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Changeling (Order of Darkness) Hardcover – May 29, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Order of Darkness (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; Book Club edition (May 29, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781442453449
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442453449
  • ASIN: 1442453443
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #282,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up-The time is 1453 and the boundaries of Christendom are being defended against the heretics, the Muslim world, and the more mysterious world of the unseen and magical. Isolde, 17, is forced into an abbey by her greedy and deceitful brother after their father's death, and then accused of witchcraft. Her only friend is Ishraq, who has been her companion, servant, and guardian since the two were children. The abbey becomes overrun with strange happenings and the Church sends in an investigative team. Luca is also 17 and has a questioning mind, which could be dangerous in 15th-century Europe, but he has been noticed by The Order of Darkness and is sent on a mission from his monastery to the abbey to root out the truth and uncover plans to undermine the Church, only to end up helping Isolde escape. The strong, smart teen characters will appeal to both girls and boys and the historical mystery is solidly constructed. This title would also be a welcome supplement for those looking at the role religion has played in world history.-Genevieve Gallagher, Charlottesville High School, VAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

About the Author

Philippa Gregory is the author of several bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl, and is a recognized authority on women’s history. She studied history at the University of Sussex and received a Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh. She welcomes visitors to her website, PhilippaGregory.com.

More About the Author

Born in Kenya in 1954, Philippa Gregory moved to England with her family and was educated in Bristol and at the National Council for the Training of Journalists course in Cardiff. She worked as a senior reporter on the Portsmouth News, and as a journalist and producer for BBC radio.

Philippa obtained a BA degree in history at the University of Sussex in Brighton and a PhD at Edinburgh University in 18th-century literature. Her first novel, Wideacre, was written as she completed her PhD and became an instant world wide bestseller. On its publication, she became a full-time writer, and now lives with her family on a small farm in the North of England.

Her knowledge of gothic 18th century novels led to Philippa writing Wideacre, which was followed by a haunting sequel, The Favoured Child, and the delightful happy ending of the trilogy: Meridon. This novel was listed in Feminist Book Fortnight and for the Romantic Novel of the Year at the same time - one of the many instances of Philippa's work appealing to very different readers.

The trilogy was followed by The Wise Woman, a dazzling, disturbing novel of dark powers and desires set against the rich tapestry of the Reformation, and by Fallen Skies, an evocative realistic story set after the First World War. Her novel A Respectable Trade took her back to the 18th century where her knowledge of the slave trade and her home town of Bristol produced a haunting novel of slave trading and its terrible human cost. This is the only modern novel to explore the tragedies of slavery in England itself, and features a group of kidnapped African people trying to find their freedom in the elegant houses of 18th century Clifton. Gregory adapted her book for a highly acclaimed BBC television production which won the prize for drama from the Commission for Racial Equality and was shortlisted for a BAFTA for the screenplay.

Next came two of Gregory's best-loved novels, Earthly Joys and Virgin Earth, based on the true-life story of father and son John Tradescant working in the upheaval of the English Civil War. In these works Gregory pioneered the genre which has become her own: fictional biography, the true story of a real person brought to life with painstaking research and passionate verve.

The flowering of this new style was undoubtedly The Other Boleyn Girl, a runaway best-seller which stormed the US market and then went worldwide telling the story of the little-known sister to Anne Boleyn. Now published in 26 countries with more than a million copies in print in the US alone, this is becoming a classic historical novel, winning the Parker Pen Novel of the Year award 2002, and the Romantic Times fictional biography award. The Other Boleyn Girl was adapted for the BBC as a single television drama and a film is now in production starring Scarlett Johansson as Mary Boleyn, Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn and Eric Bana as Henry VIII.

A regular contributor to newspapers and magazines, with short stories, features and reviews, Philippa is also a frequent broadcaster and a regular contestant on Round Britain Quiz for BBC Radio 4 and the Tudor expert for Channel 4's Time Team.

She lives in the North of England with her husband and two children and in addition to interests that include riding, walking, skiing and gardening (an interest born from research into the Tradescant family for her novel, Virgin Earth), she also runs a small charity building wells in school gardens in The Gambia. Fifty-six wells have been built by UK donors to date.

Customer Reviews

So just calm down and read this book for the fun of it.
J. A. CIPRA
Unfortunately that wasn't the case with this book, it felt a bit too modern, like modern sensabilities had been placed where they should not have been.
Amazon Customer
Another new series of Philippa Gregory books to read and cherish.
Sherri L. Mcelroy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 105 people found the following review helpful By thehydrogenpoptart on June 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: The hammering on the door shot him into wakefulness like a handgun going off in his face.

