Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose Series #1)
  • Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose Series #1)
  • Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose Series #1)

Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose Series #1)

4.3 22
by Fiona Paul
     
 

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Love, lust, murder, mayhem and high society converge in one thrilling debut

Cassandra Caravello has everything a girl could desire: elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, invitations to the best parties, and a handsome, wealthy fiancé—yet she longs for something more. Ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of… See more details below

Overview

Love, lust, murder, mayhem and high society converge in one thrilling debut

Cassandra Caravello has everything a girl could desire: elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, invitations to the best parties, and a handsome, wealthy fiancé—yet she longs for something more. Ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.


When Cass stumbles upon the body of a murdered woman—with a bloody X carved across her heart—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of secret societies, courtesans, and killers. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a poor artist with a mischievous grin . . . and a habit of getting into trouble. Will Cassandra find the murderer before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancé or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?


Beauty, romance, and mystery weave together in a novel that’s as seductive and stunning as the city of Venice itself.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This first book in the Secrets of the Eternal Rose trilogy introduces Cass, a wealthy 15-year-old living in Renaissance-era Venice, who chafes at the constraints of her society. After a friend dies, Cass steals away to her tomb, where she discovers the gruesome body of a murdered courtesan and runs into a handsome artist named Falco. Cass’s subsequent actions revolve around Falco as she helps him search for the killer, occasionally posing as a courtesan and putting her life at risk. The Venetian setting is well chosen for its beauty and mystery, and Paul writes some wonderful, lush descriptions in her debut novel. The murder mystery, however, is little more than a device to kindle the relationship between Cass and Falco, forcing her to chose between him and her betrothed, Luca, a university student she hasn’t seen in years. The romantic moments and sentiments tend toward cliché (“She pressed her lips against him, her soul against him, and she felt truly warm for the first time”), making for a steamy but fairly predictable romance. Ages 14–up. Agent: Stephen Barbara, Foundry Literary + Media. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
“Deftly balancing beauty and death, Venom renders the canals of renaissance Venice frightening and irresistible in a sensual tale where no one can be trusted and passions kill.” —Andrea Cremer, New York Times bestselling author of the Nightshade trilogy

“Wonderfully sinister and thrillingly romantic, Venom has it all—secret trysts in graveyards, Venetian canals, murdered courtesans, and masquerades! Fiona Paul created a lush, compelling mystery I couldn’t put down.” —Jessica Spotswood, author of Born Wicked

Andrea Cremer
Andrea Cremer, New York Times bestselling author of the Nightshade series

“Deftly balancing beauty and death, Venom renders the canals of Renaissance Venice frightening and irresistible in a sensual tale where no one can be trusted and passions kill.”

Jessica Spotswood
Jessica Spotswood, author of Born Wicked

“Wonderfully sinister and thrillingly romantic, Venom has it all—secret trysts in graveyards, Venetian canals, murdered courtesans, and masquerades! Fiona Paul created a lush, compelling mystery I couldn’t put down.”

