Wednesday, 14 April 2010

The Fool's Girl by Celia Rees

April 2010 (out now) Bloomsbury
320 pages, Hardback
Review Copy

Historical, perhaps YA

Cushions: 3
Daggers: 1
Smiles: 3
Tissues: 2
Yunaleska's recommended rating: ♥♥♥♥

Summary from Bloomsbury

Violetta and Feste have come to London to rescue the holy relics taken from the church in Illyria by the evil Malvolio. Their journey has been long and their adventures many, but it is not until they meet the playwright William Shakespeare that they get to tell the entire story from beginning to end!

But where will this remarkable tale ultimately lead Violetta and her companion? And will they manage to save themselves, and the relics from the very evil intentions of Malvolio.

Before reading this book, I didn't think much about what Shakespeare's life was like. I knew he wrote plays, but that was about it (I studied a few of them at school). I loved the insight into this world. The dangers he faced, the uncertainty over whether people would like his plays or not. I learned a fair bit about how plays were put on in the past, the advantages and disadvantages of tours. I liked learning about more about the 17th century, a bonus of reading historicals (although I realise some details may be tweaked and/or fabricated). I liked how his life was tied up with Violetta's, the heroine of the tale.

Violetta has certainly lived an interesting life. Never a dull moment, my heart was in my mouth when I read her pov. And not just hers - I came to love the other characters as much as Violetta. They take risks to keep her safe. The relationship between herself and Stephano isn't overly done - it's actually quite sweet. It wasn't the primary reason why I enjoyed the book, yet it did further my enjoyment. I haven't read many books where the heroine is an actress. This career path was able to keep Violetta safe (for a while) from her enemies. Who are pretty scary, and had me wanting to hide behind a cushion at a few points of the obok.

One good twist about the book was that there were several povs told in first person, then an overall narration told in third person. It might sound a bit confusing, but it worked smoothly for me. It means that the reader gets a complete picture of the story and can watch as various plot lines cross paths, tangle up, and eventually merge at the end of the story.

My only small grumble about the book is that it didn't quite have the edge for me. The edge which gave Sovay a top rating. I can't pin point exactly what I wasn't fond of, there's just something which has me thinking 'oh'. I still recommend this book as a great read.

Celia can be found on her website.

Make sure you check out Celia Rees' Sovay


Book Monster said...

oooh I love the bio & cover XD And you review makes it sound awesome. Many 1st person point of views & third person 0_0 but it was complete!! Wow, I must see this done. I'll definitely be checking this book out XD

Becky said...

I'm pretty sure I'm going to read this next. I love books that are told from more than one POV and I like the idea that a third person narration pulls them together. I haven't read Sovay so maybe I will enjoy this to the max.

Iffath♥Ahmed said...

Great review! The cover is stunning! I have a copy of this, but I don't know if I can read it, I couldn't get into the first few pages, so I've been putting it off for a while..I think I'll definitely picking it back up though! ;)

Nayuleska said...

Iffath - I confess that probably initially I thought 'huh?' but read on!

Nayuleska said...

Thanks everyone! I'd definitely recommend sticking through the first few pages, it makes sense quite quickly with the different views.