Saturday, 31 December 2011

The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner

ISBN 978 1 84255 634 4  
This is pacey story with a good deal of magic in it. It takes place in France and England at the time of the French revolution. It is very different from Dickens’ story with the seam setting but the book nevertheless reminds me of Dickens: The Marquis de Villeduval is just like one of his middle-weight characters - someone who is important to the plot yet not really the owner of the story. In Dickens, these characters seem to be almost a caricature. So is the marquis. Count Kalliovski is pure evil. His character brings much of the tension into the story. All of this helped me to like the book.
What made me love it, though, were the characters of the main players. One cannot help but love Yann, Têtu, his friend and mentor, and Sido. They are warm-blooded, rounded and very believable characters. The story comes out of the problems that they face. There is magic, but it is not used to create easy solutions.   
This novel keeps the reader intrigued. The plot twists and turns and keeps us guessing. The love interest makes it appeal to teens. It balances adventure and romance well.    

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