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The Red Necklace (French Revolution #1)

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,915 Ratings  ·  892 Reviews
The winds of change are blowing through Paris in the winter of 1789, both for France and for our hero, a striking and mysterious Gypsy boy named Yann Margoza. He was born with a gift for knowing what people are thinking and an uncanny ability to throw his voice, and he has been using those skills while working for a rather foolish magicia. That work will soon end, however, ...more
Hardcover, 376 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Dial Books (first published October 4th 2007)
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Nicki Smith I really liked it - some parts were a bit confusing, but overall it was really good. It is fairly accurate in regards to what actually happened and…moreI really liked it - some parts were a bit confusing, but overall it was really good. It is fairly accurate in regards to what actually happened and also it has a nice story line as well. However, I feel like the book doesn't really finish, you need to read on... If you know what I mean.(less)
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Kat (Lost in Neverland)
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
Les Mis-lite.

OK, I kind of demolished this.
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.


Full review to come when my laptop isn't throwing a wobbly.
Get/download/find the audiobook...Trust me it is so worth it.
May 09, 2014 Cara rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Cara by: Ginny
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
Sofia Andersson
Jun 23, 2012 Sofia Andersson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 11, 2015 Louise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
3.5 stars
“Live your life, Sido, whatever happens. Live in the moment, don’t live with regret.” - Yann

I love Tom Hiddleston's voice, it was so fine and eloquent and distinct. The way he played different characters with his voice was brilliant!

*I like the story, French Revolution with a touch of magic.
*I love our hero Yann, he was so brave and willing to sacrifice everything to save Sido
*I have little liking over Sido, I don't know why she can't leave his father, marquis de Villeduval, which(v
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
Disclaimer: I decided to read this book primarily because Tom Hiddleston reads the audiobook and I love Tom Hiddleston. There's also a very famous line in here that his fangirls just love and I wanted to read it in context.

So back to the actual book. I give 3.5 stars which rounds up to 4 stars. It was a good book but there were some things I didn't like about it. One thing I didn't like was how the perspective kept shifting from character to character. One paragraph would be one character's pers
Nov 08, 2011 toni rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 06, 2009 Xine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
EJ Johnson
Apr 08, 2009 EJ Johnson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Amber Gibson for

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
Nov 14, 2015 Kirstine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 07, 2010 Robert rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 30, 2015 Kirsti rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Really struggled to get into this one, and once I was in, I didn't want to be. It was simply the top book on a pile of to-read books I was keeping on the coffee table, but I wish I'd picked something else instead. The characters weren't interesting me at all, and the plot felt odd and disjointed. I get to certain points in books that if I'm lost, I'm lost forever. My good opinion, once lost, is lost forever, heh.

However, I can see the appeal. It's dark, and there are particularly morbid scenes
Tom fucking Hiddleston is reading this.
Read by Tom Hiddleston. Your argument is invalid.
Feb 19, 2014 Valerie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
The Book Queen
Aug 16, 2015 The Book Queen marked it as maybe-read  ·  review of another edition
I've enjoyed a couple of Sally Gardner's works before, so I might pick this one up.
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
Sep 06, 2011 Trin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Melissa Chung
Apr 11, 2015 Melissa Chung rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I was thinking about the rating of this book for a few hours now and I still have the same feeling. It was a 5 star. If I read it in it's physical form maybe it would have been different, but alas I listened to this book. The ever handsome and breathtaking Tom Hiddleston narrated this book and he did a superb job. Not only was there different accents for each characters, but he did a great service to the girly voices as well ;)

This book is about the French Revolution, a couple of gypsies, a pass
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
Miss Clark
Oct 13, 2008 Miss Clark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 14, 2014 Alina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: never-again
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

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
Jan 30, 2011 Angie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 08, 2011 Megan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Not for everyone, but we've got magical Gypsys, a dwarf, a magician, an uncolvable [edit: what the hell is this a typo of?] automaton, a serial killer, Paris and London, and widespread social unrest. The French Revolution is about to start, if that red line across the girls neck was too subtle for you. Weirdly enjoyable.

I can only assume the sequel is half written, with our hero working his magic to save refugees from the terror. A fun read.
Jan 14, 2014 Andi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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!"
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4DRAKE: The Red Necklace : Christina B. 1 4 Mar 12, 2014 04:00PM  
Are there any other good teenage historical fiction books out there set pre-1900? 2 22 Jan 20, 2013 11:36PM  
Sequel 3 79 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...

Other Books in the Series

French Revolution (2 books)
  • The Silver Blade (French Revolution, #2)

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“There is nothing to fear except the power you give to your own demons.” 84 likes
“Our story is over, though in its end lies its beginning. ” 29 likes
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