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Changeling (Order of Darkness #1)

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3.17 of 5 stars 3.17  ·  rating details  ·  5,375 ratings  ·  973 reviews
Dark myths, medieval secrets, intrigue, and romance populate the pages of the first-ever teen series from #1 bestselling author of The Other Boleyn Girl.

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:
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Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 24th 2012 by Simon Pulse (first published 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

This is a mess. I've long since grown out of most of my misguided, uneducated affection for Philippa Gregory novels, but any lingering chances I will read her subsequent novels were firmly ended by this read. From beginning to end, this is a dull, vapid and uninvolving novel. Full of undeveloped, one-dimensional and just plain boring characters, with little to no plot to speak of, there's nothing to recommend about Changeling. It's a sloppy and anac
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Elizabeth Drake

This and other reviews can be found on Reading Between Classes

Cover Impressions: The cover is pretty, but expected. It makes it appear that Isolde is the main character when, in actuality, the plot follows Luca for a majority of the time. I was glad to see the omission of the "heaving bosoms" that normally accompanies this type of cover

The Gist: Seventeen year old Luca is accused of heresy and thrown out of his religious order for using math to prove that it is impossible for all of the relics f
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Karla
Luca Vero is a young monk with a head for numbers and a driving need for knowledge. When squirrely doings are reported in a nunnery, Vero is sent by his superior to determine if it's the Devil at work. When he arrives, he discovers that blame is being pinned on the Abbess Isolde, an aristocratic girl who chose the nun's life over being forced into marriage with a lecher. She's the object of jealousy and suspicion among the other nuns, but Vero is intent on determining things through facts and do ...more
Sara Nia (Tea and Parchment)
I am in shock. I bought this book with an open-mind, and I don't mind admitting, a slight sense of (misguided) anticipation for what Philippa Gregory might have to offer a younger audience. What this YA readership got was...utter tripe. This book is just plain terrible. Horrendous. Boring. Just...awful. Here's why.

The novel was an abominable mess.


Let's start with the characters. I didn't care or even like a single one of them. They were either one-dimensional, boring, unlikable, ridiculous, or a
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Misfit
No. Just no.
Cora Tea Party Princess
Did people have handguns in 1453? Would a teenage monk know what one sounded like?

Unfortunately, I was put off by the very first sentence of this book:
"The hammering on the door shot him into wakefulness like a hand-gun going off in his face."

I'm not convinced. Is this just bad imagery or is it awful research?

Perhaps if someone can show me historical records showing that a 17 year old monk could know what a hand-gun sounded like, then I will read. A hand-gun mind, not one of the musket-style gun
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Arlene
Medieval mystery sprinkled with a light romance and an ample amount of intrigue. Changeling is Philippa Gregory’s worthy entry into the Young Adult genre, and I applaud her efforts. Well done!

When Luca Vero is captured and interrogated for heresy, he proves his brilliance and calculated intelligence which ultimately earns him a position with a religious order. The Order of the Dragon is commissioned to investigate questionable occurrences across Europe on behalf of the Pope. At the same time, Is
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Shaheen
Having loved Philippa Gregory’s adult works, especially her Tudor Court novels, I have been anticipating her first YA novel for a long time. I was lucky enough to receive a review copy from the publisher, and I dove into it at first opportunity. Changeling exhibits all the traits I have come to love about Gregory’s writing – it vividly evokes the time it is set in, incorporates luscious descriptions of the gowns, castles and countryside and follows quirky and interesting characters with dark bac ...more
April
Confession: I learned more about the Tudors from Philippa Gregory’s The Boleyn Inheritance than I did from 10th grade global studies and AP Euro in high school. Gregory has this talent for bringing history to life and infusing it with a hefty dose of drama. When the rumor started that she would be writing a YA series, I got super excited especially because Changeling, the first of the Order Of Darkness series takes place in Europe in 1453 and I always brake for medieval times.
Read the rest of my
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Sarah (saz101)
Philippa Gregory's first venture into the Young Adult market was sure to garner attention. And surely enough, here we have Changeling, her first fully speculative novel, and her first aimed at Young Adults. Is it everything one would hope for and expect? Well, that depends on your expectations...

The Story
Seventeen year old Luca has been cast out of his monastary, accused of heresy. Alone in a cell, he awaits what he believes is his death. Instead, he is offered a second chance: use his brilliant
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Sarah
A quick, enjoyable book, but nothing earth-shattering.

