book review

The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner

Rating: 4 stars

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I read The Red Necklace for the first time years ago and ever since I had a conversation with a manager at work about it I had been desperate to give it, and the sequel The Silver Blade, another read.

Set just before the French Revolution begins to take hold of France, The Red Necklace follows the story of a group of magicians and a rich Marquis – and how the two overlap in a harrowing turn of events. 

Yann, who works for his friends Topolain and Têtu, can throw his voice, read minds, and occasionally see the future. He voices the Pierrot that Têtu controls for Topolain’s magic show, stunning the crowds with the marionette’s realism. But after the sinister and manipulative Count Kalliovski hires them to perform for the Marquis de Villeduval, Yann’s life is permanently altered after a deathly trick is played on the performers. Able to escape the château with the help of the Marquis’ unloved daughter Sido, Yann must travel to Paris, to London, and back again, unaware that he is destined to be a hero, and that he must save the one he loves before the guillotine falls.

While re-reading this, I have to confess that I have no recollection of 90% of the story, or how downright creepy parts of this book are. Saying that, I absolutely loved it as much as the original read – as the revolution begins to gain its momentum, the scene is set masterfully for the conclusion of the book. I finished my re-read whilst I was out, which left me restlessly wishing to return home so that I could start on the sequel. Having read this and then picking up Crooked Kingdom, I can definitely see fans of the Six of Crows duology enjoying this duology too.

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