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Stravaganza City of Stars Hardcover – October 3, 2003

23 customer reviews
Book 2 of 6 in the Stravaganza Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up-This second volume of the trilogy continues the story begun in City of Masks (Bloomsbury, 2002). Georgia, a 15-year-old with a hateful older stepbrother, finds herself transported to 16th-century Talia (Italy), when she goes to sleep holding a little winged horse figure she bought in an antique shop. She awakes in a barn where a coveted, rare winged horse has just been born. She quickly finds herself involved in the intrigues and conflicts between rival families and the preparation for the Stellata, the annual horse race among the competitive elite families. The di Chimici family is seeking to extend its power and control and sees the race as another step in reaching that goal. At the same time, its patriarch is devastated by an accident that left his youngest son, Falco, crippled. When Falco, dismayed at his now limited future, meets Georgia and learns that she can travel across time and place, he resolves to stravagate permanently to her time, where modern medicine may be able to give him a normal life. Georgia eventually helps him to get to England, but his transition to life there seems somewhat contrived and too neatly resolved. The book climaxes with the horse race and Falco's death in his own time when he becomes a modern-day boy. The concept of stravagation is appealing and is used well to create an adventure tale that takes readers back into the 16th century with all its drama. Fans of the first book will find the sequel equally appealing.
Jane G. Connor, South Carolina State Library, Columbia
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-10. Cruelly teased and tormented by her older stepbrother, Georgia feels trapped in an impossible family situation, with horseback riding as her only escape. After she buys a small statue of a winged horse, she discovers that it is a talisman with the power to transport her through space and time from modern London to Talia, a sixteenth-century, alternative Italy. Georgia first appears to Cesare, son of a horse master in Remora (Sienna), where he has recently witnessed the miraculous birth of a flying horse, a good omen. Still, there's trouble ahead for Cesare in Remora and for Georgia in both worlds, now that she has become one of the Stravaganti, time travelers between London and Talia. Readers of the Stravanganza: City of Masks (2002) will be pleased that several of the main characters reappear, which develops their stories a bit further while introducing a vivid new setting and an involving narrative focused on Georgia. The lovingly created, richly detailed locales are one of the distinctive pleasures of the series, along with the subtle portrayals of both major and minor characters. In other novels, shifts in point of view and setting often confuse the reader and impede the narrative, but here they propel the story, carrying readers along for an adventurous ride. This leaves readers with the hope of more to come. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Series: Stravaganza
  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books; 1 edition (October 3, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582348391
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582348391
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,115,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Gwen on September 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. I really liked the first book in this series, Stravaganza, City of Masks, and was looking forward to this one. A little anxiously, though, as sometimes sequels don't live up to expectations. I was delighted to find I liked this second story even better. I loved the way the characters from the first story were interwoven into this one. Unfortunately I raced through this book in one (long) evening and will now have a very long wait for book three.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By B. Capossere TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Middle books in trilogies often suffer the problem of being just a "bridge" work that adds very little to overall plot or characterization within the main storyline. Hoffman manages to avoid this pitfall nicely but making wholesale changes in focus for her sequel to City of Masks. The story still involves travel between our world and Talia, an alternate 16th century Italy, though the specific setting is no longer Belezza (Florence) but Remora, a parallel Sienna about to run it most famous and important horse race. And while Mask characters reappear, the major focus is on several brand new characters: Georgia, a young girl from our world unhappy with her step-brother and overall social situation; Cesare, a young Remoran jockey, and several new di Chimici's, whom fans will recall are the villains of the series, though this novel shows that not all family members have the same goals.
City of Stars displays the same descriptive strengths as Masks, with Remora visualized in vivid, detailed splendor, though at times while the many twists and turns of the factions in Remora are explained the reader may wish for slightly less detail or complexity.
The plot of Stars, while centered on a lot of political intrigue as in Masks, is more concrete and focused and with the addition of a few characters whose allegiances remain unknown, overall more interesting and compelling, though the book suffers from the same abstractness with regard to the Stravaganti themselves. The plot is also hurt a bit by the book's length, which is overlong by about a 100 pages I'd say--detracting from the suspense and creating a few scenes that bog the reader down while seeming superfluous.
Characters remain a bit thin.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is my favorite book of all time. I want to go to Talia soooo badly!!! I find myself wishing this was not a fantasy book. The way it is written, the characters, plot, and setting seem so real and fantastic and intriguing. If you were to read one book in your entire life, I hope this would be it- you need to read it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Fisher TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
"City of Stars" is the second in Mary Hoffman's Stravaganza series (of which there are currently five installments), following on from City Of Masks. The basic premise of the story is based on people known as the Stravagante: a select group of individuals from our world who can transport in their sleep to the country of Talia, an alternative version of Italy in the sixteenth century. Armed with a unique talisman that enables passage between the worlds, the young Stravagante inevitably find themselves caught up in the political intrigue and power mongering that goes on in the beautiful cities of Talia, whilst simultaneously trying to deal with the repercussions of their normal lives in the waking world.

The previous book centered on a terminally ill boy called Lucien and his permanent transition into the city of Belleza in which he is able to live out his life free of cancer, even if it means leaving his family behind him. In this sequel the perspective shifts to a shy, quirky girl called Georgia O'Grady who is trying to cope with her mother's remarriage and the presence of a bullying stepbrother in the house. She has just saved up enough money to buy a beautiful winged horse ornament at the local antique store. Unbeknownst to her it is a talisman that allows her to transport to Talia that very night.

Specifically, to the capital of Talia: the city of Remora. Here the city is divided up into twelve wards, each aligning to a sign of the Zodiac, where rivalry between each faction is rife. This unrest provides a breeding ground for the likes of the ambition di Chimici family to work their manipulations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book deserves nothing less than than 5 stars! This is by far the best series I have read like ever! But you must read the first book or it will not have the same spark to it! Arianna,Rodolfo, Lucien,Silvia, Enrico and Guido are all back in this fast paced adventure. They are joined by another stravagante:a girl named Georgia,Flaco (DiChimici) , Geatano, Cesare, and Paolo. This book is definetly for all ages but especially for all those girls out there who dream of getting what seems impossible. Whatever you do don't read this before you read City of Masks. If you have, what are you waiting for??? Get to the bookstore ! If you've read this get the next book City of FLowers for more sparkling adventures! Viva la Stravaganza!!!!
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