The Fool's Girl
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The Fool's Girl

3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  838 ratings  ·  119 reviews
Young and beautiful Violetta may be of royal blood, but her kingdom is in shambles when she arrives in London on a mysterious mission. Her journey has been long and her adventures many, but it is not until she meets the playwright William Shakespeare that she gets to tell the entire story from beginning to end.
Violetta and her comic companion, Feste, have come in search o...more
Hardcover, 297 pages
Published July 20th 2010 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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Amber Harris
Although tedious and slightly scattered, The Fool's Girl is yet another retelling of an old, beloved fairytale.. except this one doesn't trail as far back as Hansel and Grethel or Jack and the Beanstalk - hailing from Elizabethan England, Twelfth Night is comedy, tragedy, drama, and resolution. I found Rees' style frustration - there are characters presented as important who ultimately show know purpose at all (I am thinking of Tod, here), and there is a great deal of talk and travel, what I gen...more
The Fool's Girl sees us in Elizabethan England. Shakespeare is living in London, working as a player for Burbage in the years before his career really takes off. The Fool's Girl is not a story about Shakepeare but of the life of Violetta and Feste. In this tale the events of Twelfth Night have been reworked. Violetta comes to England in search of Shakespeare's help to restore her country Illyria. She is the daughter of Duke Orsin and Viola - one of two couples who found love in despite many disg...more
I normally love Celia Rees. However, I just couldn't get into this book. It felt disjointed, I never felt any sympathy towards any of the characters, I never really cared about their situations, and I felt like things just happened, they really didn't have any driving force behind them. I never felt a threat from the antagonists, and things happened too easily and too fast.

There are things mentioned about Violetta - mentioned, but never actually shown to us. We see her in the beginning of the no...more
I know almost nothing at all about Shakespeare. Apart from wading through Macbeth many years ago at school, my experience of the great bard is almost zero (should I have admitted that?). This in no way affected my enjoyment of A Fool’s Girl and in fact, I found it fascinating. I’ve heard of Twelfth Night, but until reading this book, knew nothing about it. Rees bases The Fool’s Girl around the famous play, in that the events that happened in Illyria were real, and Shakespeare is inspired to tel...more
For starters, isn't the cover of this book beautiful? . . . Just beautiful . . . so captivated was I by the picture on the cover, I couldn't resist buying it, even after reading many non-glowing reviews. I really should have taken the advice: "Don't judge a book by its cover," a bit more seriously.

When I first started reading I loved Celia Rees's descriptions--they were vivid, effective, and thorough. Then, as I kept reading I began to grow bored of them. Not because they were any less wonderful...more
A young woman emerges from the sea, a lone survivor from a shipwreck, onto a foreign land. To preserve her virtue she presents herself to the Duke of Illyria as a man. In this disguise many mix-ups and mistaken identities are plotted through before Viola is able to reveal her true self to Orsino, the man she loves. Thus the story of Violetta's parents is portrayed by Shakespeare. But what has Shakespeare to do with Violetta, and what is she doing so far from home in England?

The Fool's Girl is ma...more
Anne Osterlund
Violetta has a story to tell—about the magic of the sea, enchanted relics, and the terror of a city being sacked. A story that just might even grip the greatest storyteller of all. Will Shakespeare.
At least it might if she—and her savior, Feste the clown—play their cards right.

But will their story be gripping enough to keep Violetta alive? With so many people out to kill her?

Celia Rees has a wonderful writing style. Enough drama and danger to get you hooked. Vivid detail. And prose so smooth you...more
Whispering Words...
Ever since I read ‘Pirates’, I have been a big fan of Celia Rees and like all her novels, ‘The Fool’s girl’ did not disappoint. Set in Shakespearean England, the plot is devised from the famous play of Twelfth Night and centres around Violetta, an exiled Duchessa who is on a mission to restore her country to its former glory and claim back her title as ruler of Illyria. Along with her trusted fool Feste she forms a plan to steal back the holy-relic that was plundered from her city, but to pull i...more
Not impressed with this one at all. The writing is really beautiful with excellent description, but that's the only good thing about it. There's far too many characters, and none of them developed properly. I didn't like Feste's or Violetta's stories. I enjoyed Shakespeare's point of view at the start, but got bored of it by the end. The ending was very dull, and drawn out. Overall, it showed promise but didn't amount to much.
Boring, boring, and ten times more boring. The only mildly interesting part was William Shakespeare and it's really hard to mess him up unless you're an absolute fail. There was this huge, *huge* background info dump that went on for chapters and chapters. My mind was smashed into little bits from hardening into a statue of boredom.

