Changeling (Order of Darkness Series #1)

Changeling (Order of Darkness Series #1)

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Changeling 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
ScotsLass More than 1 year ago
As a reader who enjoys historical fiction and Philippa Gregory's novels I was anxious to read her first Fictional young adult novel. Keeping in mind that the target audience for this book is young adults-or teenagers, this book departs from Ms. Gregory's previous books. The characters were not as well developed and the plot not as detailed as in her other works. I didn't feel as involved with the characters and their quests. While I did enjoy reading it, I felt that it was moke like an introduction into the other books. That being said, I still would probably continue reading the series
Suvorov More than 1 year ago
Luca was to be a priest. Then he was suspected of something or other and sent to an inquisitor for questioning. To Luca's surprise, he was to become a member of a secret order that investigates reports of 'dark' occurrences. His first task is to look into an abbey and the abbess, Isolde. ----- Isolde is the daughter of a rich and well respected Lord. The Lord planned to split his properties and monies between Isolde and her older brother. According to her brother who forbid Isolde to be present at her father's deathbed, the Lord changed his mind and ordered Isolde to marry or become the abess. Isolde chose the latter, where she would come face to face with the young new inquisitor, Luca. ----- It is rare that I dislike a book so much I do not even finish it. Unfortunately, after 93 pages, I did not have the will to go on. I have a policy that I read 100 pages before passing this kind of judgment, but I just could not do it. Changeling was that bad. I think Philippa Gregory should fire her copy editor; he is obviously lazy. Gregory's copy editor must have assumed that since Gregory's previous books were so successful, this one would be no different. He was sadly mistaken. ----- The writing is atrocious; it is boring, repetitive and sometimes just plain dumb: ----- "Course I do! Course you are! Course you will!" ----- Really? Gregory was incapable of anything better than that, possibly, "Course I do! You are and you will." Gregory's version sounds and looks like a presidential campaign slogan. ----- And then the dumb just continues: ----- He found he was smiling at her, though he could not see if she was smiling back. "Lady Abbess, you are not an easy woman to interrogate" "Brother Luca, you are not an easy man to refuse," she replied, and she rose from the table without permission and left the room. ----- This was after the Lady Abbess had refused to pull back her hood, told him if he ordered her to get rid of her companion she would disobey his orders and refused to immediately send another nun for questioning. In any other book I would say she was mocking Luca, but it actually sounds like Gregory is setting the scene for a love story and this is actually flirting! The horror! ----- I could over look these portions if they were not representative of the writing as a whole, but depressingly, they are. I do not know what happened here, but Changeling, through page 93 at least, was just awful and I wish I had the time back. ----- 1 out of 5 stars.
Sarah_UK1 More than 1 year ago
(Source: I borrowed a copy of this book.) It is 1453. Isolde's father has just died. She understood that he had left his castle and possessions to her, but now that he has died her brother claims all was left to him. He tells Isolde that she must marry this prince (suposedly selected by her father) and recieve a very small dowery, or become a nun. Isolde thinks on her options, but when the prince comes to her room that night and tries to rape her, she realises her only option is to become a nun. Luca is a changeling who from the age of 11 was brought up by monks. He has a gift for numbers, and has been sent on some kind of quest to investigate the number zero, and negative numberS. I don't mind historical fiction when the story interests me, but this just didn't. I was just bored right from the start. I wasn't really sure where Luca's quest was taking him, and I immediately hated Isolde's brother and the way he was treating her. I have to admit that I only picked this book up because I liked the cover. Don't think I'm going to be able to finish this one though. I know a book is boring when I consider doing the dusting instead of reading. Glad other people enjoyed it, but definitely not for me. 4 out of 10.