How I Acquired the Book: I got this book from my library, who had 4 copies of it. WHY, library, DO YOU ALWAYS PURCHASE THE MOST COPIES OF HORRIBLE BOOKS.

The Review: Okay. First off, full disclosure: Changeling is not what I expected it to be. That's not the reason why I gave it two stars, though; it's quite idiotic, in my opinion, to give something a low rating just because the author didn't do what you wanted them to do. The reason I gave it only two stars is simple: Changeling is just a horrible book.

Let me break it down. First off, some minor complaints. The title has barely anything to do with the novel. Yes, I know, it's not that big of a deal, but for some reason, it really annoyed me. It makes the book misleading in a way, I suppose. Another problem I had with it is that the entire book is only divided into 4 chapters. Yes, you read that correctly. One chapter is 150 pages long! Now, this wouldn't be so bad if the plot were good, but it isn't, and that brings me to my next point.

The pacing was really, really awkward and awful. It was made even worse by the aforementioned weirdly distributed 4 chapters, and the plot was just boring. I realize that the author has next-to-zero control over the description they put on her book...but seriously, it gave away 90% percent of the plot. By the way, that 90% wasn't even interesting. It was all leading up to the 10% climax, which was not 'climaxy' enough and just fizzled out.

And the characters. Hands down, they were the worst part of the book. All four main characters were flat, and they barely differ from people today. Their dialogue is terrible, and they sound way too 21st century.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Richard on September 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Luca was to be a priest. Then he was suspected of something or other and sent to an inquisitor for questioning. To Luca's surprise, he was to become a member of a secret order that investigates reports of 'dark' occurrences. His first task is to look into an abbey and the abbess, Isolde.

Isolde is the daughter of a rich and well respected Lord. The Lord planned to split his properties and monies between Isolde and her older brother. According to her brother who forbid Isolde to be present at her father's deathbed, the Lord changed his mind and ordered Isolde to marry or become the abess. Isolde chose the latter, where she would come face to face with the young new inquisitor, Luca.

It is rare that I dislike a book so much I do not even finish it. Unfortunately, after 93 pages, I did not have the will to go on. I have a policy that I read 100 pages before passing this kind of judgment, but I just could not do it. Changeling was that bad. I think Philippa Gregory should fire her copy editor; he is obviously lazy. Gregory's copy editor must have assumed that since Gregory's previous books were so successful, this one would be no different. He was sadly mistaken.

The writing is atrocious; it is boring, repetitive and sometimes just plain dumb:

"Course I do! Course you are! Course you will!"

Really? Gregory was incapable of anything better than that, possibly, "Course I do! You are and you will." Gregory's version sounds and looks like a presidential campaign slogan.

And then the dumb just continues:

He found he was smiling at her, though he could not see if she was smiling back.
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79 of 94 people found the following review helpful By ogdenc@njc.org on June 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just downloaded and started this book today, so this review only covers the first few chapters. I am trying to get into the book, but the glaring mistakes in editing are really taking me out of the story. The very first sentence is a prime example:"The hammering on the door shot him into wakefulness like a handgun going off in his face." Really? A handgun? In a book set in 1453???? How does the protagonist know what a handgun is? Hello there, first of many anachronisms.
Later the author describes food being laid out: "two types of bread: white manchet and dark rye." In the very next sentence the protagonist spreads plums on wheat bread. Did he bring that along with him in his pocket?
Am I nitpicking? I don't think so, not when similar discrepancies show up again and again.
I would like to like this book, as I have enjoyed books by this author in the past, but I may have to return this purchase if the editing errors do not improve soon!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By C. Anderson on June 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is not up to Phillippa Gregory's standards. I have read many of her books and they are well researched and display a knowledge of the times. The Order of Darkness is trite, the characters are from the 21st century as are their thoughts and actions. Maybe fifth grade school level. Please don't continue this series.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Constance R. Haske on October 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I just put the book down and I really enjoyed it. I'm not going to go into too much detail here because I mostly just want to stick up for the author on a book that I liked. The cover was a little hookey, but the story was fun. It wasn't terribly serious, but I loved the characters. I especially LOVE Freize and Ishraq! I really can't wait to see how the author develops these characters throughout the series. I do hope that some of the nit picky reviews don't prevent the author from bringing the second book in this series to print.
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