No. Not enjoyable at all.
Gorgeously intricate - a tale that transcends time and spirits you across the seas to find the kind of magic that exists in Shakespeare's plays, with a courageous young heroine whose quest to save her homeland is as heartwarming as it is engaging.
Pirates, faeries, witches, danger, love, mystery …Shakespeare! This book covered it all. Although it was interesting as a retelling of Twelfth Night (from different characters’ perspectives), the writing itself was too choppy. Where Rees was trying to be dramatic, the tale sometimes came off as silly –the writing was so disjointed. Rees maintained the flavor of the play although the book is not as humorous.

Although assurances were given that Violetta was strong, and courageous, she seemed to be...more
Oh godddddd this was bad. I mean, maybe it'd be fun if you thought Twelfth Night needed more Feste but less jokes and didn't like ANY OF THE ACTUAL MAIN CHARACTERS. But personally I am not in the market for a joyless darkier and edgier sequel about Viola's daughter where all the characters I like screw things up and die tragically or screw things up and become moustache twirling villains and Feste becomes a perfect angel of insightful genius and NOONE EVER TELLS ANY JOKES. She even managed to ta...more
Since Twelfth Nightis my favorite Shakespeare play, when I learned that Celia Rees had written a kind of sequel, I had to read it. I also loved the fact that Shakespeare was a character who was participating in the plot and being inspired to write Twelfth Night as a result. This is very recursive, but that only makes it more appealing to me. There are also 16th century social issues and an unusual outlaw of the greenwood. I think this is one of my favorite Celia Rees novels.
Jun 11, 2010 Milka rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
One of my favorite free-time activities is to surf on the database of my city's library. From there you can see all the different books they have on the different libraries of this city. The Fool's Girl was among the new books which had arrived to the library. What I love is the fact that you are able to pick the book online and then you can fetch it from the library you want. My mother works at one of the city libraries so it is easy for me to send the books to her workplace and she then brings...more
Maia B.
First, I just have to say that I LOVE Celia Rees's writing style. It's so simple, but it's incredibly evocative. It's wonderful.

On the other hand, I'm not really a fan of her heroines. I loved Sovay. I liked Nancy, from Pirates! okay. But Violetta...well, let's just say she was underwhelming.

She spent most of the book hiding or being rescued. Then when she finally did something assertive, it jarred with the rest of her personality. I can't really imagine her ruling a country - any country, no ma...more
Have you ever wondered how Shakespeare came up with the ideas for his plays? How he acted in life, who he was as a person? Then this is the book for you….

In the beginning we find William Shakespeare or Will - as he is called throughout the book, roaming the streets of London. He comes across an unusual street performance and finds himself intrigued by the performing fool and his companion Violetta. Little does Will know though that their meeting is no coincidence.

Violettta is of no...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
While I do not necessarily agree with all of the decisions Rees made in her composition of this novel, I do think her interpretation was incredibly interesting. Her analysis of the hasty marriages between Viola & Orsino and Olivia & Stephano at the end of the play certainly seems spot on to me. Her use of Malvolio and Sir Andrew Agueface as harsh villains I have more trouble accepting. As I know the play so well, I have trouble picturing Malvolio without cross-gartered with yellow stocki...more
Aug 02, 2011 Lauren rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 12 years and up
This book was okay. The Fool's Girl is well-crafted. Its plot is sound, entertaining, and original (unless you count building off of one of Shakespeare's plays). But it was not inspiring nor adventuresome, funny nor depressing, heartwarming nor serious. It was simply okay.

Upon reflection, I find that my favorite character was not the main character. For me, the main character is a bit of a bore-- there was nothing special about this strong female character. Her story and life were interesting,

It wasn't that bad, towards the end, I suppose. But I never really got out of my boredom - I read it to read it, and that was it.
What I liked? Hmm... author techniques, style, and organization I guess. There was a 3rd person narration, but sometimes it would go into a first person narration, but that was only when that particular character was speaking and telling their tale to another. Those parts were done well. Also, the whole connection of different stories was pretty nice, though I do admi...more
Kirsty (overflowing library)
If you like Shakespeare you will love The Fool's Girl. The book is the story of how Shakespeare got the ideas to write his play Twelfth Night.

