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(Order of Darkness #1)

3.25  ·  Rating details ·  9,446 ratings  ·  1,337 reviews
Italy, 1453. Seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is brilliant, gorgeous—and accused of heresy. Cast out of his religious order for using the new science to question old superstitious beliefs, Luca is recruited into a secret sect: The Order of the Dragon, commissioned by Pope Nicholas V to investigate evil and danger in its many forms, and strange occurrences across Europe, in thi ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 24th 2012 by Simon Pulse
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Average rating 3.25  · 
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 ·  9,446 ratings  ·  1,337 reviews

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Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

This is a mess. I've long since grown out of most of my misguided, uneducated affection for Philippa Gregory novels, but any lingering chances I will read her subsequent novels were firmly ended by this read. From beginning to end, this is a dull, vapid and uninvolving novel. Full of undeveloped, one-dimensional and just plain boring characters, with little to no plot to speak of, there's nothing to recommend about Changeling. It's a sloppy and anachron
Cora Tea Party Princess
Feb 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
Did people have handguns in 1453? Would a teenage monk know what one sounded like?

Unfortunately, I was put off by the very first sentence of this book:
"The hammering on the door shot him into wakefulness like a hand-gun going off in his face."

I'm not convinced. Is this just bad imagery or is it awful research?

Perhaps if someone can show me historical records showing that a 17 year old monk could know what a hand-gun sounded like, then I will read. A hand-gun mind, not one of the musket-style gun
Elizabeth Drake

This and other reviews can be found on Reading Between Classes

Cover Impressions: The cover is pretty, but expected. It makes it appear that Isolde is the main character when, in actuality, the plot follows Luca for a majority of the time. I was glad to see the omission of the "heaving bosoms" that normally accompanies this type of cover

The Gist: Seventeen year old Luca is accused of heresy and thrown out of his religious order for using math to prove that it is impossible for all of the relics f
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
3.5 stars

The year is 1453 and I like me a book that starts off in a dark dungeon of a castle in the middle ages! Blame it on the season or my mood, but I found books 1-3 of The Order of Darkness in a used book store and when I can get books in a set, I somehow think I am the luckiest person on Earth to have found them.

I have not once read a Philippa Gregory book before and from what I understand, this series was her first attempt to write for the YA audience. There are many mixed reviews on it
I am in shock. I bought this book with an open-mind, and I don't mind admitting, a slight sense of (misguided) anticipation for what Philippa Gregory might have to offer a younger audience. What this YA readership got was...utter tripe. This book is just plain terrible. Horrendous. Boring. Just...awful. Here's why.

The novel was an abominable mess.

Let's start with the characters. I didn't care or even like a single one of them. They were either one-dimensional, boring, unlikable, ridiculous, or a
Sep 07, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
Luca Vero is a young monk with a head for numbers and a driving need for knowledge. When squirrely doings are reported in a nunnery, Vero is sent by his superior to determine if it's the Devil at work. When he arrives, he discovers that blame is being pinned on the Abbess Isolde, an aristocratic girl who chose the nun's life over being forced into marriage with a lecher. She's the object of jealousy and suspicion among the other nuns, but Vero is intent on determining things through facts and do ...more
Mar 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Confession: I learned more about the Tudors from Philippa Gregory’s The Boleyn Inheritance than I did from 10th grade global studies and AP Euro in high school. Gregory has this talent for bringing history to life and infusing it with a hefty dose of drama. When the rumor started that she would be writing a YA series, I got super excited especially because Changeling, the first of the Order Of Darkness series takes place in Europe in 1453 and I always brake for medieval times.
Read the rest of my
rachel ☾
2018 TBR Challenge: Book #12

Trigger warnings for attempted sexual assault, death/violence, sexism and mild islamophobia. Mentions of suicide and self-harm.

