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Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #1)
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Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose #1)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  3,706 ratings  ·  577 reviews
Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancé, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.

When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—pra
Hardcover, 435 pages
Published October 30th 2012 by Philomel
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Grave Mercy by Robin LaFeversScarlet by A.C. GaughenCode Name Verity by Elizabeth WeinClockwork Prince by Cassandra ClareBorn Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
YA Historical Fiction 2012
10th out of 120 books — 680 voters
Incarnate by Jodi MeadowsDaughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini TaylorVenom by Fiona PaulTranscend by Christine FonsecaMasquerade by Melissa de la Cruz
Gorgeous Mask on the Cover
3rd out of 32 books — 160 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Katie Stout
I had really high hopes for this book; it sounded INCREDIBLE! So when I opened up the front cover of the ARC and saw a letter from the editor talking about how much she loved this MS when she received it, etc. etc., I was really excited. I was thinking, "This is going to be my favorite historical read of the year!" Unfortunately, it wasn't as good as I was expecting; even still, it was readable, and I think a lot of other people will enjoy it.

For me, my main complaint lie in the fact that there
Monica :)
All the way onto October? Really!? *sigh* I guess I'll have to wait . . .

Oh my God. That cover is absolutely gorgeous. Now, I don't know about you but I would buy this book just for the cover itself!

After reading:
*stares at last page*
*closes book slowly*
*throws book across room*
WHAT WAS THAT!? So many questions.
He did ..but she ..and her ..
*has meltdown*

Proper review
To see the review in its full awesomeness ...

"Beauty, love, romance, and
Why do I feel like I've just read the Twilight of young adult historical fiction? I am not kidding, the only thing Fiona Paul manages to do right is adapt every single conceivable cliche from every second rate paranormal romance I've ever been suckered into reading into this thing nominally set in medieval Venice. If you're looking for an independent minded but ultimately hapless heroine, a ridiculous love at first sight love interest, shallow, predictable drama between the two, and a plot that ...more
Venom invites you to a rich world of mystery and intrigue set in Renaissance Venice. It offers secret rendezvous in graveyards, masked balls and errant lovers mixed with absent fiancés. With a premise like that, I could not help but be interested in the novel. The cover, too, is beautiful and alluring.

So what went wrong?

Many things, I’m afraid. This will take a while so bear with me. I went to this author event recently where Kenneth Oppel presided as the main author in attendance. He spoke abou
Is it possible for a book to be underwhelming and horrifying at the same time?

Like many others, I was seriously anticipating Venom. YA murder mystery set in Venice during the Renaissance? How could that not be awesome?

I guess maybe if the main character is a privileged rich girl with a loving family whose biggest problem is that her life is too boring (and she complains about it. All. The. Time). And if her love interest, Falco, is every girl's fantasy: you know, the kind of guy who dresses her
I must admit it took me a little while to get into this book. It is told in third person which made it difficult for me to connect with Cass at first. Also the first scene is a funeral so it was sad and slow. But have no fear because soon enough I met Falco and I was hooked! Cass just lost a close friend and at night she likes to walk around the graveyard. Weird, yes, but it is her way to have a little freedom and alone time, plus it's located right behind her house. She visits her friend's cryp ...more
I was honestly super excited for this book thanks to the Renaissance Venice setting. I mean, masquerades! Courtesans! Crazy maze like canals and streets and just--Venice was a happenin' place back then and now, let me tell you. But even with a mundane plot, with a mundane, over used romantic trope(I CAN'T TELL YOU BC I NEED TO PROTECT U), love interest--everything--I still would have let it get off with 2.5 stars, even a three. The prose is nice. THe plot, oversimple maybe, but sustainable. The ...more
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
Venom is one of those books that stay with you long after you read it. I want to thank Around The World ARC Tours for allowing me to be a part of this tour because it was truly one of the BEST books I have read so far this year. October is going to be the month of EPIC book releases and this is going to be one of them.

Cass lives in Venice with her aunt. Her aunt has secured her a husband and Cass is waiting for him to come home from school to be with her. He is not someone she has picked to be
Mrs. S
Awww, YA boys. I never fall for the one I'm supposed to. In Venom, Fiona Paul has created a great example of the kind of artsy, edgy "bad boy" that I just know the entire internets will soon be swooning over. Falco is great, and I'm definitely intrigued by him. But you'll be reading all about him in a million reviews soon enough. I want to talk about Luca.

From the minute I learned that our heroine, Cass, was betrothed to a guy she had known in childhood but who she dismissed as "boring", I knew

“Four Stars: A historical murder mystery that takes you to Renaissance Venice.

