'"City of Masks" is a poignant, touching and exciting novel, difficult to put down. This is one of the best time-slip stories that I have read in recent years. Without doubt a masterwork of contemporary children's literature.' - Edgardo Zaghini, Children's Literature Officer/Booktrust. This is a fantastic first novel in a potential trilogy. This ...
'"City of Masks" is a poignant, touching and exciting novel, difficult to put down. This is one of the best time-slip stories that I have read in recent years. Without doubt a masterwork of contemporary children's literature.' - Edgardo Zaghini, Children's Literature Officer/Booktrust. This is a fantastic first novel in a potential trilogy. This is the sequel: "City of Stars". This is quite simply the most romantic, thrilling book of the year. Set in a parallel world, in an Italy that in this world is called Talia and in a Venice that in this world is called Bellezza, the narrative follows Lucien, who in this world is ill with cancer. Given a marbled notebook to help him communicate when his throat hurts too much to speak, this notebook is the means that transports Lucien to this magical, dangerous new world. This is a world which is set in the C16, and thrills to the delight of political intrigue, including assassination attempts both foiled and successful. The parallel Venice is astonishingly evoked, with the silks and velvets, the sensuousness of the food and the elegance of the city and its waterways all beautifully and powerfully described. The world of Talia is unforgettably and convincingly real. Follow Lucien as he finds out that he is in fact a Stravagante - a powerful magician who can travel in space and time - and as he becomes inextricably linked with the lives and fates of the people in Bellezza.
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Publishers Weekly, 2004-10-04 Dying of brain cancer in modern London, a teenager is transported to an Italianate world in his dreams-and to a city that mirrors Renaissance Venice. PW said, "The novel will likely intrigue more sophisticated readers." Ages 10-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2002-09-30 From the British author of the Amazing Grace books comes a novel, the first in a trilogy, about a teen stricken with brain cancer who travels between two worlds. In modern-day London, Lucien Mulholland undergoes chemotherapy treatments, but when he falls asleep clutching a mysterious book his father has given him, he is transported, or "stravagated," to an enchanting 16th-century Venice-like city called Bellezza, in the country Talia. Lucien can return only if he can get hold of the book again. In this colorful other world, rich with court intrigues and magic, he feels vibrantly alive, as opposed to his pain-ridden days back in England; his hair has grown back and he eats with relish. Bellezza is also where, as "Luciano," he meets lovely 15-year-old Arianna and Rodolfo, who created the book that acts as Lucien's "stravagation" talisman. Rodolfo explains that a stravagante is "a wanderer between worlds," and also the history of this magical travel. Now the secret brotherhood dedicated to keeping the two worlds separate is being challenged by a faction with evil intent. Soon "Luciano" is caught up in their power struggle and learns there is a cost when one cannot stravagate properly. The Renaissance backdrop sets an elegant mood for the time-travel toggling. This complex, at times slow-moving and somber story line may disturb some middle-graders (Lucien dies in his English life but lives on in Bellezza) but the novel will likely intrigue more sophisticated readers, especially with its undercurrents of sexual tension. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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