What a snoozefest. My habit of avoiding blurbs continually comes back to haunt me. I thought that this was a historical fantasy with some sort of shifter magic. It turns out Changeling was more of a historical mystery. While there is no doubt that the idea of the Order of Darkness could have been interesting, it was devastatingly dry. The
Apr 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Having loved Philippa Gregory’s adult works, especially her Tudor Court novels, I have been anticipating her first YA novel for a long time. I was lucky enough to receive a review copy from the publisher, and I dove into it at first opportunity. Changeling exhibits all the traits I have come to love about Gregory’s writing – it vividly evokes the time it is set in, incorporates luscious descriptions of the gowns, castles and countryside and follows quirky and interesting characters with dark bac ...more
Medieval mystery sprinkled with a light romance and an ample amount of intrigue. Changeling is Philippa Gregory’s worthy entry into the Young Adult genre, and I applaud her efforts. Well done!

When Luca Vero is captured and interrogated for heresy, he proves his brilliance and calculated intelligence which ultimately earns him a position with a religious order. The Order of the Dragon is commissioned to investigate questionable occurrences across Europe on behalf of the Pope. At the same time, Is
Mar 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Didn't wow me - but I enjoyed the story. This is the first in a series so there is a 'to be continued' feel about the end. ...more
May 08, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Right so, before I begin, I want to say how much I love Gregory’s novels. In fact I have never had a bad experience, well that is until now.

I am so disappointed!! When I heard the news that Gregory was writing a YA novel series I was over the moon! Finally something different, something fresh. Not that I am at all complaining about any of her other books, but well it’s nice to have something new isn’t it?

I began this with excitement, I read the first page eagerly, then the second and slowly it
Ashley Daviau
Oct 23, 2016 rated it liked it
While I did enjoy this book for the most part, there were some glaringly obvious discrepancies that I just couldn't get past. To the point were they quite affected my enjoyment of this story. The first being in the very first sentence of the book. How on earth would a seventeen year old monk in the year 1453 know what a handgun sounds like? A musket or something like that okay but a handgun? Really? So from the very beginning I was a little hesitant. The second was how juvenile the writing was. ...more
Luca was to be a priest. Then he was suspected of something or other and sent to an inquisitor for questioning. To Luca's surprise, he was to become a member of a secret order that investigates reports of 'dark' occurrences. His first task is to look into an abbey and the abbess, Isolde.

Isolde is the daughter of a rich and well respected Lord. The Lord planned to split his properties and monies between Isolde and her older brother. According to her brother who forbid Isolde to be present at her
Sarah (saz101)
Philippa Gregory's first venture into the Young Adult market was sure to garner attention. And surely enough, here we have Changeling, her first fully speculative novel, and her first aimed at Young Adults. Is it everything one would hope for and expect? Well, that depends on your expectations...

The Story
Seventeen year old Luca has been cast out of his monastary, accused of heresy. Alone in a cell, he awaits what he believes is his death. Instead, he is offered a second chance: use his brilliant
I'll admit it's been quite a while since I read one of Philippa Gregory's adult titles but as soon as I heard about Changeling I knew I wanted to read it. I've been really enjoying historical fiction recently and as I have a love of anything paranormal I couldn't wait to find out more about these nuns who are being accused of witchcraft! Set in 1453 Changeling gives readers a great feel for the era and makes for fascinating reading.

Luca is extremely intelligent and has an aptitude for science (a
joy *the clean-reader extraordinaire*
philippa gregory's uber-popular adult historical fiction offerings are too racy for me, so when i saw this on the "New YA" shelf at my library, i was eager to give it a try.

oh. my. word. this book is really, really bad. truly, ridiculously, laughably horrible. i honestly wonder if this was actually written by ms. gregory, because it seems to be the work of multiple authors...each of whom had different characters in mind. seemingly key plot points are introduced and then abandoned by the wayside
Sarah Mac
A quick, enjoyable book, but nothing earth-shattering.

The premise: Luca is a monk-in-training (who may or may not be a Changeling) that's been recruited by a shadowy Order & set on missions to catalogue The End of Days -- that is, paranormal happenings across Europe. The entourage includes his buddy Freize & straight-laced scribe Brother Peter, & their first assignment is to solve the mystery of terrorized nuns at a local abbey. The abbess is a teenage girl named Isolde, who's been shoveled int
Felicity Terry
I know, I know, I promised myself that I wouldn't begin any books that formed a series BUT this is Philippa Gregory.

Different from most of her novels, for one thing Changeling, the first in the Order Of Darkness series, is aimed at the Young Adult (YA) market, a first for Gregory, and for another it isn't based on any individual(s). And therein may lie the problem as it seems to me this is one author who is at her very best when writing about well-known historical characters.

