Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004
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*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
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*        = Good, with reservations


****City of Stars

Stravaganza, Book Two

by Mary Hoffman

Reviewed June 5, 2004.
Bloomsbury, New York, 2003.   459 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (JF HOF).
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004, #13, Fantasy for Young Adults

Here’s a second book in the wonderful Stravaganza series (or at least, I fervently hope it is a series).  Georgia finds herself the second teenager to be transported at night to an alternate-reality Italy.  The first book, City of Masks, centered around medieval Bellezza, that world’s version of our Venice.  City of Stars finds Georgia going to Remora, a different version of Siena.

The residents of Siena are preparing for the Stellata, a race held in the center of the city in which all the different Twelfths participate.  An amazing mythical winged horse has been born in the Twelfth of the Ram, the one with allegiances to Bellezza.  Does this mean that the Ram will win the race?  Will they be able to counteract the schemes of the powerful di Chimici family?  How does Georgia fit into all this?

I think that adults could enjoy this book as much as teens, with all its political intrigues and scheming.  The almost-Italian setting will delight lovers of Italy, and makes it completely different from other fantasy novels.

This book has an intriguing story combined with excitement and suspense.

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

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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