The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner

Fourteen year old Yann Margoza is happily living in a run-down theatre in Paris with his foster father Tetu and old friend Topolain the magician. Born with special gifts, Yann and his two companions performed to full houses using their special talents for entertainment.

Count Kalliovski has heard of these amazing performances and invited the trio to perform in a party at the chateau of Marquis de Villeduval. Astonished by the invitation, Topolain immediately agreed and the three set off for the party.

Little did they know that this invitation will be the start of a long and dangerous battle against evil..

The Red Necklace tells us the story of a special young boy named Yann Margoza and his adventures to discover himself, find love and help bring peace to the chaotic situation in Paris.

Set in the beginning of the French revolution, Sally Gardner's novel is a story woven with action, history, mystery and magic.

I was interested in the novel becase it was set in the French revolution, which I always found interesting (one of my favorite novels is The Scarlet Pimpernel). The author certainly did her research and I loved how she portrayed Paris before and at the start of the revolution, with the conflict of the gentry and the commoners.

The characters were interesting - both lead and supporting characters, all unique in their ways. I especially love Count Kalliovski, who was the villain of the novel, as he was wonderful with the role. An excellent villain. I also loved the relationship between Yann and his foster father Tetu, but couldn't really say the same with Yann's relationship with the female lead, Sido. Or perhaps it's just Sido that I don't really like.

As much as I love the backdrop of the novel, the writing wasn't so good as I expected. The plot of the story wasn't so cohesive. The constant change of POVs is also distracting, plus it's not just one or two characters changing but like most of the characters (major and some minor characters) had their own POVs. It certainly didn't help with the flow of the story.

If you are interested with the novel, I suggest you also listen to the audiobook read by (gasp) Tom Hiddleston. His voice kept me going and motivated me to finish the book. And so I did. Thank you, Tom.

Overall, a good read if you're interested in historical novels (with magic!) such as this book. I give it 3.5 cups. (Five cups for Tom's narration!)

Title: The Red Necklace
Author: Sally Garner
Genre: Historical, Adventure, Romance
Published: October 4, 2007
Publisher: Orion Childrens
Ratings: ♨♨♨ 1/2