This is the final and concluding part of the Perfect fire trilogy by K.M. Grant. It's one of my favourite historical fiction series that I've come acrThis is the final and concluding part of the Perfect fire trilogy by K.M. Grant. It's one of my favourite historical fiction series that I've come across in the last couple of years. It's a winning combinaton of amazing characters that you really do care about; an exciting and fast-paced story which blends together romance, adventure and excitement and a stunning historical backdrop. I'm really sad that the adventure is over because these books have provided me with so much enjoyment.
'Paradise Red' picks up the story from 'Blue Flame' and 'White Heat'. Raimon is still desperate to retrieve the blue flame from the White Wolf and save the Occitan while Yolanda is torn between her husband and her love for Raimon. The romance between Yolanda and Raimon is one of the central elements of the series. I love the fact that whatever they are faced with and however much it looks impossible for them to be together, they always have complete trust and faith in each other and they never give up hope. They've grown up together and their love has grown with them and matured from that between childhood sweethearts to adults who know that they belong together.
The other significant relationship is between Yolanda and her dog Brees! He's adorable and such a faithful companion that he provides her with the strength to go on when she needs it most.
Their story is framed by an intricately detailed historical backdrop, with an ongoing war between the Catholics and the Cathars. Religious hatred and intolerance are key themes throughout the book which highlights the destruction that these can cause.
This is an absolutely superb and fitting conclusion to an oustanding series by an amazing author. I even had tears in my eyes at the end! ...more
As well as loving young adult fiction, I also read a lot of literary classics, particularly 19th century fiction and ‘The Great Gatsby’ is one of my fAs well as loving young adult fiction, I also read a lot of literary classics, particularly 19th century fiction and ‘The Great Gatsby’ is one of my favourites. Although it’s set a few years before this book, when I heard about ‘Bright Young Things’ and the fact that it takes place in 1929, I immediately thought of Jay, Gatsby and Daisy – the roaring twenties, prohibition and the glittering lights of New York City.
I haven’t actually read Anna Godbersen’s Luxe series yet (although I really want to) but I know that they have absolutely amazing covers and ‘Bright Young Things’ joins them in being really eye-catching and stylish. I’m a sucker for a pretty book and I think I would almost have picked this up on the cover alone. It also meant that I was coming to Godbersen’s writing fresh. I love her use of description that perfectly conjures up the sights and sounds of the big city and transports you back to a moment in time during a different era.
The story centres around three girls – Letty Larkspur, Cordelia Grey and Astrid Donal. Alternating chapters tell of their adventures in the big city. The contrasting viewpoints of the three very different characters meant that the narrative remained interesting and varied. The girls set out with individual agendas. Letty Larkspur has arrived in New York to make her name and become famous. She has a beautiful singing voice but she’s naive and inexperienced in the ways of the world and easily taken advantage of. She believes that everything is going to fall into her lap but she suffers a serious of setbacks which shake her faith in the world. Although she can be rather shy and self-conscious, I admired her bravery in leaving her family behind and striking out on her own.
She comes to New York with her best friend Cordelia, although the two part ways almost immediately on arrival. I thought it was a little strange that the two girls who were so obviously close would have parted company so quickly over a small falling out but then I guess in a lot of ways they want different things and although Letty initially feels like she needs the braver Cordelia, Cordelia is strong enough to survive on her own.
Cordelia’s come to New York to find her father and this particular storyline is concluded quite quickly. It might have been more interesting if she’d maybe stumbled across the wrong man and we’d seen the consequences of this. Cordelia, although she has various faults, was my favourite character and I enjoyed reading the chapters about her the best. She’s sometimes selfish but she’s also seeking her independence and freedom and learning to survive on her own two feet. Astrid Donal is a contrasting character to the other two girls. She lives with wealth and decadence all around her and wants for nothing. This however, doesn’t necessarily make her happy. I suspect that there’s a lot more to be revealed about Astrid later in the series and I get the impression that she may be hiding a very dark secret.
I liked the fact that the book was set in 1929 because it meant that we could see the girls branching out on their own in a period when America was prospering. Obviously in late 1929, the Wall Street Crash was a significant event for many Americans, so it will be interesting to see if this is incorporated into the next book in the series, Beautiful Days which is published in September 2011. I can't wait.
‘Bright Young Things’ was a real treat to read and I’m so glad that it’s only the first in the series because I want to learn more about all the girls and follow them on their journeys. ...more