Romance! Danger! Intrigue! Political machinations! Violent medieval battles!
They're all part and parcel of the nonstop action that makes up Lisa T. Bergren's Cascade, the second in her River of Time series aimed at YA readers.
Being a big fan of time travel and of Bergren's writing, I was looking forward to this book.
The two modern-day sisters, Gabriela and Evangelia Bettarini, decide to go back to medieval Italy. This time, their Mom--an avid historian and archeaologist--takes the trip with them.
Naturally, Gabriela is delighted to be re-united with her medieval love, Marcello. But in less time than it takes to say "space-time continuum," the Ladies Bettarini are plunged back into the danger and intrigue of the enmity between Marcello's Siena and Firenze.
It doesn't help that the sisters' actions in the previous book leave them with a big target on their backs.
From Page One until the end of the book, the action is pretty much nonstop. I don't doubt that YA readers will love the nonstop chases, battles and life-threatening situations--there's not a moment for them to get bored.
As an older reader, though, I have to admit that I would have appreciated a few more lulls in the action. It seemed to me that the sisters barely had time to catch their breath before another life-endangering scenario ensued.
Younger readers will also appreciate the romance between Marcello and Gabriela, while I cringed a bit at a 17-year-old even thinking about marriage. But again, that's my take as an older reader.
And those are small criticisms. Bergren is a wonderful writer, her research into the era obvious in every authentic detail, and she's adept at narrating those fast-paced, often breath-taking action scenes as well as the quieter ones.
She's also created a compelling and lovable heroine in Gabriela, a modern girl whose feistiness and courage--not to mention skill with a sword from fencing lessons with her father--stand her in good stead in the violent and perilous age in which she finds herself.
As for the next book in the series--Torrent--the last few pages of Cascade ensure that we're going to want to be there when the Bettarinis next show up in 13-hundreds Tuscany.
Now for the give-away!
I'm giving away a brand-new copy of Cascade, by Lisa T. Bergren!
Here's what you need to do to enter:
--Comment below, and leave an e-mail address where you can be reached
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DEADLINE: You have until midnight Sunday, July 31st at 12:00 PM Central.
NOTE: This contest is limited to readers in the United States and Canada.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”