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Stormbringers (Order of Darkness Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Philippa Gregory , Fred van Deelen
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The second book in a YA quartet filled with intrigue, mystery, and romance, from #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory.

The year is 1453, and the end of the world is closer than ever.

As Luca and Isolde continue their journey, their attraction grows with each passing day. Even as they try to remain focused on the mysteries they’ve been ordered to investigate, the tension between them builds.

Their budding, illicit relationship is put on hold when a boy, Johann, and his army of children arrive in town. Johann claims to have divine orders to lead the children across Europe to the Holy Land, and the townspeople readily accept his claims. Luca wants to believe, but his training tells him to question everything...but when Johann’s prophecy begins to come true, Luca wonders if they have finally stumbled upon a real miracle.

Yet even the greatest miracles have the potential for darkness…and the chaos that follows Johann is unlike anything anyone could have imagined.

The second in Philippa Gregory’s four-book series delves further into a forbidden romance and an epic quest as secrets about The Order of Darkness are finally revealed...


Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—It is 1453, and Luca Vero is an inquirer, sent by the head of a mysterious order to investigate signs of the End of Days. In this sequel, Luca and his companions, his servant, Freize; the Lady Isolde and her servant, Ishraq; and the clerk and recorder Brother Peter, continue their journey across Europe. Although the pace is slow in the beginning, reflecting the pace of the travelers, the action explodes midway when a tsunami drowns hundreds of children on a pilgrimage lead by the prophet Johann. This cataclysmic event focuses the reader on the novel's philosophical motif: the clash of reason and belief, science and superstition. Each character embodies aspects of this debate, principally Ishraq, a half-Arabic scholar, representing science and reason, and Luca, who, despite his role of church inquirer, appears on the verge of questioning his beliefs and his mission. There is also the leader of the Order of Darkness, willing to use any means to root out and defeat the infidel Ottoman Empire, which his order believes is responsible for the End of Days. Gregory has crafted a novel full of depth and texture that stands on its own. Readers who have not read the first book will be inspired to do so after finishing this one and will eagerly await the next installment.—Nina Sachs, Walker Memorial Library, Westbrook, ME

From Booklist

Book two of Gregory’s four-volume Order of Darkness series continues young Luca’s quest at the behest of a mysterious religious order to travel the realm seeking signs of the end of days. When a tsunami floods a coastal Italian village in 1453, overwhelming a children’s crusade to Jerusalem, Luca ponders the scene grimly, thinking that it has swept up his dearest friend along with the scores of others. Might the disaster be a sign of the end? Punishment for sin? The great flood stalls his journey but not the action in this highly packed adventure. At one pivotal dramatic point, Isolde and Ishraq, two young women in Luca’s retinue, stand accused as stormbringers, dark arts practitioners who brought on the flood deliberately. Gregory’s lively characterizations pull the reader in. She skillfully weaves the threads of history through the suspenseful narrative, playing out the clash between Christendom and Islam in a small medieval town. The shiver of horror at the end will have fans wondering how far the quest might venture to the dark side. Grades 8-11. --Anne OMalley

Product Details

  • File Size: 15156 KB
  • Print Length: 337 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1442476877
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; Reprint edition (June 4, 2013)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009NHRGZ8
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #175,725 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than book one, but still average June 18, 2013
Format:Hardcover
*Spoilers*

First off, I have to say that I truly disliked Changeling, book one in this series. However, I decided to give Stormbringers a shot, because I actually really, really wanted to like it. Being a teenager, I've never read Philippa Gregory's adult novels, so these are the only books I judge her writing ability by. So my reason for reading Stormbringers was to see if I could find a reason why others found Gregory's writing style so compelling.

There's one thing I can say for sure about Stormbringers: the concept sure is compelling. In the world of the Order of Darkness, the year is 1453, and Luca is a priest-in-training sent out on a mission to record events that may signify that the world is ending. With his friend Frieze, Luca meets the lady Isolde and her friend Ishraq, and they join Luca's journey. Changeling detailed the first step of their journey, and now Stormbringers chronicles what happens when the group meets a boy named Johann, and the crusade of children he commands. Johann believes he will lead the children to safety in the Holy Land, and the children trust the seemingly prophetic Johann. Luca, however, has his suspicions, and is determined to find out what Johann truly wants.

