Confession: I learned more about the Tudors from Philippa Gregory’s The Boleyn Inheritance than I did from 10th grade global studies and AP Euro in high school. Gregory has this talent for bringing history to life and infusing it with a hefty dose of drama. When the rumor started that she would be writing a YA series, I got super excited especially because Changeling, the first of the Order Of Darkness series takes place in Europe in 1453 and I always brake for medieval times.
Changeling follows two narratives and two main characters: Luca and Isolde. Luca was given to the Church but was expelled before taking his vows at the monastery because of MATH, I know! Now he is in a secret order that investigates cool things like werewolves with his BFF Freize — they are sort of inquisitors.
Isolde is an abbess of a nunnery. She is way young and beautiful. Isolde expected to inherit the family title and lands but instead her jerk face brother weaseled his way into the will and pretty much stole the inheritance from her, or that’s how I read it. So, given the choice between marrying a lecherous gross dude and joining the nunnery, Isolde takes the nunnery and is shipped off with her adoptive sister, Ishraq. Ishraq, sidebar, is the best — just a little teaser.
I loved how the two stories and narratives intertwined in Changeling. When Luca and Isolde meet there is a mutual distrust between the two. As all readers can guess, this distrust turns into attraction WHICH IS FORBIDDEN because both are in the Church and I’m pretty sure that once you are dedicated to the Church you can’t get out or anything. Again, I am not going to spoil the circumstances of why there’s an attraction or anything, but let me tell YOU, I was a riveted listener.
Speaking of listening, the audiobook of Changeling by Philippa Gregory is produced by Simon Audio. It is 6.5 hours unabridged and narrated by Charlie Cox who was on Downton Abbey (awww yeah). To be frank, as a listener I think that dual narrators would have kept my attention better and have benefited the story, especially if there was a female narrating the Isolde centered chapters. However, I think that Charlie Cox has the right sort of voice for Changeling. His voice is very serious, medieval sounding and aristocratic. And also quite relaxing. This is probably not the first audiobook I’d recommend to virgin ears, but one that I’d recommend to experienced listeners going on a rainy drive.
Disclosure: Audiobook received for review.
Other reviews of Changeling by Philippa Gregory:
Bibliophilic Monologues – “Easy to read and very entertaining”
A Cupcake And A Latte – “I instantly fell head-over-heels in love”
Hooked On Books – “I completely lost track of time while I was reading it”
Mundie Moms – “A must read for YA fans who love a well crafted historical read”