Tasha's Reviews > The Red Necklace

The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner
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's review
May 28, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: teen
Read in June, 2008

This book had me immediately upon reading the first page. The writing was flowery but intense, filled with images but equally gripping and fast paced. It was the tone of the French Revolution itself.

Set during the French Revolution, this is a tale of Gypsies and aristocracy, vengeace and wealth. Yann Margoza works in a magic show with Topolain, the magician and Tetu, a dwarf who can move objects with his mind. Yann himself can throw his voice and read minds. All of their skills are used when they animate their latest act, a wooden Pierrot. Their act is brought to a bloody end when they are asked to perform for Count Kalliovski and Topolain in killed. In the aftermath of the murder, Yann meets Sido, neglected daughter of a rich marquis. Sido slips closer and closer to the trap Count Kalliovski has laid for her while Yann is sent to England for safety. But he will be unable to leave France behind that easily.

Sally Gardner, author of I, Coriander, returns with an equally stunning book. Her language is incredible, filled with details but still nimble, evocative but not verbose. And the story she tells is not only riveting but unique. One never knows where the story is headed, as it twists and turns in unexpected ways. Her characterizations are flawless, never stereotypical, but always revealing and interesting. Even the villains have great backstory and reasons for being who they are.

This is a glory of a book. Highly recommended and one of the best of the year. Appropriate for ages 13-16. There is plenty of romance but no sexuality in the book, and there is plenty of gore and death as well. What more would you expect from the French Revolution?

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