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(Secrets of the Eternal Rose #3)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  915 ratings  ·  128 reviews
The dark, seductive conclusion to the thrilling Secrets of the Eternal Rose trilogy!

In the final book in the trilogy, Cass and Luca are back in Venice trying to find the Book of the Eternal Rose to clear Luca's name and keep them both out of prison. But the hunters become the hunted when the Order of the Eternal Rose figures out their plan. Filled with twists and turns, da
Hardcover, 326 pages
Published March 20th 2014 by Philomel
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  915 ratings  ·  128 reviews

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Katerina  Kondrenko
10 out of 10

Ревью в моем блоге/This review on my blog Living A Thousand Lives (please use Chrome/Yandex browser or Android/IOS to see the page; otherwise, spoiler-tags I use to make my post compact may not work)

Fous De La Mer feat. Clair Dietrich – All These Years
Birdy - Let Her Go
James Blunt – Goodbye my lover

Genre: historical fantasy, YA, mystery
Stuff: Renaissance Venice, secret society
WOW: twists, the ending... everything?
POV: 3rd-person, female
Love-Geometry: fading medi
Feb 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Venom

Final installment's buddy read with The Grinch (Julia) and Katerina. Reading sessions with you, girls, are always a pleasure.

Warning! This review contains spoilers regarding the ending of the trilogy.

My rating is for the whole trilogy. If I am to rate Starling, I'd give it three stars, but in this case I think it is relevant to include the events of the previous parts and rate them all in one. I'll list below some of my thoughts about what I liked and did not like about the transformation of th

Feb 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-releases
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Starling by Fiona Paul
Book Three of the Secrets of the Eternal Rose series
Publisher: Philomel
Publication Date: March 20, 2014
Rating: 5 stars
Source: ARC sent by the author

Summary (from Goodreads):

To come.

What I Liked:

SPOILER FREE REVIEW! Unless you haven't read Venom. But if you have read both Venom and Belladonna, there are zero spoilers in this review!

Also, I feel like I'm not going to do this book justice with my review.

I don't even know where to
Okay, so here is the thing: I gave this book two stars for the same reason I gave two stars to Siege and Storm. It is a good book, the writing is excellent, the suspense abounds, BUT some parts pissed me off and I didn't like the ending. Yes, I'm a selfish person who rates books not based on the quality of writing and realism of the plot, but rather on the way the story makes me feel, if it ends the way I wanted and if the guy I was rooting for gets the girl. So this rating is deeply personal an ...more
Before I begin I just want to say, that I am disappointed my vote didn't win and this book wasn't called Falco instead, but I think that we can all agree once reading this book that Starling was in actuality the perfect name for this book. And this book, this trilogy is not going to be one I forget for a long time.

Venom set the stage with a bang, a chilling and dark mystery in a very real historical time period. Belladonna got better and continued the mystery with a smart and fast ride that hoo
Paula Stokes
Hi GR :) Author-person here. I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who hung in for all 3 books of the trilogy. I am not a fan of open endings, so rest assured that STARLING resolves both the romance and the mystery, as well as ties up several loose ends.

Working on a project of this magnitude with Paper Lantern Lit has been exciting and educational, but I am super-excited to now be writing solo projects under my real name. My first book, THE ART OF LAINEY (HarperTeen), comes out just a couple o
Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: author-request
Disclaimers include that Fiona gave me her personal copy of this book to borrow to read and review (and it'll be soooo hard to give it back!) and that we are good personal friends. Also, she was kind enough to add me to the acknowledgments for me being a supportive blogger. That said, she'll be the first to tell you that I'm really honest about reviews, and either I'll review it honestly, or not review it at all.

Now on to the good stuff. Starling is the final installment of the Secrets of the Et
Teresa Mary Rose
More Reviews Here: Readers Live A Thousand Lives

Love love love love love love love. That is what I want to say about this book, but since that isn’t really helpful, I’ll expand. Starling was everything I hoped for in the conclusion and so much more. It was another fantastic addition to the series and honestly pulled me in from beginning to end.