Marcie77 More than 1 year ago
My thoughts on the audio: Charlie Cox has appeared on series such as, Downton Abbey and Boardwalk Empire. His acting credits are numerous to say the least. Cox takes on Phillipa Gregory's Changeling with little fault. His voice is very pleasant to listen to. He reads the dialog with expression and great feeling. The only problem I encountered was with the narration. When the characters weren't speaking Cox's voice was very low, and at times almost mumbling. I had to listen very carefully so that I didn't miss anything. If he continues narrating this series, I hope that is something that he will work on. Other than that, this is an enjoyable listen. My thoughts on the story: Changeling is the first book in a new young adult series, Order of Darkness by Phillipa Gregory. Gregory is well known for her historical novels about the Tudors. She once again dives into the past for her latest novel. The story follows Luca Vero who is accused of heresy for questioning the Church. He doesn't take things at face value. However, his questioning gets him recruited by the Pope to join The Order of the Dragon. He is sent out on missions to investigate strange and unusual things as well as to root out evil. You could call him a paranormal investigator of sorts. Luca is sent to investigate a nunnery that has had occurrences of strange events. There his meets Isolde, a lady abbess, who was sent there by her brother after her father passed away. Isolde is being accused of witchcraft, a series charge. Both Luca and Isolde are out to discover the truth. The story line was interesting. Luca is sent out on missions to discover the truth behind the superstitions and fears of medieval times. Luca is very observant and level headed. He doesn't give into histrionics easily, but has an eye for detail. He is thrown off by Isolde. Isolde is not like the women of this time period. She is very strong and intelligent. Luca admires her from the beginning. Isolde's characters is a bit of a mystery. Together with her long time friend and companion, Ishraq, they risk everything to find out the truth and live life on their own terms. Changeling is a good first book to this series. The story kept my attention throughout. Gregory did a fantastic job at exploring how fast superstition and rumors can cause hysterics in medieval times. How one whisper of dark magic could turn a whole town into a raging mass. It was a little predictable at times, but it's definitely worth checking out. I think fans of Phillipa Gregory will enjoy this series. Gregory will reach a younger generation with this new series. I will definitely want to keep up with this series to see what the author has in store for Luca and Isolde.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I usually love Gregory's books, but this book was boring... she started to make it a teen romance/adventure novel, but forced the history and religion so much the three impeded each other. It was like she couldn't decide which genre she was writing in! I couldn't even finish it, and I never stop reading a book if I can help it!
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Alice D. for Readers Favorite Author Philippa Gregory writes excellent historical fiction as she is highly knowledgeable and a great writer as well. Her new series, 'Order of Darkness', represents the author's consummate ability to create fiction that not only tells of history but will engage the reader who might shun historical fiction otherwise. The setting is Italy in the year 1453 and seventeen year-old Luca Vero is expelled from his monastery while being recruited by someone at the highest levels of the Catholic Church to investigate religion and its violation by outside forces. Luca meets up with seventeen year old Isolde, now a Lady Abbbess in a nunnery as she refuses to marry the man her noble family has selected. Nuns in Isolde's convent are having visions and show bleeding wounds. Is this evidence of heresy or could it be the work of Isolde's brother and his mistress? "The Changeling" is the first in Author Philippa Gregory's new series, 'Order of Darkness', and in CD format, it is read and performed perfectly by distinguished actor, Charlie Cox. "The Changeling" itself is a fine work of historical fiction with fascinating characters like Luca and Isolde. Its dialogue is true to the medieval times in which it takes place but is easily understood and will appeal to the listener. The plot line develops well as Isolde's brother's complicity is not immediately apparent. The listening time is not hours long and CD format fans will enjoy listening to this first-rate story as they commute to work or just go about their everyday business.
Anonymous 27 days ago
Drawn into story on first page
WhatsBeyondForks More than 1 year ago
This story had some interesting moments, but it also had quite a bit of down time where not a whole lot really happened. The whole situation in the beginning with Isolde and her brother bothered me. It was obvious what her brother was doing, yet Isolde was completely oblivious. She seems pretty smart for the most part, so it didn't match her character to just blindly believe him. There's an attraction between Isolde and Luca. I think their relationship will be one that progresses pretty slowly, and that's okay. It's a nice change to not have insta love. Ultimately, I'm not sure where the story is going. It didn't seem to have any direction yet. They came across unrelated conflicts, and they were resolved, but there doesn't seem to be one big underlying conflict/theme going on yet. I'm undecided as to if I'll read more in this series. It just didn't grab me like I hoped it would.
abpresley More than 1 year ago
I did not realize that this was a book more for teens/younger, so it is an easier read, but very good. I finished it and am or will try to find the 2nd book to get the next story. Thanks for a god read and book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awkward silence... :/
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the story and I am a grandma! Gregory delivers even for teens!
K_Gibson More than 1 year ago
This series is a fun, eventful series of books to enjoy. You can't help but fall in love with every character.
