【 STORMBRINGERS 】
Book 2 in The Order of Darkness series
This series continues to be a blast, enthralling me with every page.
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Author: Philippa Gregory
Published: January 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 288 (paperback)
This review may contain spoilers for book one!! Oh my golly gosh goodness I love this world. Gregory summons beautifully realistic characters and then puts them in a jar and shakes it to see how they all get along. Adventures, arguments and inquisitions are to be found in these pages.
There is a real sense of adventure in this series that leaves me with an insatiable thirst to read more. Set in 15 century Italy, it follows a lady and her Arab maid – who’s identity as an Arab is always prodded, is she Muslim? Moor? Heretic? – and an inquisition made of three manboys.
Having banded together in book one, they now find themselves in a coastal town and encountering a boy who claims God has spoken to him.
This boy, Johann, is leading a massive pilgrimage of children to the Holy Land. And right around this time the Ottomans have taken Constantinople.
Then of course, because that’s not enough excitement, we also have mysterious and dark lordlings threatening all sorts of things and luring the Christians to the ‘dark side’, as it were.
Aside from the fun of the adventures in this tale, it’s also packed full of bigger issues. Things such as differences in religion, with Ishraq constantly throwing spanners in gears and upsetting Brother Peter by challenging his prejudices.
‘For the enemy is not another person who believes in a god, the enemy is ignorance and people who believe in nothing and care for nothing.’
It is also things such as a woman’s place in the world. Featuring Isolde and Ishraq butting heads as they try to work out what’s right and wrong, what they want versus what they should do, and what it all means.
‘If any woman steps outside the common way then she will find trouble,’ she said simply. ‘It does follow us. We have to fight it.’
Not to mention talk of love and friendships and the ties that are strongest. I love how friendship is shown through different combinations of this group – it’s impossible to not relate with at least one grouping.
‘We never tell people that we love them for we think, like fools, that they are going to live forever. We all act as if we are going to live forever, but we should act as if we would die tomorrow, and tell each other the best things.’
I’d also like to say that this was DEEPLY UPSETTING and damn you Gregory for doing what you did. You know what I’m talking about. That was mean. But truly, this book is wonderful for rubbing you up nice and close with old-timey, yet harrowingly relatable prejudices with small comments that you just know Gregory is putting in to poke at your sensibilities.
So much love for this series, I cannot wait to read the next instalment and find out what trouble this cavalcade of misfits gets into next.
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Have you read Stormbringers?