Cass is such a wonderful heroine and I love the woman she grew into over the course of the series. The girl we met in Venom is so different from the woman
Sarah (thegirltheycalljones)
Okay. I have to start by saying that - for me - the romance corrupted the plot. I really enjoyed it in book 1 and less and less after that, not only because it's a love triangle and that love triangles makes my eyes bleed. I probably missed a lot on the story itself because of this exhausting and finally irritating back and forth between the two guys.


Did I mention SPOILERS?


And meaningless rant. This is not a review. Just rant.

So, remember what I said in my review of
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Amazing conclusion!!!
It was so easy getting back into this world and story. I love the setting so much, it's so realistic and captivating. I also love how dark these books are! My heart was racing at times and some things were downright scary. The mystery is fantastic and I loved the inclusion of some action scenes. There was never a dull moment in this book.
It was a wonderful journey seeing Cass grow throughout these books. I also love what happened in the romance story line.
However, I c
With all the major conflicts being resolved and the love triangle wrapped up nicely, Starling is quite a solid conclusion to the Secrets of the Eternal Rose series. Although there were perhaps one or two minor flaws, overall, this book was definitely a most satisfying end to a great series.

The pace is just ridiculously fast in this book. There's most definitely no lack of action, and it's really the sort of book you want to get read in one sitting. You're completely hooked, wanting to find out w
Read to 80% Kept meaning to finish but just never did. I LOVED the first book but the next two just didn't hold my attention. I was a huge fan of Falco and he was pushed to the side after the first book. ...more
Dec 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2013
This was my favorite of the series. Loved the action and the kissing and the everything about it. I didn't want it to end, but I loved how it did. ...more
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"When we strike, it must be as rapid as the wind, as silent as stars."

Setting:Venice, Italy; the Renaissance

Coverly Love?:No! I loved the original covers with the girl wearing the mask. These new covers look cheesy.

Plot:After their deadly encounter with the sinister Belladonna, Cassandra and Luca are running for their lives. Targeted as fugitives by the government and hunted by the Order of the Eternal Rose, Cass and Luca must work together to find the book that contains the secrets of the
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, top-reads, 2014-books
This is a series that I have adored from the very beginning, so to say I had high hopes going into Starling would be extremely accurate. However, I don't think I could have asked for a better ending to this trilogy. I really don't. Starling was everything I wanted for Cass and for this story and I am left feeling so satisfied with this final installment.

The plot of Starling was an excellent balance of wrapping up the mystery and exciting storyline that has run through the series as well as bring
Sara (sarabara081)
Nov 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
You can find more of my reviews at Forever 17 Books.

4.5 stars!

Starling is the highly anticipated finale of one of my most beloved series, Secrets of the Eternal Rose. The books have been filled with beautiful and captivating writing, a mystery that kept me on my toes and a cast of characters I fell in love with. I was so anxious to see how it would all end and Fiona Paul did not disappoint! I will keep this review extremely brief as to not spoil anything on the conclusion.

The hunt for answers ab
Nov 17, 2014 rated it liked it
What do have Sherlock Holmes, Iron Man and Harry Potter in common? What do they need to succeed, save the world, catch the villain? Sidekicks. Harry wouldn´t have gotten past the first challenge in the Sorcerer´s stone. Holmes probably would´ve died from his eccentricity and narcissism and I so, so want Jarvis. So bad. He´d make life much easier.
Historical novels have one thing in common: the perfect sidekick. In this case, Cass has a house full of them. I´m talking about the courtesans in Pala
Annia Lennox (DaydreamingThroughBooks)

I basically had to force myself to read this. I really enjoyed Venom, the first book, but after the series went downhill. The romance has been bothering me since book two, but in this book the mystery plot was also weak and Cass started to get annoying.

I’m still completely uninterested in the romance/love triangle. Belladonna clearly showed that Ms. Paul though Luca was end game and then had to take back everything she built in the first book. Honestly, there’s just no chemistry between Luca a
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Love love love!!! Another great ending to a great series.

