Saturday, January 30, 2016

The disappearing Duchess by Imogen Rossi

Bianca is a young apprentice to the great artist Annunzio di Lombardi, learning the secrets of his craft so that one day she too will be able to create works of art that seem like they are alive.  She has already shown such a knack for the work that he has been teaching her techniques that the older apprentices don't know and taking her to support the art lessons of importnat people like the Duchess Catriona.  

When her master takes ill Bianca and the other apprentices are taken in by a former apprentice, Filpepi, who now has a studio and apprentices of his own.  Something is not right though, and when Bianca manages to return to her master it is to find a greater tragedy.  There is something sinister going on, and the Duchess doesn't seem at all concerned about what is happening to Bianca and di Lombardi.  When Bianca makes a shocking discovery her own life is in danger because there are people putting plans into motion, plans that they will stop at nothing to see through.

I picked up The disappearing Duchess after seeing the books on Instagram and thought they looked really interesting, and when I read the blurb I ordered the first book through the library to see if the series was as good as it promised to be - it wasn't, it was better!  Bianca and her world are magical and mysterious, a subtle blend of historical fiction that makes it feel very authentic, and a well developed magical world and mythology that makes it a believable and intriguing series.  

Bianca lives as a character off the page, it is very easy to believe that she exists in this world.  She is strong, stubborn, head strong, passionate, and loyal - all the characteristics that make the perfect hero because she is both a paragon of virtue and completely flawed like the rest of us.  I have to admit I saw where the book was headed but the ride was so good I got tangled up in the story and the characters rather than the moment when I could go "ah ha I guessed that was coming!"  I am waiting on the next books in the series to see what happens to Bianca and her friends in the rest of the series.

If you like this book then try:
  • The star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson
  • Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo
  • Museum of thieves by Lian Tanner
  • Stone heart by Charlie Fletcher
  • Bartlett and the ice voyage by Odo Hirsch
  • Dragon shield by Charlie Fletcher
  • Under the mountain by Maurice Gee
  • Stone heart by Charlie Fletcher
  • The eighth day by Dianne K. Salerni
  • Maddy West and the tongue taker by Brian Falkner
  • The Menagerie by Tui T. Sutherland and Kari Sutherland
  • Pangur ban the white cat by Fay Sampson
  • Northwood by Brian Falkner
  • Finding the fox by Ali Sparkes
  • Hollow Earth by John Barrownman and Carole Barrowman
  • The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann
  • Ella enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
  • Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
  • Museum of thieves by Lian Tanner
Reviewed by Brilla

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