Children's Literature - Toni Jourdan
Cassandra Caravello lives with her Aunt Agnese in quiet San Domenico, a short gondola ride away from Venice, Italy. Her friend Livinia has just passed away. Cass wanders away from the stifling funeral to get some air and is literally run over by a handsome artist named Falco. He's caught her eye, but she's promised to another. Luca de Peraga is her fiance and he's been studying law in France for the past three years. That night she sees a light in the graveyard crypt. Livinia's body is missing and has been replaced by a courtesan who's been murdered and marked with a bloody X across her heart. As Cass escapes from the graveyard she again runs into Falco. He insists that she not alert the town guard, but now they're being watched by the murderer. They become amateur sleuths trying to solve what becomes a series of murders which all seem to tie themselves to the rich French man, Joseph Dubois, or perhaps his physician, Angelo de Gradi, with the lab full of body parts. She is drawn into the seedy side of Venice from the brothels, to the alehouses, to a mysterious masked ball. Cass receives a threatening note alerting her that her time will come. It seems she can't trust those around her and she is struggling to trust her own heart. Has she fallen in love with a murderer? What are her feelings for her fiance? A gorgeously placed Seventeenth Century gothic tale of murder and romance that blooms into a Book One for what will ultimately be a very enjoyable series. In addition, the book is decorated through the inner spine with artistic flourishes and quotes interspersed from The Book of the Eternal Rose which seems to be either excerpts from a doctor's manual or perhaps a serial killer's journal. Reviewer: Toni Jourdan
VOYA - Courtney Krieger
Cass is a fifteen-year-old contessa living in Renaissance Venice. Like most young women her age, her life is one of privilege. Along with privilege, however, comes responsibility which, for Cass, is in the form of an arranged marriage. Despising that her life is planned out for her, it only grows more tragic when she meets Falco—a young, attractive, mischievous artist who makes her feel things that she should not. When Cass stumbles upon the mutilated body of a young courtesan, she discovers a world of darkness within her elite society. As the killer claims another victim, Falco and Cass seek to find the killer before he decides to add Cass to his body count. Paul's debut novel falls into the trap of promising an exciting plot full of twists but failing to develop one. Instead, the focus of the novel is the sexual attraction between Cass and Falco, which makes this novel a commonplace romance with little originality. In addition, so little character development occurs that the reader struggles to connect to, or even like, the main characters. For instance, Cass masquerades as a "strong female" bucking Renaissance social mores, but throughout the novel, all she can think about is having a man to make her feel whole—usually in a physical sense. As a result, even though there are readers who would love this book and sigh as they read the final page, there are many other novels of substance in which librarians and teachers should invest their money. Reviewer: Courtney Krieger
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—As a young noblewoman in Renaissance Venice, Cassandra feels trapped in her confined role, but everything changes when she finds the body of a murdered courtesan in a crypt when she goes to bid a recently deceased friend farewell. An exposition-heavy start gives way to an addictive mystery as Cass sets out to discover the whereabouts of her friend's body and the truth behind the courtesan's death. Debut author Paul constructs a tantalizing web of intrigue, deception, and danger as Cass delves into the darkness behind the city's sumptuous façade, going undercover in a brothel and stumbling onto a storehouse of cadavers. As the stakes grow higher, Cass doesn't know who to trust: the rakish young artist helping her solve the mystery, or her gentlemanly fiancé, both of whom seem suspiciously connected to a series of murders plaguing the city. Romantics will thrill at an alluring love triangle with two equally appealing choices. Characters are well developed; in particular, Cass exhibits a remarkable amount of growth. Initially self-absorbed, she makes mature decisions by the story's conclusion. The conflict in this first volume in a trilogy is satisfyingly resolved, with a few plot threads deliberately left dangling. Each chapter begins with an excerpt from the fictional Book of the Eternal Rose, but that volume never comes into play within the narrative, and only the barest hints are given as to what the Eternal Rose might be. Readers will surely be eager for the sequel to find out.Allison Tran, Mission Viejo Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews
A romantic potboiler set in turn-of-the-17th-century Venice. Readers meet Cassandra at the funeral of one of her best friends. Distraught, she leaves the funeral and bumps into a cocky young artist. That night, Cass goes wandering in the graveyard next to her guardian aunt's villa across the lagoon and discovers that her friend's body has been taken from its tomb and replaced with another's, a murder victim. Readers will not be nearly as astonished as Cass that she meets the artist again next to the tomb. Though she is betrothed to another, she and Falco quickly team up to solve the mystery. Their investigations involve many hugely unlikely excursions into Venice proper: to a charnel house, a brothel and a masked ball, all at night. Fortunately, Cass' aunt is wealthy, so she has gowns aplenty to replace the ones that get ripped, rained upon and otherwise ruined. Though the setting should be evocative, worldbuilding is continually hamstrung by clichéd and clunky American colloquialisms that overwhelm the occasional mild Italian imprecation. Steamy make-out sessions with Falco tempt Cass to adopt his carpe diem attitude--but could he be hiding a sinister secret? Her betrothed returns from France, setting up a love triangle that may prompt readers who make it to the end to pick up subsequent volumes. Those reading the book for the mystery will have given up long before it grinds to its tepid, 400-plus–page conclusion. (Historical mystery. 14 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101591529
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
10/30/2012
Series:
Secrets of the Eternal Rose Series , #1
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
287,882
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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What People are saying about this

Jessica Spotswood
Jessica Spotswood, author of Born Wicked
“Wonderfully sinister and thrillingly romantic, Venom has it all—secret trysts in graveyards, Venetian canals, murdered courtesans, and masquerades! Fiona Paul created a lush, compelling mystery I couldn’t put down.”
Andrea Cremer
Andrea Cremer, New York Times bestselling author of the Nightshade series

“Deftly balancing beauty and death, Venom renders the canals of Renaissance Venice frightening and irresistible in a sensual tale where no one can be trusted and passions kill.”

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