Hardly off to a goo
Jun 20, 2018 rated it liked it
I actually enjoyed the first half of this book. I didn't even mind the rest of it other than once they left the Abbey, the story began to drag.

I like Frieze and his sense of humor! He's a cute character.

It's certainly a YA book and I imagine if I were 12 again, I probably would've devoured this book and not had any complaints. I find more and more I just don't do so well with most YA books these days.

I did appreciate that this story had no love triangle and I think that's why I enjoyed it as
Jul 31, 2012 rated it it was ok
Philippa Gregory has tried her hand at writing a young adult historical fiction book, only a slight departure from her other historical efforts. This time, though, the characters have nothing to do with either the Tudors or even England. I'm not convinced of the overall success of this enterprise, however.
(Possible spoilers ahead. Read at your own peril. Alternatively, read on to be forewarned.)

Let's start with characters:
Our heroine, Isolde, is introduced in the first chapter, as a young lady w
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
4.5 stars

Changeling is a must read for YA fans who love a well crafted historical read, with a rich setting, in-depth characters, and a romance that leaves you wanting more. Philippa's YA debut is fabulous! She not only brought her 1400's Italian setting to life within the pages of her book, but she creates the perfect character chemistry, adds in the perfect amount of mystery and betrayal as well as creates a surprising paranormal twist that was worked in to the story perfectly, and fit in well
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
I bought this book on ebook when it was released in 2012, and I had very high hopes for it. I had heard good things about Philippa Gregory's adult historical fiction novels, and I hoped she would transition to Young Adult smoothly. Unfortunately she seems to have dramatically reduced the level of her writing, to fit what she thinks is the YA level. This whole novel is written extremely simply, like she thinks we readers wouldn't be able to understand anything too complex, which is very disappoin ...more
Jan 25, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
In the space of an entire full length novel, not much happened. Which is very unfortunate. Especially since I enjoyed several of Gregory's adult historical novels.

Even if the point of this book was to lay the groundwork for future novels (e.g. establishing characters, setting in motion major plot-lines) it has failed miserably. I barely know the characters save for a few inconsequential details. The events, forgetting a few vague clues about what is to come, were utterly inconsequential, if not
Sean Barrs
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
The first half of this book was almost like a Scooby-Doo style investigation. It was entertaining and evoked a sense of whodunit? For a young adult book this wasn’t remotely immature. The second part of the book was a little out of place. I felt like I have read two short stories rather than a novel, the second being the young adult part and the first adult. The result was a plot that seemed disjointed and disconnected. The ending was a laughable ride into the sunset moment. Don’t get me wrong: ...more
Jun 13, 2012 rated it did not like it
I have been meaning to read this for years but alas all Changeling offers is the deadly dull execution of a cool premise. I think what is most striking about this book is how incredibly generic every aspect of it feels. There is not one memorable scene or character or plot twist or turn of phrase. I was forgetting this book as I was reading it it was so uninvolving. I guarantee in a month I won't remember a word of this. What a snooze. ...more
Kate Forsyth
This is Philippa Gregory's first foray in Young Adult Fiction and I thought it was really well done. From the opening scene, I felt s if I was in the hands of a storytelling master. The pace is swift, the characters are believable, sympathetic and sharply drawn, and the historical setting done with a sure, light touch. The book twists together a medieval mystery, romance, and a touch of the supernatural to make a most enjoyable read. ...more
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was different. Not like what I've read before but interesting. I enjoyed the historical side of it and surprisingly the religion. It made me think also that a religion that claims to do good and have compassion and be loving towards one another, but yet their first instinct is to judge or even kill anyone who is different. ...more
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Philippa Gregory is one of the world’s foremost historical novelists. She wrote her first ever novel, Wideacre, when she was completing her PhD in eighteenth-century literature and it sold worldwide, heralding a new era for historical fiction.

Her flair for blending history and imagination developed into a signature style and Philippa went on to write many bestselling novels, including The Other Bo

Other books in the series

Order of Darkness (4 books)
  • Stormbringers (Order of Darkness, #2)
  • Fools' Gold (Order of Darkness, #3)
  • Dark Tracks (Order of Darkness, #4)

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