Having just recently read book one of this series, The Lens and the Looker, I was ready to jump right into this book. Again, Hansum and the other teens had me right there in Verona with them. In the first book we came to Verona, 14th century-style, and jumped into peasant life. We met the lens maker who became their master. Then their only way home was removed when their History Camp Counselor was found dead. Hansum secured their family’s future with the “creation” of the telescope.
Book two begins with Master Della Cappa and his family of apprentices at the height of their success. Hansum, however, is just beginning his climb up the social ladder as the Podesta della Scalla takes him into his household “for his own protection.”
Determined to get the Podesta’s permission to marry the lovely Guiliette, Hansum sets out to make himself indisposable to his leader. Things escalate quickly out of everyone’s control as the story progresses.
I enjoyed getting to know my characters better in this book as they came into their stride, accepting more responsibility and working together. I also enjoyed getting to see the refinement of black powder making. The ever amusing Pan was insightful, comical, and full of information. I have to admit, I cried as I read the book. I am far too attached to certain characters and I felt for them as they faced the reality of war, death, betrayal, and the rest of the ugly side of life.
I have truly enjoyed this book and recommend the series to young adult readers, whether they are sci-fi, futuristic, historical or romantic buffs. You will find something in this series to enjoy. I look forward to the third book anxiously.