Cass stands in the church enduring the never-ending funeral for her deceased friend, Livia. At last the funeral draws to a close and Cass seeks some fresh air. Lost in a fog, she is unaware of her surroundings as she stands on the plaza near the canal. A boisterous young man accidentally shoves against her, knocking Cass to the ground. For a moment, she is lost in the depths of his blue eyes. Quickly he pulls her up an
Khanh (Clowns, Nightmares, and Bunnies)
The premise is a lot more successful than the execution. The blurb drew me in, but I guess I had different expectations for the book. I feel like the actions of the heroine was way too uncharacteristic for someone of her age and class. I did not like the love interest at all, Falco is an arrogant asshole, and I couldn't see what Cass saw in him besides for the initial bad boy attraction. DNF.
Giselle at BO-OK NERD Canada
Cass is an orphan, engaged to a boy she barely knows, she must marry him for her future. Yet her freedom is within her grasp and she wants out of the restraints. When she meets a new boy named Falco, and their chemistry seems to ignite at their first encounter, she realizes there’s more to the mysterious and attractive boy than he seems.

I was so excited when razOrbill sent out this invitation for the blog tour. I signed up as soon as I could. The ARC arrived so quickly, and I thought I had loads
Annabelle Marie Veronica
*****FINAL RATING: 4.60 STARS*****

I don't read a lot of historical fiction. And usually, when I do, it has magic thrown in at one point or another. As a general rule, historical fiction is not my favorite. Yet somehow, Venom defied all those odds and found its way into my heart. I just…I can't even. This book totally resonated with my and made my heart pound. It was wild and crazy and insane and fun, and I loved every single second of it. It amazed me and it thrilled me. In other words,
If you're inclined to romance books, you'll love this book. I am not one of those people, so I spent the most of the book being annoyed by Cassandra. I was constantly yelling at her in my head: Don't trust him! Don't go into the dark room! Don't go into the dark room with the guy I told you not to trust! I enjoyed the murder mystery aspect, but the high-society girl playing detective has been used far too many times. Also, before every chapter was a quote from "The Book of The Eternal Rose"; whi ...more
Yorumun orijinali Kitap Hayvanı'nın Günlüğü 'nde.

Tamam, itiraf ediyorum; ilk başta bu kitabı fantastik sanmıştım. Bu yüzden kitabın son 100 sayfasına kadar oradan buradan bir hayalet çıksın ya da biri paranormal bir şey yapsın diye bekledim. (Hep senin yüzünden Goodreads!) Neyse ki bu beklentim kitabı gölgelemeye yetmedi. Karanlık Sular, son sayfasına kadar kendini okutmayı başarabildi.

Karanlık Sular, Rönesans döneminde, dünyanın en çekici şehirlerinden Venedik'te geçiyor. Baş karakterimiz Cassa
Check out more of my reviews at ***Singing and Reading in the Rain***!

Wow! I was not expecting that at all! Fiona Paul has outdone herself in Venom. From the gripping intrigues to the danger-ridden canals of Venice, Venom will grab you and yank your stays tight.

Venom opens with an introduction to Cass, our leading protagonist. We're introduced to this high society that Cass lives in, similar to that of a caste system that they did have in the Renaissance era. While Cass had that prim and proper
This was an ARC I picked up, so I will try to keep this review honest while avoiding spoilers as much as possible.

This book disappointed me, which is a shame because I love Italy and the author did a good job of setting up atmosphere. The actual mystery was the only thing keeping me reading because I was tiring of the romance. There were so many "don't do it" moments, and Cass herself keeps telling herself she shouldn't be doing something. Yet she does it anyway. That got to be very frustrating
Melissa Cushing
So I am giving this one 5 stars!!! Loved it!!! It was a great story! I loved Cass and Falco, and even felt for Luca as well, later in the book. :) I will not give a blurb or description of the book because you can get that on Goodreads and/or Amazon. Overall I loved the story and the descriptiveness of the characters, the beautifully described clothes that the ladies wore throughout. It was a period piece, with wonderful descriptions of Venice, the opulence, wealth, and excess of Venice and the ...more
Apr 05, 2012 Faith marked it as to-read
OCTOBER??? REALLY? I might die by then of extreme impatience! Seriously, I'm not kidding. I just read the review and I am already banging my head against the desk my computer is on. I have to wait until OCTOBER! I am already waiting for two other books to come out and now this one! Kill me now!
This looks like SO much fun! I can't wait to get my hands on this little gem.
Venom was a lovely surprise. I picked it up because I needed something other than a dystopia, and I was very pleased with it from page one to the end. Wonderfully sensuous, mysterious, and thrilling, Venom is a great start to a new YA historical series.

