Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Splendors and Glooms

Lizzie Rose and Parsefall are orphans indentured to puppet-master Grisini.  He is gifted with the puppets, but he is a cruel and sinister master.

Clara is the only surviving child in her family, and her house is always in mourning.  She has seen Grisini's fantoccini (the puppets) in the street and wants nothing more than to have him perform at her birthday party.

When Clara disappears, everyone suspects Grisini.  What could have happened to Clara, and what does it all have to do with Cassandra?  The old witch is the prisoner of the fire opal, the source of her power and the thing she desires most.  It is also the object that will kill her if she can't find a way to get rid of it.

Read Laura Amy Schlitz's dark, fantastical, and complicated Newbery Honor book to find out!

There were parts of this book that I really liked.  You all know I love a dark and creepy fantasy, so that was a plus.  I also enjoyed the Dickensian feel of the story.  (That means it has some similarities to books by Charles Dickens.)  The book has a great start with creepy Cassandra, but the whole of part one dragged a little for me.  I liked part two much more.  I read the second half in one sitting, but I'm still not sure how I feel about the ending.  Other students at Campbell have given this book positive review, and I liked it overall, but it wasn't my favorite.  

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