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Stormbringers (Order of Darkness) Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged

69 customer reviews
Book 2 of 4 in the Order of Darkness Series

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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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Order of Darkness (Book 2)
  • Audio CD: 7 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio; Unabridged edition (June 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442360747
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442360747
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,142,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 worldwide bestseller. On its publication, she became a full-time writer.

Wideacre 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.

Her next book was The Wise Woman, a dazzling, disturbing novel of dark powers and desires set against the rich tapestry of the Reformation. Then came 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 explored the human cost of slavery. 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 Earthly Joys and Virgin Earth, based on the true-life story of father and son both named 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 research and verve.

The jewel in the crown of this new style was undoubtedly The Other Boleyn Girl, a runaway bestseller which stormed the US market and then went worldwide telling the story of the little-known sister to Anne Boleyn. Now published globally, this classic historical novel won 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 by Sony as a major motion picture starring Scarlett Johansson as Mary Boleyn, Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn and Eric Bana as Henry VIII.

After adding five more novels to her Tudor Court series including The Constant Princess and The Queen's Fool, two of her best-loved works, Philippa moved back in time to write about the family that preceded the Tudors, the Plantagenets. Her bestselling six-book Cousins' War series tells the story of the bloody struggle for the throne in the Wars of the Roses from the perspective of the women behind the scenes. The White Queen, The Red Queen and The Kingmaker's Daughter were adapted by the BBC and Starz in 2013 as the hugely popular TV miniseries The White Queen.

Having completed The Cousins' War series with The King's Curse, Philippa has come full circle back to the Tudor court. Her latest novel is about Kateryn Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII: The Taming of the Queen. Her other work in progress is the young adult series The Order of Darkness, set in medieval Italy after the fall of Constantinople, feared at the time to be a sign of the end of the world.

A regular contributor to newspapers and magazines, with short stories, features and reviews, Philippa is also a frequent broadcaster, a regular contestant on Round Britain Quiz for BBC Radio 4 and the Tudor expert for Channel 4's Time Team. As well as her extensive array of historical novels she has written modern novels, children's books, a collection of short stories, and a non-fiction book with David Baldwin and Michael Jones: The Women of the Cousins' War.

She lives in the North of England with her family 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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By thehydrogenpoptart on June 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover

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 By Silke Kaiser on 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 By A on October 15, 2013
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 By Megan on January 4, 2014
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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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 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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By R. E. Anderson on May 25, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are some indications this story was targeted for Teens and young adults, but i got a big kick out of it.

It's off the beaten track for Phillipa Gregory, but a good writer is a good writer and she is one of the best.
I really got into the story of the young heiress done out of her inheritance by a greedy brother and his
conniving lover. yeah, I know it sounds formulaic, but she brought the characters to life and makes you
feel for their circumstances. The other protagonist Luc has been tasked by some religious order (known as
'The Order of Darkness' to obey orders from as high as the Pope and investigate circumstances where
Christianity seems to be taking a bad turn. This is the middle ages where witches got burned and
superstition was rife, so lots of material here. Luc is a novitiate in the priesthood and he travels out
on his first investigation with one of the Brothers as a clerk to keep records of their investigations and
a happy fellow Frieze, who was a servant at the monastery. I've read the two books she's written in the
series and enjoyed both.
Gramster A.
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