At the center of this tale, set in Italy in the mid-fifteenth century, a natural disaster sends the local people into a tizzy, and they blame the young women (whom we met before in Ms. Gregory’s THE CHANGELING) Isolde and Ishraq, accusing them of being witches.
Again these two teenaged girls find themselves on the wrong end of justice, in an era of misogyny and fear of women, in danger of their lives.
I find Ms. Gregory’s writing to be powerful and persuasive and she did not disappoint in this novel. What struck me the most was her description of Johann the Good, the charismatic young man, who has an uncanny knack for seeming to know what people want. As a result, the young people flock to him.
I won’t say any more, so as not to spoil this story for those of you who have not yet read it. Suffice it to say that if you want an entertaining read which teaches you a great deal about society in Medieval Europe, you should read this book. Five Stars.