**spoiler alert** The Undrowned Child by Michelle Lovric is unlike any other book I have previously read. It is a book full of historically interestin**spoiler alert** The Undrowned Child by Michelle Lovric is unlike any other book I have previously read. It is a book full of historically interesting facts about Venice with a fantastical twists but also includes a wide variety of colourful characters, human and not human.
The story is set in 1899 & is told from the viewpoint of the two main characters; Teodora (aka Teo) a girl from Naples & Lorenzo (aka Renzo) a local boy of Venice. My first impression is that the story is very heavy for a child. The book covers everything from death to betrayal to racial discrimination to violent/bloody battle scenes to evil revenge centuries old. It's definitely not a lighthearted fairy tale.
The book begins with tragedy as generations of a single family drown in the Venice lagoon one fog filled night under mysterious-magical circumstances and of the baby whose body was never found...
Fast forward to "present day" and Venice is under threat of destruction. The best scientists from around the world are being sent to Venice in the hope they can figure out way to save the drowning city scientifically. Teo is the bookish daughter of two such scientists and a visit to Venice seems like a dream come true but it all turns into nightmare from the moment a book called The Key to the Secret City falls on her head.
As the lines of an old prophecy begin to come true, Teo, with the help of Renzo, must find a way to save the city from an ancient enemy and travel throughout Venice encountering many strange/wonderful creatures. One of which are mermaids who talk like sailors & have a love of spices. The mermaids were one of my favourites and often gave comedic relief in this dark story.
If you want to read something new and unlike any other story you have read before, give this dark tale a go.
P.S. At the end of the story the author has included facts about the history of Venice and advises where you can find places you have read of in the book. It might surprise you to learn what was actually true......more
The fourth book set in the magical world of Bayern, this story is about Rinna, Razo's younger sister & a true forest girl at heart.
Rinna (aka Rin)The fourth book set in the magical world of Bayern, this story is about Rinna, Razo's younger sister & a true forest girl at heart.
Rinna (aka Rin) is haunted by a selfish act she committed in the past. Petrified of the person she could become Rin has buried a special power she barely understands deep within herself and tries hard to be the perfect daughter. But since that incident Rin has lost her special calming bond with the trees of the forest and feels alienated within her own family. When Razo offers to let Rin to join him in the palace, she jumps at the chance to escape from the Forest.
Welcomed as part of the palace household Rin is initially intrigued by the "Fire Sisters" Dasha, Enna & Isi and finds friendship/acceptance where she least expects it. But when an enemy from Bayern's past threatens her new friends, is Rin strong enough to face the evil that could destroy the people she loves? Can Rin resist temptation of her darker self?
The story itself is not a bad read and is a good adventure/coming into your own story but if you're expecting the same romance you found in the previous books in the series you might be disappointed......more
**spoiler alert** We find our heroine Nimira (Nim) dancing & singing as a "trouser girl" on a dank music hall for a living in New Sweeling. Nim wa**spoiler alert** We find our heroine Nimira (Nim) dancing & singing as a "trouser girl" on a dank music hall for a living in New Sweeling. Nim was once the daughter of a privileged family in the court of Tiansher but after her mother, a favourite in the Royal Court Troupe, died everything changed for the worst and Nimira set sail leaving everything behind to seek her fortune. When she catches the eye of dashing sorcerer Hollin Parry, he offers her an escape from her dreary existence but at what cost?
In return for a home, new clothes & food in her belly Nim must sing in accompaniment to an Automan, a fairy-made clockwork man who plays a pianoforte when wound up with a key...
Sounds easy right? As the story continues you find that the Automan is infamous in the Parry household for being haunted and that previously hired female singers have often not lasted longer than a day or two in its presence. If a haunted Automan wasn't enough, she also has to contend with Miss Rashten, a keeper of dark secrets hidden in the manor that makes her disapproval of Nim very clear and Mr Smollings, the new creepy Ambassador of Magic, who has more than keen interest in the Automan & Parry household. Does Nim have the courage to discover the truth?
Once I picked up and started reading the book I got sucked right in. Lovers of enchantments, fairies & hidden secrets will love this book. You can't help but admire Nim for her determination & courage through the course of the story. The ending left it open to the possibility of a further adventure.