Jul 5, 2012

City of Ships (Stravaganza, #5) by Mary Hoffman

After finding a velvet pouch in her school, Isabel travels to sixteenth century Italy, only she soon fond out it's not really Italy, but Talia, a country in another world. She is not the only one that had traveled from present London to Talia, the other Stravaganti, as they are called find her and explain that she is to play a certain role in her visits to Talia, but no one knows yet what it is. With an upcoming war at their doorstep, the people of Talia gather their warships and Isabel will find herself in the middle of it.

Let me first say that my rating is biased. There is no way I would ever give a Stravaganze book any other rating than 5 big stars. I am so much in love with the world of Talia, and the traveling from our world there, every time seeing another city, that I can't help myself. Mary Hoffman did for me in YA what Raymond E. Feist did in Epic Fantasy, I fell in love with the wolrd and the characters. Before I even pick up the book I know I will love it.

I don't want to give away anything, cause all the characters from the old books came back to the next ones, but in this one there were many things done differently which made it even more special. Like trips to Elizabethan England and of course there was the battle in the middle of the sea. 

The main character, Isabel, is like the the previous characters. In order for someone to be chosen for Talia they have to be miserable at their own life and Isabel is just that. Jealous of her totally perfect twin brother, trying her hardest to go by life unnoticed. But naturally, just like in the previous books, with every trip in Talia she changes. By the end of the book she was a more confident person. 

In this book the old Stravaganti show up as they did before and help Isabel, but this time there are more trips to Talia than usual. It's really good to see them all back in Talia. But I was expecting them to show up for the final battle which didn't happen.

All in all, I loved this book and the whole Stravaganza series. The next book, City of Swords, was just published and I already got it and it's waiting to be read. I think this might be the last book of the series and I can't wait to see how everyone will end up.


book 28              book 18

book 4

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