27 Mar 2014

FOOLS' GOLD.

FOOLS' GOLD (ORDER OF DARKNESS #3) by PHILIPPA GREGORY.

SOURCE: A present from Mr T.

Luca Vero and his friends must uncover the truth about a mysterious flood of English noble coins arriving on the market in Venice. Speculators are feverishly buying up stocks of the money in a dizzying boom that seems to have no end.

Travelling with Luca, the Lady Isolade and her companion Ishraq are never far from danger, with her brother's deadly messangers closely following their trail. With its own laws and rules, Venice will prove no safe haven. Their mission from the Pope is no protection here.

But as they face the truly unknown dangers of magic and alchemy, the crimes and politics of the city may become the least of their worries. The powers they confront are not of this world ......
.... Inner front cover

FIRST SENTENCE {Ravenna, Spring 1454}: The four horse riders halted before the mighty closed gates of the city of Ravenna, the snow swirling around their hunched shoulders, while the man servent Freize, rode up to the wooden doors and using his cudgel, hammered loudly and shouted "Open up!"

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 22}: "You have to give that one to me because she is a runaway slave and the Lord is her master. And the Lady has to be given to me because she is the Lord of Lucretili's sister and as much a part of his property as his chair or his horse."

MY THOUGHTS: Though a big fan of Ms Gregory I have to admit that I was rather dubious (why I don't quite know) to learn that she had written a series of books aimed at the Young Adult market.

Not overly impressed with CHANGELING (book one in the series) and its mix of the historical and 'supernatural' (a feature of all the books so far) I did consider not buying book two, STORMBRINGERS, but was glad I did as unlike Fools' Gold I found it a reasonably enjoyable read worthy of what I consider to be one of the best authors of historical fiction .

By far the least enjoyable story in what I believe is to be a series of four books. Whilst not without things to recommend it (As always I loved the character Ishraq, really enjoyed the descriptions of fifteenth century Venice and would have liked to have read more of the behaviour expected of women of a certain class) on the whole I was bitterly disappointed with Fools' Gold.

Whilst not against the supernatural/paranormal aspect of the books per se, indeed I thought it made an interesting aside in Stormbringers, sadly I felt it just didn't work in this particular book and, if I was to be totally cynical, was only included as a sure-fire way of capturing the imagination of a YA market renowned for its love of all things 'otherworldy'.

But this isn't my main concern with the book. Aimed at the YA market which according to some websites encompasses those aged 12 to 34 (yes, I was surprised by this as well) I think the author tries too hard to appeal to this widely different demographic rather than mainly concentrating on lets say the 'tween' market (typically those aged 13 to 19) or the 'college-aged consumer' (18 to 23) and as such the novel doesn't really work on any level. 

A series probably best read from the beginning and in order as whilst each novel deals with a different 'case' the characters stories develop book by book.

Will I be buying the next book in the series? Given that is reputed to be the last book in the series, probably.



Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission. In addition I would also urge that if you are reading this on any other page you contact the original blog owner/reviewer.

12 comments:

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

I have read many books by this author, but I haven't read any of the books in this series. It was interesting to hear what you thought of these, as I have the author in my mind as an adult writer. I am curious about these and will probably give them a try. :)

Claudine G. said...

I don't know why but I hardly read this type of stories but would definitely watch it on TV. The author's name sounds familiar though I haven't read anything by her yet. Tweeting this around now.

Brian Joseph said...

One thing that sounds a little different about this series is that it is YA and it takes place in the 15th century. Perhaps my perception is wrong but I tend to think that books labeled as such seem to not usually focus much upon the past.

Sherry Ellis said...

The opening line is very descriptive. It's too bad the book wasn't an enjoyable read.

Kelly said...

I found your observations about writing toward such a large demographic very interesting. I think if authors will just focus on a specific age group, the readers will follow..no matter what their age.

Camila Rafaela Felippi said...

I'm really afraid of supernatural books. I can't sleep at night. I will find this book on Google Books. I want to read some books in English! Last month I read Love by Design, it's easy to understand!

Hugs!

Barbara Fisher said...

I’ve read other things by Philippa Gregory but these just don’t appeal to me at all. I enjoyed your review though; it was interesting to read your thoughts.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I haven't read anything by this author. Sorry this one was disappointing!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Aw... too bad this didn't work for you. I still need to read this author. I have her adult work on my tbr and wishlist. Might hold off on the YA stuff...

Naida said...

I have heard of this series. I think aiming it at 12 to 34 year olds is too wide an age group to really work.

So many books, so little time said...

I have a few of this author on my tbr but havent' yet got around to reading her. I really ought to bump some of them up. Thanks for your review, I do like anything supernatural :D

Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Interesting. I didn't know about this series. I hope the next book will be a good one to end the series!