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City of Swords (Stravaganza #6)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  959 ratings  ·  98 reviews
When a talisman transports her to the Talian city of Fortezza, Laura finds herself falling in love with a young Talian man named Ludo. But soon a rivalry erupts between two factions in Fortezza, and Laura and Ludo find themselves on opposite sides! Secret meetings and divided loyalties drive the sixth book in the Stravaganza series to its satisfying conclusion.
Hardcover, 349 pages
Published August 21st 2012 by Bloomsbury (first published July 5th 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Veronica Morfi
Rating: 5/5

I can't believe that this series is over. I started reading it back in 2004, when I was 14 and I immediately fell in love with the characters and the world. I really don't want it to be over...

This last book introduces us to another Stravagante, Laura. Being a Stravagante means that with the help of her talisman she can travel from our world to a parallel world, at a country, Talia, that is very similar to 16th-century Italy. Laura, just like the previous Stravaganti before her, is un
I absolutely loved this book! (Do not read on if you haven't read this book.) Although the siege did seem to end very quickly, it set up for a whole stream of events that were absolutely nail-biting in my case. And the part where Ludo got shot was just so...scary and sad! And then all the Stravaganti stravagante so they can come to Luciano and Arianna's wedding and Laura decides to stay with Ludo! Finally, FINALLY Luciano and Arianna got married! But Ludo wasn't going to make it so Laura went ba ...more
Ashley Brooke
'City of Swords', what to say... Let me start with this: I really do love the Stravaganza series as a whole. Everything from the characters to the settings to the overall concept-- I love it. 'City of Swords' is the sixth and final book in this under appreciated series. I'll miss jumping into Talia with the Stravaganti for many reasons, most of all because every time I opened a Stravaganza book, it felt like I was back in Italy!

On to 'City of Swords'... Is it my favorite of the series? No. Is it
Jun 20, 2011 Kitty marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
So happy this is coming out...ive been waiting for LONG time, 2012 seems like a long time! Thank you so much for writing this!
Soscha de Klerk
Oh my god.
To my very very big and happy surprise I found it today in the American Book Center Amsterdam. I thought it would be released in august! it looks awesome but I'm gonna wait reading it and first finish the book I'm currently reading. I will probably start reading it this week though.
more coming!

started reading.

So I have finished a few days ago but hadn't had time to write my review yet.
It was really really good but I had to give four stars, because the book had ups a
So near, and yet so far...
This book had so much potential. The plot was fabulous, but sadly the characters, especially the main character, were slightly underdeveloped. I read the entire book wondering why the character does the things she does, only to find out about a traumatic experience of hers in the last few pages. This would ordinarily not have been a problem, had the author played further into the character's emotions. We are told what happens in the story, but we never really get into t
City of swords is the last book of the Stravaganza series so far. As the fans of the series will probably be used to by now, we follow an unhappy teenager on his trips to sixteenth century Talia, where he has a mission to accomplish. This time, we get to know Laura, who cuts herself in order to feel better. It is then quite a surprise to see her transported to Fortezza, where she meets her Stravagante, a swordsmith. But in Talia, Laura has a lot to think about, as civil was is about to destroy t ...more
Jocelyn Montalvo Cullum
Oct 19, 2014 Jocelyn Montalvo Cullum marked it as to-read
I registered a book at!
Jenni  ☆
I've read this entire series now and I gotta say, after the first three books it has gone downhill and badly. I don't know what happened with the writing style, in this one particularly it felt really lazy and clumsy. I don't want to read about big events through long dialogues, there is no excitement in that. Laura was too shallow for a main character and her part in the story was, in the end, way too small. Her inner pain and romance with Ludo didn't feel real at all. No one can fall in love t ...more
You can't end the series here! There has to be another book!
I will try not to spoil, but although there were some faults (I'm not sure there's enough character development for the newest Stravagante who has a much more complex story than the others) this ended on such a cliffhanger. Okay, there was a degree of resolution surrounding our favourites, but then a huge plot development that will rock Talia, and to a lesser extent Islington.

I neeeed more!
Super disappointed in this book. Even though my expectations were rather low after reading some reviews.

Things I did not like:
- Laura and Ludo... Like, what? I could maybe believe in Laura acting the way she did being a teenager, but Ludo is supposed to be like, 24? And don't Talians kind of have to grow up faster anyways? Luciano for example. I didn't like Laura too much, but I kind of expected that. But I found myself very annoyed with any and all decisions Ludo made. So you finally found you
Jennifer Sundt
I continue to love the Stravaganza series for its intrigue. It's also a convenient door to a handy escapist landscape that I do well to go to from time time to time. I must sadly admit, however, that Hoffman's writing is getting old. She resorts way too much to worn cliches (read: Laura and her cutting problems; Laura's wham-bam romance with Ludo) without even remotely trying to flesh them out in any attempt to justify them. Just, here they are, deal with them, and carry on. It left me feeling e ...more
This was easily the worst book in the series. The pacing was really off; it was like the author had tried to cram too much into the story and then had to cut half of it out. Lots of hints of character and/or story progression were dropped here and there, but then they went nowhere and were never mentioned again. I couldn't connect to the protagonist Laura at all, and her love story was one of the most unconvincing ones I've ever read (and that's saying something since I've read both Twilight and ...more
While overall I enjoyed the plot, this book felt rushed. The previous books go into what it's like going to Talia the first time. This book pretty much skips over that, never mind that it's a new character and a new city. All of the new characters felt underdeveloped. There were so many places where the author could have gone into a bit more detail and let us get to know the characters a bit better. There were also too many viewpoints. Sometime, the point of view would even switch mid paragraph. ...more
Rinoa Heartilly
Peeps, I've got a feeling that this isn't the end yet. And just FYI, yes goddammit, Ferdinando is fat. Thank you Mary Hoffman for reminding me every time they speak of him.

