Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner

I've been putting off reading this book...a book about the French Revolution??? I am not too keen on historical fiction. Too often there is more history than story!

That is not the case in this story! I really enjoyed it! It's a fast read - one that pulls you in and keeps you interested. There are children - Yann the orphaned son of a gypsy dancer and Sido the forgotten and mistreated daughter of an insane Marquis. There is a dwarf, a very talented fellow named Tetu who is able to control a wooden puppet by pulling at the invisible light threads with his mind. And a horrible villian named Count Kalliovski - his name alone brings fear into those who surround him.

This is a story at the start of the revolution, when the excesses of France cause the people to revolt. When the revolution was about equality and freedom for the masses. In this turmoil Sido's father spends and spends and spends and ignores his rising debt, he has the Count to back him up. You see the Count is more than willing to lend money to anyone - so long as they share their secrets with him. It seems a tiny price, until he comes to claim his pay. At that point the borrowers understand blackmail for the first time - and for many the last.

Sido is held captive by her insane father, until by chance Yann crosses her path on a fateful night. At that moment both of their futures are sealed - though they don't know it.

The Count has other plans for the dwarf and Sido. He plans to kill the dwarf - he knew the Count when he was only a nameless gambler with a special interest in a gypsy dancer. And Sido - he plans to marry her in order to gain her vast inheritance. To that end he has blackmailed Sido's father.

This story stands alone rather nicley - but the story does not end with this book. There is a sequel... Can't wait!!

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