Venom is the story of Cassandra Caravello. She is a wealthy daughter of Venice, long betrothed to her childhood friend Luca, and bored with her life. One night after her friend's funeral she is wandering in the cemetery next to her Aunt's villa an
Read more of my reviews at Dazzling Reads

3.5 stars

I have never read a book set in Venice before and I am glad Miss Fiona Paul's debut novel Venom is the one to show me this marvelous place, which in addition comes with the great bonus of an intriguing, and even creepy plot.

The book's setting is breathtaking and I wasn't expecting any less of Renascence Venice! I feel that the author did a great job illustrating the city's imagery and building up the atmosphere of the 17th century. Even though
Talk Supe
I don't think it's fair for me to rate this because I ended up not finishing this book. First off let me say that the cover is truly pretty and even the pages and chapter dividers are very beautiful, it has lace filigrees & prophetical quotes from the Secrets of Eternal Rose.

Unfortunately I stamped a big red DNF to this book.

Nothing about this really worked for me. When I see "Renaissance Italy" I think overindulgent clergy, promiscuous Contessas, tyrannical Princes and genius artists. His
Venom by Fiona Paul is an amazing young adult novel that has just about everything you could want in a YA book! I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy this book mostly because I have always had a weakness for fantasy books, but this book reminded me that the real (as real as fiction can get) world is magical too. Fiona Paul did a great job setting up this story. Placing this story in Venice was brilliant and totally fits this story! I fell in love with the characters and I most certainly was not expecti ...more
Originally Reviewed on The Book Smugglers

Cassandra Caravello is a teenager in Renaissance Venice - orphaned at a young age, Cass lives with her elderly Aunt on her grand estate, and has a promising future. Betrothed to a rich young noble, spending her days planning weddings, picking out dresses and jewelry, Cassandra's future seems immutable - she will soon be married, and continue with her gilded, quiet life. But all that changes when one of her best friends dies, fallen victim to illness. When
Whitney (Vivid Reads)
"How terrible it must be to be a member of the noble class. So many rules. Such restraint. You must feel like a caged bird, battering its wings against the sides of its golden prison."

I had a feeling I would really love this book, but then again I was a little doubtful because it was Historical fiction. However within forty pages I got use to the Historical elements and was really getting
into it. Then by eighty pages I couldn't stop reading Venom.

Fiona Paul's writing is gorgeous. At the beginn
Sep 06, 2012 Courtney rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone sick of Bellarific protagonists
This review is from my blog, Studies in Storytelling. To view the complete version, please visit http://studiesinstorytelling.blogspot... .

What I Learned About Storytelling Reading Venom by Fiona Paul

I'm forcing myself to write this review despite the impulse to look up anything else Fiona Paul has written. I wasn't planning to read Venom until October, but I took a peek at the first page and then I couldn't stop.

Cass's childhood friend has passed away. Grieving and restless, she visits her frie
Much as I really wanted to love this book, I didn't. But the problems I had with it are, I think, simply a matter of preference and not to do with the writing or the storytelling itself, so I can fully understand why so many others adore this book.

First, the things I liked. The setting was gorgeous. Fiona Paul painted a beautiful picture of Venice that transported me to a city of artists and canals and gondoliers and crumbling old mansions. The city itself seemed to be a character in the story,
This book is just flat-out great!! From the love story to the mysteries, it kept me engrossed the entire time. The setting is absolutely fabulous. The descriptions of Venice are so beautiful and lovely.

Overall I enjoyed Cass's character and I really liked the development of the relationships she had with people such as her aunt and Falco.

I loved Falco because he was just enough bad boy! The love story between them progressed very nicely and it definitely avoided the whole insta-love thing.

Mar 14, 2012 Becca marked it as to-read
..."access to the best balls"...


But seriously. Looks really good.
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Fiona Paul is a pseudonym for author Paula Stokes


Please contact me via email or twitter.

If you're looking for a review copy of BELLADONNA, please contact Penguin's marketing department directly at Thanks and happy reading! :)

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Other Books in the Series

Secrets of the Eternal Rose (3 books)
  • Belladonna (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #2)
  • Starling (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #3)
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“How terrible it must be to be a member of the noble class. So many rules. Such restraint. You must feel like a caged bird, battering its wings against the sides of its golden prison.” 50 likes
“You should be more careful, you know."
"Careful?" she managed to croak. "You're the one who knocked me over."
"I couldn't resist," he said, and he actually had the nerve to wink at her. "It's not often I get the chance to put my hands on such a beautiful woman.”
More quotes…