However, there are many flaws in the execution of this premise. As you might expect from a book about priests and prophets, as well as the apocalypse set in the Medieval era, the book is filled with talk of God. I do think, however, that the theme of God was discussed far too often in the book, especially in the first 100 pages, where it was discussed to the point of being repetitive. A second thing that wore on my nerves was how anticlimactic the book felt. Johann and his Children's Crusade are literally hit by a wave before they can even make it out of town.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book January 29, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Gregory is such a great author. She knows her historical eras and is a spellbinding writer. If she is the author, I would read it without a doubt. She never disappoints.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stormbringers January 12, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm a huge Philippa Gregory fan and this was very different to her usual books. It's light hearted and a very easy read but I did enjoy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding! January 4, 2014
By Megan
Format:Kindle Edition
I am in love with this book series! It puts historical fiction great with romance. I absolutely lovr Luca's and Lady Isolde's relationship, and Freize's relationship with Ishraq is amazing and hopefully it will be going somewhere like Freize hopes :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stormbringer October 15, 2013
By A
I'm not a teen but there are books aimed at teens I like and some I don't. I liked The Changeling but this one I didn't. Philippa Gregory is a grand story teller and the narrator of the first one had a delivery and voices and mood entirely appropriate to the subject and character. Nicola Barber is awful. She reads as if she's an enthusiastic parent presenting to a class of reluctant grade 6 students. Artificial emotion. Inconsistent voicing; most of the time it was impossible to tell which of the 2 women principal characters was talking. And one was Arab and the other European. Luka's voice just didn't fit the character. And her mid-Atlanic accent was off-putting. I listened to it for an hour and returned it. I won't buy another book read by her.
David McConnell
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intersting concept of history August 14, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It didn't hold my interest as well as her other books. She always writes well and has a way of bringing you into the book.
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By S
Format:Audio CD
This book picked up a bit slower for me. Philippa Gregory spent perhaps a third of the book with Johann and there was plenty of religious talk in that space that didn't particularly appeal to me. But once Johann's prophesy comes true, things really pick up. The twist midway through the book brings three of our heroes into danger and leaves one lost, potentially forever. Towards the end we get yet another twist that could lead Luca to find his long lost parents and tests Ishraq's loyalty to her mistress Isolde. Once again, Freize was my favorite character and had some of the best lines, being of a more practical nature.

I have to say that growing odd love quadrangle leaves poor Brother Peter out in the cold and the reader rolling their eyes. At first, some of the aspects were cute, even sweet or compassionate, but then jealousies strain the plot and leave at least one of the characters looking like a spoiled 12 year old instead of young adults who have been facing the world on their own two feet for a few months, if not a few years. Mostly, I tried to ignore that. Again, Ishraq is a fascinating character, but so many proficiencies are attributed to her it makes her character a bit unbelievable: she's a scientist, a doctor, trained in hand to hand combat, multi-lingual, etc. She's a 17 year old servant. Can't she be extraordinary at that and still be believable?

Even with those distractions, I found the children's crusade fascinating. The reader is also left to conclude on their own about Johann and his supposed divinity. When Johann's prophesy comes trues, the reader can easily conclude it was a natural phenomenon. I don't want to give away what this was exactly, but I personally have been fascinated with this particular phenomenon for a few years now.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Stormbringers July 4, 2013
Format:Hardcover
Luca, Isolde, and all the rest of the characters return for this second novel in the YA series, Order of Darkness. Stormbringers starts off with the group still being on the road, Isolde looking to reclaim her lost inheritance and Luca searching out mysteries related to the end of days, but takes a turn for the more unusual when they find a crusade of children on the way to Jerusalem. When tragedy strikes, they must find a way to regroup and decide which path their journey should take.

I enjoyed parts of this book, in particular the Children's Crusade, but was still not fully captivated with the main characters. Philippa Gregory is one of my favourite authors and usually sets up the characters with nuances of personality and scenes that make you feel right in the moment, but it seems to be lacking in this series; maybe because she's writing a YA novel she's trying to be brief, but I think that the characters could be built up more and that would make the story more engrossing. Still an ok read, just not quite what I'm used to from Philippa.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Stormbringers (Order of Darkness)
I am a Philippa Gregory fan and have read all her books bur somehow missed the 1st book of Stormbringers, but just finished reading Order of Darkness, and have ordered the 3rd book... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bobbi C
4.0 out of 5 stars Medieval Italy with women striving for their rights to exist outside...
It took me a while to get into this book and the slowness of the medieval world. I have read many other books of Philippa Gregory of the English Tudor period and have enjoyed all... Read more
Published 1 month ago by JUDITH ROSTRON
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
love her books.
Published 1 month ago by Susan P. Weston
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
It's been ages since I read this book, but I remember really enjoying it and looking forward to reading more books by Gregory.
Published 2 months ago by tvsmitty
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Felt like it wasn't leading anywhere
Published 3 months ago by Tine Nicklen
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read! 2nd of 3 or 4?
I very much enjoyed this story and can't wait to read the next one in the series. Phillipa Gregory has a wonderful way of keeping her characters interesting. Read more
Published 4 months ago by SBriskin
5.0 out of 5 stars best reading EVER!!!
I would give it 25 stars. It is the best thing I've read in ages!!! I am on the 3rd one now and I don't know what I will feel like reading after all this great writing. Read more
Published 5 months ago by D. S. Pollum
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
recommend
Published 5 months ago by Melissa Ferguson
2.0 out of 5 stars not as good as the first
Seemed to be slower moving than the first book, predictable at times, and hard to follow as I lost interest.
Published 6 months ago by Amanda Kosmer
5.0 out of 5 stars You really feel like you're in the time period and understand the fear...
Kept me in suspense. You really feel like you're in the time period and understand the fear that people had of natural events.
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
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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.


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