Saturday 8 September 2018


The Anger of Angels by Sherryl Jordan  {Reviewed by STELLA}
A jester’s daughter, Giovanna, is thrown into a world of deception, danger and passion, of passionate revenge and passionate love. What will one do to uncover the truth? When should one speak out and when is it absolutely necessary to remain silent? Giovanna and her father live in the Italian Renaissance walled city of Valencia under the protection of a benevolent duke. Their lives, or so it seems to this young woman, are carefree and charmed, despite hardships that have come before. Although Giovanna misses their life with the travelling circus and the freedoms that entailed, life in the palace, where her father is the adored Duke’s jester, is good. When returning on the road from burying her grandfather they are threatened by a snide nobleman, Capello - henchman to Savernola, a tyrannical ruler in a neighbouring city. Giovanna’s allure and her knife skills (injuring the nobleman’s pride rather than his bodily self) make a quick enemy of Capello. Yet it is not daggers that will undo their world, but words. Ennio, the jester, is a talented actor and writer. When a new play is performed at court ridiculing Savernola, the walls of their world begin to tumble. Savernola, angered by the play which has been seen by members of his guard, seeks revenge and begins a series of attacks on the hamlets of Valencia. Innocents are slaughtered as the tyrant demands the jester and his book. Add to this the arrival at court of two brothers: Santo, a fresco painter, and Raffaele, his assistant. Both are mysterious and talented in their own ways. Giovanna is drawn to Raffaele - charming, good-looking yet ostracised by others because of his twisted back - and distrustful of Santo, who she finds brash and over-confident. The tale builds slowly, along with Giovanna’s eroding innocence, and she finds herself facing an uncertain future. Yet this angel does not fear to tread. Always craving adventure, she finds herself on a journey, one more dangerous than she could ever imagine yet also filled with love and passion. How far will she go to protect those she loves? What secrets will she reveal to unmask the lies? The story starts gently and builds in a crescendo, compelling the reader to abandon himself or herself to a breathtaking finale. This is an excellently paced YA novel with glorious descriptions of Renaissance lives, colours and smells; young love - romantic and brave; and the desire for power - the worthy and despicable.

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