 Alis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first this book can be dry and slow paced but once you get about 100 pages in it really picks up speed. The murders keep you guessing and the lovable characters keep you interested. There are some "mysteries" that are very obvious but the true identity of the murderer kept me guessing to the end. The ending is sweet and well thought out. Even though at first I did not like this book, I spent several hours this morning glued to it, desperate to get it finished. Overall, a good quick read if yo ...more
Karen Ball
Jun 05, 2011 Karen Ball rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mary Hoffman wrote the amazing Stravaganza series, and now has this wonderful historical fiction to offer us. Silvano is a rich, privileged young man in Perugia, a 16th century Renaissance Italian town. He is accused of a murder he did not commit. To save him from prison, his father sends him to a monastery in another town, where he is sheltered and given sanctuary. There is a small convent next to the monastery, where a young girl has been sent by her brother who no longer wants her around. Chi ...more
Tosca Wijns-Van Eeden
At first it was a very confusing story because the author kept bringing in new characters all the time, each carrying their own story, all interwoven with each other.
This kept irritating me throughout the book.

The story itself was a very exciting one. It started with a murder and halfway through the book more exciting thrillers started happening. And I even loved the earthquake.
Problem with this book is that from the first chapter I knew who comitted the first murder, but that didn't matter lat
...more
Mary19-19
It started out very promising with an interesting introduction, but alas, the entire book failed to live up to my expectations.

It overall seemed very random. It took forever for anything to happen and when things did finally happen, it was all very vague and it seemed as if the author just skipped through everything just to get the book finished and over with.

The murder mystery didn't seem to be much of a mystery and even when the murderer was revealed I could only facepalm and think "Well duh!"
...more
Zavia
Apr 23, 2014 Zavia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the book was pretty good. it had potential to be an amazing book, but it didn't quite live up to that. the idea behind it was great, but it could of been written better. it was kind of boring up until about the middle when more of the murders had happened. I would've rated it 4.5 if possible.
A.M. Kuska
My copy of this book had a surprising number of typos and grammatical errors in it for a traditionally published book. That is the only reason why it is getting 4 stars instead of 5. Otherwise it was fantastic! Read this for the LoP reading challenge.
Neko Musume
I adore this book, and I despise YA historical fiction generally. I also have problems with mysteries with teen protagonists. I just think it's unrealistic to expect that teenagers would find clues in such an organized manner as most mysteries portray. But in The Falconer's Knot, the main characters, Chiara and Silvano, often found clues by stumbling straight over them. They then made logical connections using process of elimination in a very realistic manner. The parts about medieval painting w ...more
Cassie
This book enticed me by the cover. I love the intricate illustrations along the edge and the use of gold to attract my eye. Unfortunately, the cover let me down and the book was not nearly so complex and enticing.

Hoffman paints a beautiful picture and stunning portrait of medieval Italy. For the history and setting, I would recommend the book. The plot however, fell short of what I was expecting. The book is sold as a murder mystery, yet I always felt the mystery took a backseat to the setting a
...more
Gemma
Nov 28, 2009 Gemma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book every thanksgiving, but have never actually finished it before. Not because it was bad, just it took me a long time to get through, and I never did. But I'm glad I finally finished it.
I love the setting of this book most of all. Medieval Italy, taking great detail to describe Giardinnetto, Gubbio, Umbria... there were a lot of big names in this book. And the stuff about the color room was very interesting.
The only thing disappointing about this book was the whole 'murder resolve
...more
Rachel Kitchen
Aug 26, 2014 Rachel Kitchen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Plan to read this book in one day. While at times it seems to drag on, every little detail is important. to avoid spoilers, I'll just say the ending was very satisfying.
Emily Collins
Feb 09, 2014 Emily Collins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Compelling story! I loved it, although it took quite a while to get through, that was probably because of college life and having no time for anything.
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Ying&Yang 1 9 Feb 02, 2008 04:07AM  
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Mary Hoffman is a bestselling British author and reviewer, born in 1945. She is a true enthusiast of Italy and spends a lot of her time there, which shows in her Stravaganza novels: a series currently in publication. In total, she has written over 80 books, including the aforementioned Stravaganza series and the bestselling picture book, Amazing Grace. Mary is also the editor of a review magazine ...more
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“Study your prey, learn her habits, accustom her to your presence by seeming harmless and kind. And then, when she is tame and off-guard, you pounce!” 1 likes
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