Changeling – Philippa Gregory
Initially, I was not sure about this book. I love Gregory for her straightforward, yet, well told historical fiction, geared toward an adult crowd. While I’m not opposed to writers jumping into other genres, the idea of one of her books marketed as a YA Fantasy novel just struck me as too much too soon. Witchcraft and werewolves and inquisitions, hardly sit well on my mental categories shelving in my head.
Still, I haven’t read a book of hers that I didn’t like, to date, so I grabbed it and gave it a whirl.
It turns out that the magic and mystery are more to do with the medieval European fear of all things unChristian than they are to do with the likes to faeries and magic wands. I also realized that while we think of the Tudors et al, being “adults” most of them were children and teens when they rose to power so this is no more “YA”, really, than simply more of the same.
It is well-written, as her work always is and the characters were relatable if not always likable (I found Luca, the main inquisitor quite stiff, though, again, he had his reasons). The already pretty short book is split between two different mysterious adventures and could be sold as two short stories instead of one whole one. It works, though and as this is the first in what I believe is a trilogy, there will probably be a similar set up un the subsequent books. Of course, my favorite part of Gregory’s work is always the well drawn female characters and this one hardly proved to disappoint.
There is a lot of mystery to unravel between the pages, here, so I can’t say much about the actual plot. I will say, though, that this is a story for all ages and should not simply be left to teen readers.