- 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 0.1 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: #1,263,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Stravaganza City of Stars Hardcover – October 3, 2003
The Amazon Book Review
Discover what to read next through the Amazon Book Review. Learn more.
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
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.
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
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
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. They have long-since desired to add the free city of Belleza to their ever-growing republic, and are all set to rig the annual Remoran horse race in order to consolidate their reputation of superiority among the people.
But on the same night that Georgia appears in the city, a miracle is born in the stables of the Ram: the first winged foal in over a hundred years, one that bears an eerie similarity to the small model that Georgia carries with her.
What follows is a story of horse-racing, political machinations, family dramas (in both worlds), and a coming-of-age story for our young protagonist. In fact, it's quite a mish-mash of several disparate story-threads which are only tangentially related to each other, making it not quite up to the standard of City Of Masks. To be honest, I found the plot rather slow-going considering the narrative kept switching from one arc to the next, with no real sense of urgency in any of them. Though it's certainly as vibrant and sensory as the previous book, it would have helped had there been one central storyline instead of half-a-dozen subplots, including Georgia trying to deal with her stepbrother's bullying, the upcoming horse race, the Duchessa of Belleza's marriage propositions, the theft of the winged horse, and the meeting of the Stravagantes with two young members of the di Chimici family, including one that is desperate for Georgia's help.
Falco di Chimici is a young boy crippled by a riding accident who is entranced by Lucien's tale of recuperation in Talia. He believes that could he travel to Georgia's world he would be able to overcome his injuries with the help of the more advanced healthcare, and hatches a plan with Georgia and Lucien to leave his family and find a place for himself in their world. In what is a nice reversal of the previous book's scenario, it is someone from Talia who must learn to cope with the 21st century, and like the previous book, Hoffman manages to make it a difficult, poignant transition for everyone involved.
Another interesting development that is built on from City Of Masks is that the di Chimici family is now painted in shades of grey rather than the straight-up villains they were in the previous books. Characters like Falco and his brother Gaetano are sympathetic young men who disapprove of their family's political wrangling, and even the likes of patriarch Duke Niccolo di Chimici is allowed to show a softer side in the affection and grief he feels for his son.
Hoffman always shows a deft touch with her characterization throughout, for even the horrid Russell (whose use of strong derogatory terms throughout the story may raise a few parental eyebrows) gets a glimmer of redemption at the book's conclusion. Of further interest is Hoffman's afterword in which she discusses some of the similarities between our world's version of certain Talian traditions, and how they were reshaped for the novel. She's clearly put a lot of time and effort into research and consistency, and it may pique the interest of many young readers into learning more about the Reinassance.
Lastly, the whys and wherefores of the Stravagante phenomenon is shrouded in mystery, but there are a few hints scattered throughout "City of Stars" that suggests there is a rhyme and reason for certain people finding their way into Talia. I certainly hope this is explored further in previous books. In light of the final paragraph, I couldn't help but feel that much of what happens in "City of Stars" is setup for the next book, City of Flowers. Though that left me a little cold, I'm still looking forward to what else is in store for this particular series.
Although this is not quite as good as the first, it is still really good. In addition to seeing old favorite characters (inlcuding Lucien from the first book) we meet and follow several new ones as well giving the book a fresh, new quality. Also a new feature, we meet several di Chimici and are able to see more into the lives of these powerful political plotters. A satisfying continuation of the series, don't miss it.