The Red Necklace (French Revolution, #1)
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The Red Necklace (French Revolution #1)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  4,478 ratings  ·  727 reviews
The story of a remarkable boy called Yann Margoza; Tetu the dwarf, his friend and mentor; Sido, unloved daughter of a foolish Marquis; and Count Kalliovski, Grand Master of a secret society, who has half the aristocracy in thrall to him, and wants Yann dead. Yann is spirited away to London but three years later, when Paris is gripped by the bloody horrors of the Revolution...more
Paperback, 371 pages
Published October 4th 2007 by Orion Childrens
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Community Reviews

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Kat (Le Pauvre Cœur)
Tom Hiddleston read this.

Tom fucking Hiddleston read this.

I...must listen to this audiobook.

He could read me a cookbook and I'd happily and joyously listen to it.

EDIT: Alas, I couldn't find the UK audiobook, but I'm reading it anyway. If anyone knows of somewhere I can listen to it, please let me know!

EDIT AGAIN My good friend Sei gave me a link to the audiobook, and now I'm listening and reading it at the same time. :)


Actual Review

Well, it was okay. I love historical fiction, but I didn't...more
Cara
Magic and historical fiction! I was sold from the beginning. You don't see that too often and I picked up the book with eager hands.

Yann is a gypsy boy who can throw his voice, read minds and sometimes even see into the future. On one fateful night he loses his gift, but not before he meets the limp but beautiful Sido. They don't know it yet, but they will see each other again and have much more impact on each other than they could imagine.

The plot is shrouded with mystery and hidden secrets. Ma...more
Jo
Les Mis-lite.

OK, I kind of demolished this.
Whoops.
I enjoyed this one a lot more than I thought I would.
Just shows you don't need angst and star-crossed lovers and douchey boys to make a book interesting.

You need bloody revolutions, headless mannequins, blackmail, intrigue, magicians and a lovely, sweet romance with a girl who is just cute as a button.

YES.



Full review to come when my laptop isn't throwing a wobbly.
Xine
The scholarship that went into this book was fabulous! I really thought I was there! It didn't grip me in the way that I, Coriander did, though.
It's my opinion that The Hero was a little too much "comic-book handsome, dark, mysterious lad who seeks the answers to the questions that haunt him about his past," and The Heroine was just too much "blonde hair blue eyes fair skin, sweet, loyal temperame- *hork*." (So sorry about horking, there. She didn't affect me like that when I was reading her. M...more
EJ Johnson
Apr 08, 2009 EJ Johnson rated it 1 of 5 stars Recommends it for: nobody
I was shocked at how poorly written this book was. The author has won awards for other books. I hope they were written better than this was.

The book takes place during the French Revolution. It has a great storyline just poorly put together. Yann is a gypsy who can read minds and throw his voice which he does in a stage act with a Magician and a dwarf who has his own "supernatural" talents. Meanwhile there is a very crafty bad guy who kills people and leaves behind a red garnet necklace which i...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Amber Gibson for TeensReadToo.com

THE RED NECKLACE is a fascinating tale of the French Revolution, the story of Yann, a gypsy boy, and Sido, the daughter of a Marquis. As fate would have it, their histories are intertwined in a way that both need the other if they are to have any hope of surviving the bloodbath of the Revolution.

Gardner's thorough research and grasp of the zeitgeist is apparent. The power of gypsy magic was a well-accepted fact of the time period and the inclusion of...more
Lina
Get/download/find the audiobook...Trust me it is so worth it.
Valerie
Feb 19, 2014 Valerie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Valerie by: Ginny
This book is unique, but then again I haven't read any other book about the French Revolution. In school they kind of just skim the French Revolution so I didn't know completely what to expect on the historical front. The story isn't directly in the action, at least in the beginning, but our heroes really get involved in the violence in Paris about half-way through.