The book itself is very typical of what I have come to expect from Celia Rees. It is beautifully written and weaves a full and rich tale about life in the historical period it is set in. There are a series of engaging characters and the story itself flowed wonderfully. I liked seeing Shakespearean London and loved the references to the Clink Jail (which i...more
Candy Wood
Readers who know Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night might be confused by the opening of this novel, which has characters named Violetta and Feste in “London, 22nd April 1601,” telling about their narrow escape from a city being attacked by Venetians and pirates. When Shakespeare also appears as a character and they start telling the story to him, though, it becomes clear that Celia Rees is imagining what might have happened after the events of Shakespeare’s play and simultaneously how the play might ha...more
The Fool's Girl tells the story of the second generation of the Twelfth Night cast. As in, the Shakespeare play. ;) Violetta, Viola's daughter, is an orphan, alone in London with just Feste, the fool from XII Night. She assists Feste in his street performances, hence being 'the fool's girl'. The pair are attempting to interest Will Shakespeare, as they think he is the only person who can help them.
Illyria has fallen to ruin, and Violetta barely escaped. She needs to get back an ancient relic to...more
Als William Shakespeare der jungen Violetta und ihrem Narren Feste das erste Mal begegnet, ist er sogleich fasziniert. Die beiden kommen aus dem fernen Land Illyrien und wurden nach der Eroberung durch die Venezianer aus ihrer Heimat vertrieben.

Augenblicklich erahnt seine Dichterseele, was für ein dramatischer Stoff sich ihm hier bietet. Während Will zum einen immer mehr von der Vergangenheit des Mädchens, und der Begegnung ihrer Mutter Viola mit dem Herzog Orsino erfährt, verstrickt er sich gle...more
In this mixture of Shakespeare's The Twelfth Night, and some of the author's own ideas we go on an adventure with Violetta and Feste. Violetta is the daughter of one the character from The Twelfth Night and Feste is the Fool or a kind of jester. When a Holy Relic is stolen from the country of Illyria, Feste and Violetta are determined to find it and return it to their chaotic country. And on a great journey they are tested and tricked by the most unusual characters.

While I like the premise for t...more
Charlotte Phillips
I'm not really sure what to make of this book. Was it something new and different, yes. Was it refreshing and vibrant, in it's own sort of way. It was just, well it was a book full of mystery plot and drama, that involved characters you would perhaps not expect to delve into such troubles and concerns.I did enjoy the story plot that seemed to froze in a fluid motion that pulled you in to become one and all witht he characters and what was occuring. I suppose though the plot leaves you wondering...more
Sabrina *The REAL Princess*
Just ... no. I tried hard to enjoy this novel but I couldn't. I don't know why, maybe I didn't like the plot or the characters but just something made me put this book down half-way and stare at it. Just staring at it, hoping that when I picked it up again it would magically be better. Unfortunately, that did not happen. I have read Shakespeare before and not to be harsh, but please do not write that it is a novel that will make the Bard proud. Because it would not, at all.

It kinda seemed all o...more
This book reminded me of two things: a baked potato and the Beethoven's moonlight sonata.


This book had so much potential, there were so many things this author could do with there's dozens of things to do with a baked potato. You can deck it out with cheese and butter and sour cream and salt, etc. This book is baked potato: there were lotsa things that could be done with this book, BUT the author decided to do Absolutely nothing to this book. Like with the wri...more
The Fool's Girl is based on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, set after the ending of the play, almost like a 'what happened next'. It's written as if the plot of Twelfth Night was true and Violetta, the daughter of two of the main characters in the play, is in Shakespearean England, telling her tale to the bard himself and hence being inspiration for his writing. It is not essential to be completely knowledgeable of Twelfth Night, I only knew the basic outline before reading this book, as it is reca...more
Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)
I'd not read a book by Celia Rees before The Fool's Girl. I'd heard such good things about her though, so I was excited, and I shall definitely be picking up some of her other books in the near future. I also didn't know much about Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare either, so reading this book was a bit of an education. But an entertaining one.

Despite not having a great interest in historical fiction, I do find myself to be quite fascinated with Shakespeare and the period of time that he live...more
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Celia Rees (born 1949) is an English author of children's literature, including some horror and fantasy books.

She was born in 1949 in Solihull, West Midlands but now lives in Leamington Spa with her husband and teenage daughter. Rees attended University of Warwick and earned a degree in History of Politics. After university, she taught English in Coventry secondary schools for seventeen years, dur...more
More about Celia Rees...
Pirates! Witch Child (Witch Child, #1) Sorceress (Witch Child, #2) Sovay Blood Sinister

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“There are patterns in everything, in the whole of Nature, from the way the stars turn in the heavens to the whorl of a shell or the petals of a flower and the way leaves arrange themselves about a twig. There are forces, hidden forces. If I can discover what they are, how they operate, I will have my hands upon the levers of creation and can work them myself.” 5 likes
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