The twists and turns continue in this book. The choices, actions, betrayals will keep you reading to figure out the ending to this mystery. Cass is still not giving up, she wants answers and to bring down Secrets of the Eternal Rose but she might not have to look too far since they are also looking for Cass. She is scared, confused and a little out of her element, but is going to do that ever it takes to make sure they don't hurt anyone e
Leah (Jane Speare)
Dec 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Well that's it. Starling is just as exciting as the first two, if not more. There was a good-but-not-too-perfect ending that I admired even though everything didn't turn out as awesomesocks as I had hoped. Fiona has a strong voice and I hope she keeps on writing, especially historical stories. ...more
Dec 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Minus one star, because I can't shake off the feeling that the writing was a little off. But otherwise a perfect conclusion to the series. Thank you, Miss Paul, for this awesome journey into Renaissance Italy with Cass, Falco and Luca. ...more
Nicole Wang
Jun 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Oh my fucking God. FIONA PAUL. I CAN'T. ...more
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was ok

At the end of the day, I’m a little confused and annoyed with the final book of The Secrets of the Eternal Rose series. Starting from the very beginning, I HATE the title. No, it’s not the name itself and yes, I liked the nickname Falco gave Cass in book #1. (view spoiler)
Not as good as Belladonna but still kept me awake at night. After all those things that happened in the second book I expected better thought-out story with more epic finale. This felt a little bit rushed but in the end I'm ok with the way it ended so I can't really complain.
Overall I think this is a decent trilogy and it deserves more recognition as it's quite different from what we see in our usual YA. Besides, you know it's good when the setting plays character on it's own. Even if I hated ev
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of historical fiction and mystery/drama
Starling is the exciting conclusion in the Secrets of The Eternal Rose trilogy by Fiona Paul. In this series, we are transported to Renaissance Venice where we follow our young heroine Cassandra (known as Cass) as she tries to understand and fight her feelings for Falco and save her fiancé Luca from the gallows, all the while trying to take down the nefarious Order of The Eternal Rose and those behind it.

WARNING: This is a spoiler free review for those who have read Venom and Belladonna. However
Hannah (The Curiouser & Curiouser)
What the synopsis leaves out is something crucial. What it leaves out can change your decision on whether to pick up this book or not. What it leaves out can be found on the inside of the cover jacket at the very bottom.

  “Who will fly besides her when she finally finds her wings?”

Think bird-girl.

Yes, everyone. This is really there.

What? You say you didn’t realize that finding true love meant growing wings and flying sky-high? Well, aren’t you a silly, naïve little wingless bird!

I died when re
No spoilers for Starling, but proceed with caution if you have not read Venom or Belladonna.

When the last drop of light drained from the sky, Cass and Luca crept out of the shed where they had been hiding.

This installment begins immediately after the end Belladonna. Luca and Cass are still on the run after breaking out of the Doge's prison. Hoping to find the Book of the Eternal Rose and clear Luca's name they begin a search across Venice fraught with danger and betrayal. Will they be able
Jan 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Starling is the third and final installment in the Secrets of the Eternal Rose series by Fiona Paul. These books are a hybrid of mystery, historical fiction, romance and YA. They couldn't be more perfect.
Taking place back during the Italian renaissance, the books follow 17-year-old noblewoman Cassandra Caravello. Cassandra is torn from her sheltered life of grand villas and lavish parties after her friends death when she discoveries the body of a murdered courtesan. And then she meets Falco, w
Oct 28, 2012 rated it did not like it
Oh stupid series, how happy I am you're over.

Things I didn't like:
Siena's sister is upset her sister is dead. Rather than just tell her Siena gave her life to save the man she loved, Cass says she doesn't want to say because she doesn't want to speak ill of the dead. How exactly is that speaking ill of the dead? She loved Luca. She never, ever acted on that love. She sacrificed her life to save his. She's a hero. Ill of the dead. Shesh.

Cass finds out Christian had been sending pages of her diar
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Fiona Paul is a pseudonym for author Paula Stokes


Please contact me via email or twitter.

If you're looking for a review copy of BELLADONNA, please contact Penguin's marketing department directly at Thanks and happy reading! :)


Other books in the series

Secrets of the Eternal Rose (3 books)
  • Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #1)
  • Belladonna (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #2)

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