The first half of the book was good though I like the second half better. Yann and Sido meet once and never forget each other thoug...more
Alkyoni ~ Kingfisher of books
So. The Red Necklace. To be honest, I’m not sure about my feelings for this book. While I, all in all, enjoyed it, there was something missing there.
The story begins in France, 1789. The year when everything changes. Aristocrats are pursued, the people turn into a mob, so on, so on. I’m pretty sure I don’t really need to introduce you to the facts. You probably know the basic things.
This book doesn’t have to do solely with the political turmoil of that period, and the writer did not write it...more
Helen
Truly, I would give this book 3.5 stars. I listened to the audiobook for about the first half, and I must say, it was solely the narrator(Tom Hiddleston)'s voice that kept me going because the first half I found to be rather dull. It was only when Yann returned to Paris to rescue Sido that things finally picked up. (That was when I finally got a copy from my library and read the rest.) I enjoyed the setting. I generally don't like the French Revolution, but Sally Gardner made it seem more tangib...more
safia ☼
I am going to be completely honest and tell you all that the only reason I found out about this book was because I became a fan of the lovely Tom Hiddleston, and I found out that he read this book for the audio version.

Upon this discovery, of course I was excited. And of course I immediately marked it as a to-read, to read instantaneously after I get back from vacation, to scavenge my shelves periodically for this book. Because he's Thomas William Hiddleston, the handsome British villainous acto...more
Sofia Andersson
First of all, I don't know if my opinion MIGHT be influenced by the fact that Tom FREAKING Hiddleston read this. His voice, his WONDERFUL voice, could make a dictionary sound interesting. I've listened to audiobooks before, but nothing compared to this. Tom Hiddleston is the best narrator I've ever heard. If he narrates the sequel, I will buy it in a matter of seconds.

Now, that I've raved over how wonderful Tom Hiddleston's voice is, let me talk about the book. This book had my attention from th...more
Robert
Magicians, gypsies, aristocrats and the French Revolution. A beautiful cover. Adventure, thrills, magic. The book promises a lot.

Unfortunately, it is a thoroughly amateur effort. The writing is pedestrian and never lives up to the potential of the story. The time line is not handled coherently - at one point, the book leaps forward by two years. A lot of the time, the chapter starts close to one character, only to change perspective a few paragraphs in. The story is rarely sustained - it sort of...more
April
The greatest thing about The Red Necklace was the cover. You've got pretty hair and a pretty dress, clearly the book must be good, right? Wrong, this book was horrible!
Read the rest of my review here
Nessima Tavariel
Oct 31, 2012 Nessima Tavariel marked it as to-read
So...you're telling me Tom Hiddleston narrates the audiobook? The Tom Hiddleston? Hmm. I may or may not be listening to it on Youtube if ever I get the chance.

Just sayin'.
Amelia, the pragmatic idealist
More like 3.5
I usually am a very big fan of historical fiction---if it is done right.
Sally Gardner is a great historical fiction storyteller, and though The Red Necklace is not one of the best books I've read, it's pretty good.
The setting is 1789-1792 France, with a brief switch over to England. I saw similarites to The Scarlet Pimpernel and A Tale of Two Cities, not only in the setting and plot but also in the story's more intricate details.
Sally Gardner has such a natural gift for using lite...more
Crystal
This book isn't terrible by any stretch of the imagination, but it's not one that's going to stick with me nor do I have any ambition to look into the sequel. I'll talk strengths and then weaknesses.

The characters in this are generally wonderful and I think Gardner did a fabulous job capturing the atmosphere of France on the cusp of the revolution - there was obvious and real tension between the haves and have-nots with the haves being entirely frivolous and the have-nots being literally treated...more
Miss Clark
Oct 13, 2008 Miss Clark rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys historical fiction with a fantastical bent
Our story is over, though in its end lies its beginning.

A gorgeous story, with lovely descriptions and superb narration throughout, and an interesting plot. It is light on characterization, which is painted in rather broad strokes, with the protagonists spending very little actual time together. More of the main relationship is propelled through mystical/ emotional means.

Sido, the shy, neglected and mentally/ verbally abused daughter of the weak and spineless Marquis de Villeduval is a decent...more
Kirstine
This is not exactly a book I would have ever come across by myself or even given a chance if I had. To be honest, the only reason I gave it a go, is because Tom Hiddleston narrates the audiobook.

But I'm very happy I did. I'll admit I might not have enjoyed it as much as I did if Hiddleston hadn't been the one reading it to me. He is a splendid actor and the voices he made and his way of reading certainly mirrors this. He is as talented with his voice, as with everything else. I had a brilliant...more
Molly

I loved Sally Gardner's I, CORIANDER, and was eager as could be to get my hands on the ARC for her next book. I was an even happier girl to find that her next book was one that combined two of my favorite topics: the French Revolution (yes, this is a direct result of the Les Miz obsession of my teenage theatre years) and GYPSIES! (Seriously. What is it about the word "gypsies" in any form that I find so irresistible?!)

