Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Sonderbooks Stand-out 2005
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*****= An all-time favorite
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****City of Flowers

Stravaganza, Book Three

by Mary Hoffman

Reviewed January 2, 2006.
Bloomsbury, New York, 2005.  489 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (J MCN F HOF).
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2005 (#8, Young Adult Fantasy Fiction)

Here’s the third installment in the Stravaganza series, and it’s as absorbing and interesting as the first two.  It would be best to read these in order, since they do build on one another.

All of the Stravaganza books involve travelers between twenty-first century England and an alternate reality Italy of the Renaissance.  This book brings a new character, 17-year-old Sky, to Giglia, which corresponds to Florence in our world.

In this book, preparations are being made for a grand wedding of four di Chimici couples—a powerful family like the Medici in our history.  There are plots within plots.  The Nucci family is feuding with the di Chimici, and the head of the di Chimici wants to take over all of Talia, taking Bellezza by marrying the Duchessa.

Mary Hoffman gets us interested in the characters and the intrigue and going back and forth between worlds.  All of the characters from the previous books are back, trying to keep violence from happening at the wedding.

This is a fascinating series, quite different from a typical fantasy story.  People who like things Italian will enjoy this book, even if they don’t normally read fantasy.

Reviews of other books in the Stravaganza series:
City of Masks
City of Stars

Copyright © 2006 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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