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The Fool's Girl

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  1,350 ratings  ·  156 reviews
Young and beautiful Violetta may be of royal blood, but her kingdom is in shambles when she arrives in London on a mysterious mission. Her journey has been long and her adventures many, but it is not until she meets the playwright William Shakespeare that she gets to tell the entire story from beginning to end.
Violetta and her comic companion, Feste, have come in search
Hardcover, 297 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens (first published July 20th 2010)
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Average rating 3.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,350 ratings  ·  156 reviews

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Sep 21, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I normally love Celia Rees. However, I just couldn't get into this book. It felt disjointed, I never felt any sympathy towards any of the characters, I never really cared about their situations, and I felt like things just happened, they really didn't have any driving force behind them. I never felt a threat from the antagonists, and things happened too easily and too fast.

There are things mentioned about Violetta - mentioned, but never actually shown to us. We see her in the beginning of the
Gorgeously intricate - a tale that transcends time and spirits you across the seas to find the kind of magic that exists in Shakespeare's plays, with a courageous young heroine whose quest to save her homeland is as heartwarming as it is engaging.
Apr 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Since Twelfth Nightis my favorite Shakespeare play, when I learned that Celia Rees had written a kind of sequel, I had to read it. I also loved the fact that Shakespeare was a character who was participating in the plot and being inspired to write Twelfth Night as a result. This is very recursive, but that only makes it more appealing to me. There are also 16th century social issues and an unusual outlaw of the greenwood. I think this is one of my favorite Celia Rees novels.
Dec 11, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
Boring, boring, and ten times more boring. The only mildly interesting part was William Shakespeare and it's really hard to mess him up unless you're an absolute fail. There was this huge, *huge* background info dump that went on for chapters and chapters. My mind was smashed into little bits from hardening into a statue of boredom.

No. Not enjoyable at all.
Raquel Evans
Jun 15, 2019 marked it as dnf
Shelves: young-adult, england
I stuck it out for a hundred and fifty pages, dabbled in practicing speed reading, tried unsuccessfully to figure out what age range a book is for when it leaves out all graphic details but has many mentions of things like rape, brothels, slit throats, and the like, and finally admitted that I was completely bored by this story. Interesting seeming things were happening, but I didn't care about any of it, and all the character's POVs sounded exactly the same. I'm skeptical about reading any of ...more
Although tedious and slightly scattered, The Fool's Girl is yet another retelling of an old, beloved fairytale.. except this one doesn't trail as far back as Hansel and Grethel or Jack and the Beanstalk - hailing from Elizabethan England, Twelfth Night is comedy, tragedy, drama, and resolution. I found Rees' style frustration - there are characters presented as important who ultimately show know purpose at all (I am thinking of Tod, here), and there is a great deal of talk and travel, what I ...more
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
1.5 stars. I tried not to be harsh, but this just doesn't work for me! I didn't care about the characters at all, and I still don't know what most of them look like, their ages, even their last names!
Mar 22, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Fool's Girl sees us in Elizabethan England. Shakespeare is living in London, working as a player for Burbage in the years before his career really takes off. The Fool's Girl is not a story about Shakepeare but of the life of Violetta and Feste. In this tale the events of Twelfth Night have been reworked. Violetta comes to England in search of Shakespeare's help to restore her country Illyria. She is the daughter of Duke Orsin and Viola - one of two couples who found love in despite many ...more
Feb 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I know almost nothing at all about Shakespeare. Apart from wading through Macbeth many years ago at school, my experience of the great bard is almost zero (should I have admitted that?). This in no way affected my enjoyment of A Fool’s Girl and in fact, I found it fascinating. I’ve heard of Twelfth Night, but until reading this book, knew nothing about it. Rees bases The Fool’s Girl around the famous play, in that the events that happened in Illyria were real, and Shakespeare is inspired to ...more
Jul 28, 2010 rated it it was ok
For starters, isn't the cover of this book beautiful? . . . Just beautiful . . . so captivated was I by the picture on the cover, I couldn't resist buying it, even after reading many non-glowing reviews. I really should have taken the advice: "Don't judge a book by its cover," a bit more seriously.

When I first started reading I loved Celia Rees's descriptions--they were vivid, effective, and thorough. Then, as I kept reading I began to grow bored of them. Not because they were any less
Jul 28, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
A young woman emerges from the sea, a lone survivor from a shipwreck, onto a foreign land. To preserve her virtue she presents herself to the Duke of Illyria as a man. In this disguise many mix-ups and mistaken identities are plotted through before Viola is able to reveal her true self to Orsino, the man she loves. Thus the story of Violetta's parents is portrayed by Shakespeare. But what has Shakespeare to do with Violetta, and what is she doing so far from home in England?

The Fool's Girl is
Anne Osterlund
Jul 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Violetta has a story to tell—about the magic of the sea, enchanted relics, and the terror of a city being sacked. A story that just might even grip the greatest storyteller of all. Will Shakespeare.
At least it might if she—and her savior, Feste the clown—play their cards right.

But will their story be gripping enough to keep Violetta alive? With so many people out to kill her?

Celia Rees has a wonderful writing style. Enough drama and danger to get you hooked. Vivid detail. And prose so smooth you
Sep 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
Not impressed with this one at all. The writing is really beautiful with excellent description, but that's the only good thing about it. There's far too many characters, and none of them developed properly. I didn't like Feste's or Violetta's stories. I enjoyed Shakespeare's point of view at the start, but got bored of it by the end. The ending was very dull, and drawn out. Overall, it showed promise but didn't amount to much.
Jul 03, 2016 rated it did not like it
Couldn't finish this book, it was just too slow!
Jessica McKenna
Oct 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I'm an on again-off again fan of Celia Rees. I've always found her writing to be strong and lyrical, and her characters complex, but in a way that tends to bore me.