Frisby More than 1 year ago
A very interesting book, I completely enjoyed it, hope there are more of this story to come, soon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Waits for clans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it. I love all Ms. Gregorys books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You are all my soldiers!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
[::::::::::]:::::::::::::::> Cool sword right?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am glad I read this book. It is the first book I have read by Philippa Gregory, and I understand that it is different than the types of books she normally writes.  The story follows five people, Luca, Brother Peter, Freize, Isolde, and Ishraq on their journeys. Luca and Isolde are both very strong and passionate characters, whom are tested throughout the book. Ishraq is a very strong and mysterious character. Freize is the servant of Luca, but stands up for himself and thinks on his own. The two events which occur are both very captivating, but have predictable endings. About a third of the way into the book, it gets pretty slow, but then picks up again. I also think Freize's character can get annoying at times because he talks too much.  As a whole, the book was quite compelling and I will probably read more books by Philippa Gregory.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very interesting historical story. Loved it. Everyone should read it!!!
Dazzlamb More than 1 year ago
Historical romance is a genre I’ve enjoyed reading for quite a while now. You can imagine my elation when I heard that there would be a YA historical fiction book coming out by Simon & Schuster UK. And as I really enjoyed Philippa Gregory’s YA debut, I regret not knowing about her numerous other historical novels before. The setting of 15th century Italy with its nunnery, various villages and the capital Rome is simply atmospheric. Philippa Gregory’s newest novel is in no way inferior to other adult historical novels. CHANGELING too has the great motives and emotions moving the population of the Middle Ages. About Luca and Isolde. I can tell you that equally large parts of the story, told by an omniscient narrator, are focused on both of their perspectives. We get their different views on current events and see them in action to further investigate in the scary incidents plaguing the nunnery’s peace. I expected so much to happen between them, the story focusing on a romantic relationship between them, but so far only glimpses of their feelings for each other are revealed. Philippa Gregory left Luca and Isolde’s relationship at a point I so badly wanted to continue, to know what would come next. Luca appears like the strong investigator empowered by God. Isolde seems to be a fragile young lady, a victim of her lord’s greed. But when it comes to looking into Luca’s past he can suddenly be more vulnerable. And having retribution and honour as incentive Isolde appears to be the ruler she was born to be. I’m waiting for more revelations about both of their pasts in a sequel. Their companions Freize and Ishraq complement their masters and friends with their abilities to fight and see into the heart of the most frightening creatures out there. There’s a lot of tension between the two of them and their banter and their bluff manners felt amusing and gave the story some spice. To help the reader navigate through the story, one of the first pages of the book contains a drawn map that allows us to follow their journey. Each new chapter of the book, there are only a few since they mostly stretch over many pages, is illustrated artfully with an image of a new location. Chapters are organised in smaller sections by further illustrative dividers. CHANGELING is illustrated by Fred van Deelen and Sally Taylor. Evil conspiracies, crazy nuns, terrifying monsters and new questions for investigator Luca keep the story moving through minor stagnations in story flow, especially through the often dialogue-heavy segments of interrogations. Where other historical novels can reach high page counts between 500 and 1000 pages sometimes, CHANGELING with its 272 pages can be considered a quick bite for connoisseurs of historical romances. A shortcoming resulting from mentioned page count could be seen in less space to develop characters, respectively to put the major events and more relevant incidents in motion. At the same moment CHANGELING can also mean a good start into the historical direction for YA fans that are looking for a new story that can be consumed in bite-sized parts. Of course Philippa’s CHANGELING also shouldn’t go unnoticed by her devoted fans and adult readers. They better bring some patience with them, because the story of Luca and Isolde has just begun. Now it’s Philippa’s turn to continue their journey. I will be awaiting the sequel with much anticipation! THE VERDICT CHANGELING- A historical YA feast that serves its readers with a rich 15th century Italian scenery and prominent characters! Why aren’t there more historical stories that come together with YA and fiction? It’s the pull of the conspiracies and new quests sending our group of young heroes on a journey through the landscape of medieval Italy and the skilful way of Philippa Gregory to weave historical fiction that make CHANGELING so appealing, to various audiences no matter the age.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The plot is fair but it reads like a Teen Fiction book. The chapters are broken up in an odd manner which makes the reader feel as if Gregory was rushing to get another book published. She also attempts to include a sense of SciFi with mythical creatures. While this is entertaining it is too far out of "left field" and the reader,me, is left wondering what entry level book proposal it was that I just read. Once again the overall concept for the book is good, I personally believe that it was not well written nor should it be deemed one of Gregory's better works. She always will be my first pick for Historical Fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful story that I found to be compelling and to keep my interest. I would recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was very interesting and worth the money . Im definetly buying the next one!