And glad to say that THE RED NECKLACE was totally engaging, well-written, wel...more
Angie
I had a really hard time getting into this book. The first half was pretty boring and it wasn't until Yann goes back to France that the action picks up. By the end I thought the book could have been a lot better.

The author left so many loss ends and plot holes that I couldn't believe the book was actually over. I was glad it was over, but I couldn't believe there wasn't at least a little more effort to tie up some loose ends. I thought the romance aspect of it was also contrived. I never bought...more
Megan
Jan 08, 2011 Megan rated it 1 of 5 stars Recommends it for: no one
This book was frustrating from the beginning. Not only did the characters use words and phrases that were definitely not from the period, she also used just about every cliche that could be applied in storyline and verbage. The story was dull and predictable. The main characters' talents which were supposed to stun and surprise the reader were made tiresome by the author's vague 'ooh, I'm going to surprise you' descriptions. It appears she went to the school of tell, don't show writing. To anyon...more
sondheim
One star for the book, although Tom Hiddleston's beautiful voice deserves the full five. My poor wasted baby.

The characters were uninteresting, the prose bad, the story dull, the dialogue flat, and the romance contrived. I'm glad I listened to the audiobook for a change, instead of reading it, because Hiddles's voice really was the major redeeming factor here. The last time a book bored me this much it was that Dean Koontz I read, which seems to say it all, really.
Andi
DNF at page 97. Too many plot holes that were explained with "Magic!" And why do we have magic? "Because we're gypsies! Gypsies can do all sorts of magical things!"
Danielle Long

The only reason why this is getting 4 stars is because of the audio book, if I had to read this book by itself, I would be slightly bored to tears. It comes up flat in some areas.

The wonderful British actor Tom Hiddleston reads this version of the audio book (went through a crazy way to get this particular audio book b/c it's not sold in the states). He was excellent with all the characters' voices. The book takes place right before all hell breaks loose in France during the reign of Louis the X...more
Maj
I pretty much only listened to this book because it was narrated by Tom Hiddleston, who, by the way, was superb at playing all the characters. Great job there. If it had not been for him I probably would have never made it to the end of the Red Necklace. It's not a bad book, but it's not really my thing to begin with and I don't think it was written especially interestingly. Mediocre.
Jennifer
The Red Necklace is a fantasy story set in the midst of the French Revolution. I picked it up to see if it would be appropriate for my 12 year old. I didn't really like it. The writing wasn't bad, but it was choppy. Some of the characters shine, and others, who should, do not. It was just OK.
Alina
Loki... you shoulda read us audiobooks instead of that stunt you pulled in the Avengers. We'd all be bloody kneeling by now.

*ahem* Book review. Right.


5 million stars for the audiobook reader, the wonderful Mr. Tom Hiddleston and 2.5 stars for the book. I'd have never given this book so much as a first glance if I hadn't accidentally found out Tom read it and let me tell you, for the man's voice and his skill alone, you'll be glad you bought and listened to the audiobook. Even though I've listen...more
Trin
Three stars for the book itself; one bonus star for the audiobook performance by Tom Hiddleston. Actually, if I could I would give that reading all the stars. ALL THE STARS. IN THE WORLD.

Not that I have strong feelings about it or anything.
Julie
Tom fucking Hiddleston is reading this.
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4DRAKE: The Red Necklace : Christina B. 1 3 Mar 12, 2014 04:00PM  
Are there any other good teenage historical fiction books out there set pre-1900? 2 12 Jan 20, 2013 11:36PM  
Sequel 3 77 Oct 31, 2008 03:17PM  
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Sally Gardner grew up and still lives in London. Being dyslexic, she did not learn to read or write until she was fourteen and had been thrown out of several schools, labeled unteachable, and sent to a school for maladjusted children. Despite this, she gained a degree with highest honors at a leading London art college, followed by a scholarship to a theater school, and then went on to become a ve...more
More about Sally Gardner...
I, Coriander Maggot Moon The Silver Blade (French Revolution, #2) Tinder The Double Shadow

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“There is nothing to fear except the power you give to your own demons.” 69 likes
“Our story is over, though in its end lies its beginning. ” 26 likes
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