Actual review to probably come tomorrow.
Nopealukuinen, etenee edellisistä kirjoista tutulla kaavalla. Renessanssiajan Talia on edelleen kiehtova ympäristö. Eniten tökki Lauran ja Ludon insta-love. Ihan kiva päätösosa sarjalle.
I can't believe that this was the end of this series! Ah, I want more stravaganti!
What a sad Stravagante!

So, Mary Hoffman brings the Stravaganza series to a close with ‘City of Swords’. It was a solid book but I do think that those who could access Talia at the end was just a little too easy for my liking; in my head, to be a Stravagante is something that is exclusive and a role the character had been chosen for, and I think this does get lost in the story.

But, my! What a sad Stravagante we meet in ‘City of Swords’! Laura is very different to the previous Stravagante and the
Mar 26, 2012 Alex marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Do I hear Wedding Bells?
In classic Mary Hoffman-style she has stayed true to what she always does: a great concept but not the best execution. Laura and Ludo fall in love at first sight. Though I’m a sucker for hopeless romance, I had a hard time believing in their love. They literally meet once before the war starts. I also wasn’t happy about the sides the Stravaganti picked in this war. After five books of battling the Di Chimici family they’re considering to help them?!

Until the last page there are twists and turns.
Laura, a sad girl, discovers that she had the power to travel into the past thanks to a magic sword. She needs to go to a certain place and help a certain someone. That’s all she knows thanks to her new (also time travelling) friends.

I bought this book because I thought it would involve more about the topic of self mutilation.

"Desperately unhappy, Laura has resorted to self-harming. But Laura is a Stravagante, somebody who can travel in time and space."

And sure, they talk about it and she strug
First off, I have to say that I'm so disappointed this is the last Stravaganza book when Hoffman says she has ideas to write it as a 12-book series (one book for each city-state). ;-; I wish the publisher would give it another chance! There's so much more I want to know about Talia and how things will progress, especially considering how this book leaves off.

But in any case. It was fun jumping back into Talia, although it's often years and years between when I read each book, so it can be diffic
I'd like to start out this review saying how much I love Mary Hoffman's books. I think she is a brilliant writer, and I was overjoyed and a little embarrassed when she actually found a review I had made on her last book, "City of Ships" on my 1st blog: And yes there was much more to the story as a whole other than Arianna and Luciano getting married. Now if I had checked out this blog post by the author,, I may ha ...more
In what I think is a new departure for the series, City of Swords has as its protagonist a supporting character from the previous book: Isabel's friend Laura. In what is definitely a new departure, the other characters manage to successfully predict that she is going to be chosen as a Stravagante before it happens.

As in all the previous books, Laura is an unhappy teenager living in London. She finds her talisman, a 'paper knife' (actually a dagger) and travels to Talia, where she quickly becomes
When my friend first introduced me to this seris I wasnt sure when I read the first book I loved it this book is no exception I was super excited to find this in my libray this is book 6 in the Stravaganza seris and it follows Laura a teenager who hides not one but 2 secrets and finds herself buying a talisman wich takes her to Talia a parrell italy and she finds herself falling in love and trying to decide wich side she has to be on. This book did not dissapoint it was action packed fast paced ...more
Ms Hoffman, you are a clever, clever lady.

I'm not quite sure what to feel. I'm so torn!! The ending is exactly what I hoped for (view spoiler) and it ended on a good note but now one of my longtime favorite series - and love stories - is over!!

For now at least.

I'll say it again: Ms Hoffman, you are a clever, clever lady. With the 'action-packed' ending she gave us, (view spoiler)
Cover Blurb: I don’t like the new cover art for the Stravaganza series, because it leers! I do like the people they choose, though, because they actually look how I imagine the characters (except this girl looks older than Laura is supposed to be). But it still stares at me, and I don’t like staring covers.

What I Liked: The conflict in this one was more exciting, and now that the Stravaganti in both worlds were more coordinated with each other, the story was able to move past any slow beginning
George Petrellis
Very close to 3 out of 5 stars but not quite there..
It was a short trip back to Talia and the stravaganti world that really brought back happy memories. However, as a book it didn't stand to my expectations..
The story-line is pretty strong: Laura ,a 16 year old desperate girl, resolves to self-harming to ease the pain of her demons. The reason why she turns to cutting herself i'll leave it to you to find out as i consider it to be one of the most moving scenes in the book (though i didn't like
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
And it all came down to the fact that Guido Parola owed Rinaldo di Chimici money.
I have a lot invested in this book. Why? I kept up a rational fandom of these books for six years. I convinced my county library to buy three copies, and I was first on the hold list. I was the one who put this book on Goodreads to begin with, and if you don't believe me, look at the librarian edits. I LOVE this series.
And so my disappointment with the prologue was profound. There was too much involvement of other
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Another book? 15 22 Oct 24, 2013 07:04AM  
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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
More about Mary Hoffman...
City of Masks (Stravaganza, #1) Amazing Grace City of Stars (Stravaganza, #2) City of Flowers (Stravaganza, #3) City of Secrets (Stravaganza, #4)

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