Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the internationally bestselling novel The Other Boleyn Girl. Her Cousin's War novels, reaching their dramatic conclusion with The King's Curse, were the basis for the highly successful BBC series, The White Queen. Philippa's other great interest is the charity that she founded over twenty years ago: Gardens for the Gambia. She has raised funds and paid for over 200 wells in the primary schools of this poor African country. Philippa is a former student of Sussex University and a PhD and Alumna of the Year 2009 of Edinburgh University. In 2016, she was presented with the Outstanding Contribution to Historical Fiction Award by the Historical Writers' Association. Her love for history and commitment to historical accuracy are the hallmarks of her writing. Philippa lives with her family on a small farm in Yorkshire and welcomes visitors to her site www.PhilippaGregory.com
After being accused of heresy and booted from his religious sect for questioning the authenticity of a religious artifact, 17-year-old Luca De Vere is recruited by the Order of the Dragon, a unit commissioned by Pope Nicholas V to investigate supernatural occurrences across Europe. In another part of the country, 17-year-old Isolde is banished to a nunnery to prevent her from claiming her inheritance. But after Isolde arrives, the nuns begin walking in their sleep, have visions, and suffer from open wounds. Luca is sent to investigate and soon romance blooms between the two young people. Narrator Charlie Cox does an excellent job performing Isolde and Luca, as well as all the rich supporting cast-the narrator seems to almost relish playing the book's smarmy characters. Additionally, Cox is adept at creating a sense of lingering dread and dramatic urgency. However, he is most impressive when he voices the two protagonists, so thoroughly capturing the essence of angry and fragile Isolde that listeners may forget that Cox is a male performer. Ages 14-up. A Simon Pulse hardcover. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Gr 7-9-The first title (Simon Pulse, 2012) in a projected series by Gregory is set in Europe in 1453. Luca Vera, 17, is expelled from his monastery and accused of heresy for studying the sciences while serving the church. Isolde is being kept in a nunnery so she won't inherit her father's estate. The two meet when Luca, who has been inducted into a secret sect called The Order of the Dragon, is sent to investigate the charges of witchcraft that have been leveled against Isolde. They fall in love and Lucas helps her escape. The pair, along with their trusty companions Freize and Ishraq, battle medieval horrors as they look for the secrets of The Order of the Dragon. Along the way, they meet werewolves, alchemists, witches, and more. The plot is banal, but Charlie Cox's narration is magical and his delivery of the action sequences is flawless. He's best when voicing Freize, Luca's the cocky and humorous servant, but he also does a superb job with the female voices. A supplementary purchase for fantasy aficionados and fans of Gregory's previous novels.- Pamela Schembri, Newburgh Enlarged City Schools, NY (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.