The premise: Luca is a monk-in-training (who may or may not be a Changeling) that's been recruited by a shadowy Order & set on missions to catalogue The End of Days -- that is, paranormal happenings across Europe. The entourage includes his buddy Freize & straight-laced scribe Brother Peter, & their first assignment is to solve the mystery of terrorized nuns at a local abbey. The abbess is a teenage girl named Isolde, who's been
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Sarah
I'll admit it's been quite a while since I read one of Philippa Gregory's adult titles but as soon as I heard about Changeling I knew I wanted to read it. I've been really enjoying historical fiction recently and as I have a love of anything paranormal I couldn't wait to find out more about these nuns who are being accused of witchcraft! Set in 1453 Changeling gives readers a great feel for the era and makes for fascinating reading.

Luca is extremely intelligent and has an aptitude for science (a
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Christina
Luca was to be a priest. Then he was suspected of something or other and sent to an inquisitor for questioning. To Luca's surprise, he was to become a member of a secret order that investigates reports of 'dark' occurrences. His first task is to look into an abbey and the abbess, Isolde.

Isolde is the daughter of a rich and well respected Lord. The Lord planned to split his properties and monies between Isolde and her older brother. According to her brother who forbid Isolde to be present at her
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joy *the clean-reader extraordinaire*
philippa gregory's uber-popular adult historical fiction offerings are too racy for me, so when i saw this on the "New YA" shelf at my library, i was eager to give it a try.

oh. my. word. this book is really, really bad. truly, ridiculously, laughably horrible. i honestly wonder if this was actually written by ms. gregory, because it seems to be the work of multiple authors...each of whom had different characters in mind. seemingly key plot points are introduced and then abandoned by the wayside
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Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
4.5 stars

Changeling is a must read for YA fans who love a well crafted historical read, with a rich setting, in-depth characters, and a romance that leaves you wanting more. Philippa's YA debut is fabulous! She not only brought her 1400's Italian setting to life within the pages of her book, but she creates the perfect character chemistry, adds in the perfect amount of mystery and betrayal as well as creates a surprising paranormal twist that was worked in to the story perfectly, and fit in well
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Rachel
I bought this book on ebook when it was released in 2012, and I had very high hopes for it. I had heard good things about Philippa Gregory's adult historical fiction novels, and I hoped she would transition to Young Adult smoothly. Unfortunately she seems to have dramatically reduced the level of her writing, to fit what she thinks is the YA level. This whole novel is written extremely simply, like she thinks we readers wouldn't be able to understand anything too complex, which is very disappoin ...more
Ieva
Droši vien kā jau daudzi, „Laumu bērnu” lasīju ziņkāres dzīta, jo pirms tam ļoti patika viņas citi romāni, par Tjūdoru dinastiju, un interesēja ko tad viņa sarakstījusi tiem jauniešiem.
Diemžēl šī bija liela vilšanās – vai tad jauniešiem rakstīt nozīmē to, ka galvenie varoņi tad ir jauni un var neiespringt uz rakstīšanu, nekādi neizvēršot tēlus (jauniešiem taču pietiek pateikt, ka galvenie varoņi ir smuki un gudri), paņemot banālākās sižeta līnijas (abas „detektīvintrigas” bija jebkuram, kas kaut
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Christa
I've heard really good thing about Ms. Gregory's writing. I've never read much of her work myself but when I found out she was writing a YA novel I had to get my hands on it. It was a "gimme gimme" moment at the library when i found out they had it. Now, after everything I seriously wish I hadn't bothered.

Before I start just let me say that when reviewing I try to stay as positive as possible. However there were so many things with this book that I found. . .weird. In the end I couldn't finish
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Sarah
Philippa Gregory has tried her hand at writing a young adult historical fiction book, only a slight departure from her other historical efforts. This time, though, the characters have nothing to do with either the Tudors or even England. I'm not convinced of the overall success of this enterprise, however.
(Possible spoilers ahead. Read at your own peril. Alternatively, read on to be forewarned.)

Let's start with characters:
Our heroine, Isolde, is introduced in the first chapter, as a young lady w
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Farhana
*Spoiler Free*


I'm not really a big fan of historical fiction but just bought this on a whim because I knew Philippa Gregory is like a goddess when it comes to historical fiction. But alas, I didn't really enjoy this.


The actual plot seems really interesting, like a massive fast-paced quest. It really wasn't though. The pacing was quite slow and the majority of the story takes place in a nunnery...yeah that really screams action. 'Changeling' also failed to capture my attention so my mind was wan
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Nepeta Leijon
Jul 14, 2012 Nepeta Leijon rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No body
Recommended to Nepeta by: My idiot self
6/10/12

This story has no plot whatsoever. This story is boring the living shit out of me. I'm sorry, I'll post a complete review later.

