Eileen Souza's Reviews > Changeling

Changeling by Philippa Gregory
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Jul 16, 12

bookshelves: europe, ya, historical-fiction
Read from July 11 to 16, 2012

Having read all of Philippa Gregory's historical fiction, I decided to take a chance on her first YA work when I ran into it at the bookstore. It wasn't bad in any way, but it certainly didn't hold up to her historical fiction novels. She says quite plainly in her acknowledgements that she began this series as an opportunity to truly enjoy fictional characters (most of her characters are based on real people in her other novels) and enjoy the writing process. I enjoyed the reading process enough that I will read future novels in this story, but not with the kind of anticipation that I have for some other YA books.

The first thing that I enjoyed was the innner-cover art - of a map from the 1450's which is upsidedown, compared to how we typically view that part of the world. I probably spent 10 minutes reading it all. Fascinating. I'm a sucker for maps.

The first thing that made me cringe was the reference to a handgun in the first sentence of the novel - which takes place in the 1450's. Now, having done some research on this (nerd alert) there were in fact hand guns, that were like miniature cannons, in Europe as early as 1365AD, so yes it's possible that the characters would know what one sounds like, but it didn't feel like a great first sentence for a book taking place in that time period.

I did enjoy some of the characters in this novel, especially Freize, who could become an all time top 5 character if future books include him. I have one word - reticent. I could fall in love with him the way I love Dusty and Maureen from some of the Kathleen and Michael Gear novels.

If you have enjoyed her other novels, and you're looking for a fairly light read, go for it. If you're expecting the level of historical detail that her other novels provide, you will be disappointed.
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