Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz

I received a galley of this novel from NetGalley for review. This in no way affected my opinions.

I was sort of sad when I finished this. I just loved the world, and the characters, and the magic, that I really was caught up in it.

Young Lizzie Rose and Parsefall are the assistants of the master puppeteer Gaspare Grisini. When a little girl goes missing the night after they've entertained for her birthday party, everything is thrown into turmoil, and decades old secrets are revealed.

The story is set in early 1860s England, and is a fabulously weaved story of historical fantasy. People of all ages should love this. Honestly, it was very creepy in some places, and the plot was intricate. It really has something for everyone, so don't judge when you see it's a story for juveniles. It really, really does not read that way.

In the book, you're swept up in a dark, Victorian setting, almost Dickensian, with two orphans, an almost sadistic puppeteer, and an old witch who is obsessed with vanquishing herself of something before she dies. First, we're walking around the creepy, dirty London streets, and then we're up to an almost fairy-tale castle-like home, with a crumbling tower. The story can go from gothic to enchanting in a paragraph. I truly didn't realize that until just now, because it was done so masterfully.

Highly recommended to fantasy or historical fantasy fans.