This one was engaging, but extremely niche.

I happen to have read Twelfth Night several times, for school and for pleasure, along with the majority of Shakespeare's other works. So it was fairly easy for me to follow the characters and plot.

I really don't think the same could be said for anyone less familiar with the play. It's a very
This strange brew of history, Shakespeare, and fantasy bubbles with rich, vivid prose, but never forms into something compelling of its own. Readers who are familiar with Shakespeare's works will enjoy spotting the myriad ways his plots and characters are woven into the fabric of this story, but the borrowing is so widespread and little-disguised that the novelty wears off long before the first third of the book. The dark grittiness that the book frequently employs, especially when dealing with ...more
Nina {ᴡᴏʀᴅs ᴀɴᴅ ᴡᴀᴛᴇʀ}
In the end I couldn't read this book with love, mostly because it was not as interesting as I'd hoped! The characters are forgettable and the book just makes you want to put it down but well,the idea was good!!
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
This was a very interesting premise but I just couldn't get into it. It seems The Fool's Girl is a book for a specific type of reader and I'm just not it.
Feb 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: left-unfinished

To the thrift store with thee.

I usually like Celia Rees, and Twelfth Night is my favorite of Shakespeare's plays, so I was sure this would be a winner.

I was wrong.
Aug 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: 12 years and up
This book was okay. The Fool's Girl is well-crafted. Its plot is sound, entertaining, and original (unless you count building off of one of Shakespeare's plays). But it was not inspiring nor adventuresome, funny nor depressing, heartwarming nor serious. It was simply okay.

Upon reflection, I find that my favorite character was not the main character. For me, the main character is a bit of a bore-- there was nothing special about this strong female character. Her story and life were interesting,

Jun 07, 2010 rated it liked it
One of my favorite free-time activities is to surf on the database of my city's library. From there you can see all the different books they have on the different libraries of this city. The Fool's Girl was among the new books which had arrived to the library. What I love is the fact that you are able to pick the book online and then you can fetch it from the library you want. My mother works at one of the city libraries so it is easy for me to send the books to her workplace and she then brings ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever wondered how Shakespeare came up with the ideas for his plays? How he acted in life, who he was as a person? Then this is the book for you….

In the beginning we find William Shakespeare or Will - as he is called throughout the book, roaming the streets of London. He comes across an unusual street performance and finds himself intrigued by the performing fool and his companion Violetta. Little does Will know though that their meeting is no coincidence.

Violettta is of
Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)
I'd not read a book by Celia Rees before The Fool's Girl. I'd heard such good things about her though, so I was excited, and I shall definitely be picking up some of her other books in the near future. I also didn't know much about Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare either, so reading this book was a bit of an education. But an entertaining one.

Despite not having a great interest in historical fiction, I do find myself to be quite fascinated with Shakespeare and the period of time that he
SJH (A Dream of Books)
I've only read one Celia Rees book prior to this, Sovay, which I liked but didn't completely love. However, as soon as I read the blurb of 'The Fool's Girl' I just had to pick it up. I'm a massive Shakespeare fan and this book follows on from the ending of 'Twelfth Night'. The whole cast of characters are featured, from Viola and Sebastian to Orsino, Olivia and of course Feste. I don't think it would really matter if you hadn't read the original play or seen it performed, although knowing the ...more
Whispering Words...
Apr 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Ever since I read ‘Pirates’, I have been a big fan of Celia Rees and like all her novels, ‘The Fool’s girl’ did not disappoint. Set in Shakespearean England, the plot is devised from the famous play of Twelfth Night and centres around Violetta, an exiled Duchessa who is on a mission to restore her country to its former glory and claim back her title as ruler of Illyria. Along with her trusted fool Feste she forms a plan to steal back the holy-relic that was plundered from her city, but to pull ...more
Taryn Olivas
Mar 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Fool’s Girl Review

The Fool’s Girl is a story about young Violetta, a duchessa to-be. Her country in shambles, Violetta and Feste the clown go to London in pursuit of the evil Malvolio who has stolen a mysterious holy relic that is her country’s greatest treasure. They must create a plot to capture the relic with the help of famous playwright William Shakespeare. It’s uncertain where the trail is leading until Violetta’s childhood love, Stephano, steps into the story. Who can Violetta and
Charlotte Phillips
Dec 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
I'm not really sure what to make of this book. Was it something new and different, yes. Was it refreshing and vibrant, in it's own sort of way. It was just, well it was a book full of mystery plot and drama, that involved characters you would perhaps not expect to delve into such troubles and concerns.I did enjoy the story plot that seemed to froze in a fluid motion that pulled you in to become one and all witht he characters and what was occuring. I suppose though the plot leaves you wondering ...more
Dec 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shakespeare's Twelfth Night: a comedy of mistaken identities, love circles, and jovial fools. I won't give you the full details of the play; suffice it to say that it ends happily. But what happens after the conclusion to Shakespeare's drama, when the fun and games are replaced by the less amusing actualities of life? Celia Rees' The Fool's Girl seeks to be a continuation of the story, told from the perspective of the next generation of characters as they search through England for Illyria's ...more
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Celia Rees (born 1949) is an English author of children's literature, including some horror and fantasy books.

She was born in 1949 in Solihull, West Midlands but now lives in Leamington Spa with her husband and teenage daughter. Rees attended University of Warwick and earned a degree in History of Politics. After university, she taught English in Coventry secondary schools for seventeen years,
“There are patterns in everything, in the whole of Nature, from the way the stars turn in the heavens to the whorl of a shell or the petals of a flower and the way leaves arrange themselves about a twig. There are forces, hidden forces. If I can discover what they are, how they operate, I will have my hands upon the levers of creation and can work them myself.” 4 likes
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