changeling-by-philippa-gregoryReviewed by Jessa Larsen

Luca Vero is a young seventeen year old boy who, most unfortunately, has been expelled from his monastery on accusations of heresy against the church. He is almost immediately recruited by a mysterious stranger based upon his heretic trait of asking questions and seeking reason behind all the things the church teaches. The stranger requests that Luca follow sealed orders and set forth to seek out the fears of Christendom and determine once and for all, the truth of good and evil. Luca must determine if rumors and hoaxes are simply the fears of the simple minded or if they are truly signs of the end of days.

Meanwhile, Isolde, a seventeen year old Lady Abbess, has been trapped in her role at the nearby nunnery in an effort to prevent her from claiming her true inheritance upon her father’s recent death. Unfortunately, the nuns in her care have recently been plagued by strange visions and general insanity. Luca has been sent to investigate this very nunnery and must prove, without a shadow of a doubt, whether these activities point to Isolde’s innocence or guilt.

The best way to describe Changeling is to say that it has meandering potential. The title itself led me to believe the story would have more folklore and whilst the actual story line wasn’t a bad one, I’m not so sure I would have picked it up had it been alternatively titled. I wanted to like the premise, the characters, and general adventures, but everything just slowly meandered along. There wasn’t really anything to solidly catch my attentions. Luca, Isolde, Freize, Ishraq, and even Brother Peter have so much potential, yet they continually stay fairly one dimensional. There were neither intriguing twists nor turn of events and I never got drawn into the world Gregory meant to create.

On the plus side, there really weren’t any solid negative factors to the story. It was written well enough. The story progressed well enough. The plot was interesting enough. But unfortunately there just isn’t much of anything good to say either. Changeling, as a book, just sort of exists.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Jessa lives in Utah with her husband, 2 sons, 2 dogs and a cat called Number One Boots Kitten. She is a full time mom and enjoys writing short stories in her spare time. She also likes watching anime, reading books, and playing video games.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Simon Pulse. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.