Okay, here's why I didn't like it. The characters are incredibly boring. I'm completely bored by this story. Isolde annoys me. She's all like 'Daddy macks ma stae at monstry and i iz sads.' Honestly, she could have just married the damn guy and run away. Now, what the prince did was wrong. No one should try to rape anyone.

Luca is not interesting. Oh, poor guy, he
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Tracy Terry
I know, I know, I promised myself that I wouldn't begin any books that formed a series BUT this is Philippa Gregory.

Different from most of her novels, for one thing Changeling, the first in the Order Of Darkness series, is aimed at the Young Adult (YA) market, a first for Gregory, and for another it isn't based on any individual(s). And therein may lie the problem as it seems to me this is one author who is at her very best when writing about well-known historical characters.

Hardly off to a goo
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Gem
I read the ARC, not the final copy, but I can't imagine it was very different.

The opening line reads: "The hammering on the door shot him into wakefulness like a handgun going off in his face." This scene takes place in Rome, June 1453. I feel that "like a handgun" is not the most suitable simile. I realize that firearm development did begin earlier than 1453, but surely it wasn't common by then?

Even if I'm incorrect, I was already so hung up over the opening line that I wasn't sure if the res
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Karli
In the space of an entire full length novel, not much happened. That is an excruciating thing to say though unfortunately true. Even if the point of this book was to lay the groundwork for future novels (e.g. establishing characters, setting in motion major plot-lines) it has failed miserably. I barely know the characters save for a few inconsequential details. The events, forgetting a few vague clues about what is to come, were utterly inconsequential, if not ridiculous. Many, many opportunitie ...more
Naty
Páčilo sa mi to! Vážne sa mi to páčilo a to som nečakala, že by ma to mohlo baviť! Zaujímavé, historický nádych, sympatické postavy a skvelá záhadnosť! :)
Kate Forsyth
This is Philippa Gregory's first foray in Young Adult Fiction and I thought it was really well done. From the opening scene, I felt s if I was in the hands of a storytelling master. The pace is swift, the characters are believable, sympathetic and sharply drawn, and the historical setting done with a sure, light touch. The book twists together a medieval mystery, romance, and a touch of the supernatural to make a most enjoyable read.
Jillian -always aspiring-
Feb 16, 2012 Jillian -always aspiring- marked it as maybe-reads
This proves to me that YA is becoming the "it thing" for writers: why else would Philippa Gregory, "queen of (recent) historical fiction," deign to write a historical fiction novel with fantasy elements? I will refrain from judgment, though, until I actually see the finished product.
Kim Baccellia
I really wanted to love this as I do love Philippa Gregory's other books. Sigh. There's a very intriguing premise but I couldn't get into the characters. If you love this time period, a much better read is GRAVE MERCY.

But that's just my opinion and this is all subjective after all.
Octavia
Sigh... Were do I even begin?

I bought this book very impulsively. It was at my school book fair. It seemed to be the only fantasy there, so I thought to myself, what the heck? After I brought it home I saw that it had a 3.16 on Goodreads. I knew I was in for, as many described it, a mess, and that's exactly what I got.
It started off terribly. We're thrust into a completely boring world with annoying, boring characters. Our MC is a 14th century math geek. He follows orders and lets people tell hi
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Giselle at Book Nerd Canada
I’ve always wanted to pick up The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippe Gregory and I’m sad to say I should have done it earlier. I’m not a big historical fiction fan myself but when I heard she was writing a Young Adult series I couldn’t help but be curious. Luckily Simon and Schuster provided with an ARC!

I pretty much devoured this book. She writes with a fascinating plot with characters you can’t help but love. Luca and Isolde are two characters with such similar personalities that I loved it when th
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Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the novel The Other Boleyn Girl, which was made into a TV drama and a major film. Published in 2009, the bestselling The White Queen, the story of Elizabeth Woodville, ushered in a new series involving The Cousins’ War (now known as The War of the Roses) and a new era for the acc ...more
More about Philippa Gregory...

Other Books in the Series

Order of Darkness (4 books)
  • Stormbringers (Order of Darkness, #2)
  • Fools' Gold (Order of Darkness, #3)
  • Untitled (Order of Darkness, #4)
The Other Boleyn Girl (The Tudor Court, #2) The Constant Princess (The Tudor Court, #1) The White Queen (The Cousins' War, #1) The Queen's Fool (The Tudor Court, #5) The Boleyn Inheritance (The Tudor Court, #3)

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“Luca saw her bloodstained hands as the clerk bound them with a rope, and Luca realized that she was a thing of horror, a beautiful thing of horror, the worst thing between heaven and hell: a fallen angel.” 7 likes
“Do you not think that God will protect us?”
“No,” he said flatly. “My experience is that He rarely attends to the obvious.”
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