Audio Book Review: Changeling by Philippa Gregory

Title: Changeling (Order of Darkness, Book One)
Author: Philippa Gregory
Read by: Charlie Cox
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio
Publication Date: May 24, 2012
Running Time: 6.5 hours
ISBN: 978-1-4423-5023-6
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher


Italy, 1453. Seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is brilliant, gorgeous—and accused of heresy. Cast out of his religious order for using the new science to question old superstitious beliefs, Luca is recruited into a secret sect: The Order of the Dragon, commissioned by Pope Nicholas V to investigate evil and danger in its many forms, and strange occurrences across Europe, in this year—the end of days.  

Isolde is a seventeen-year-old girl shut up in a nunnery so she can’t inherit any of her father’s estate. As the nuns walk in their sleep and see strange visions, Isolde is accused of witchcraft—and Luca is sent to investigate her, but finds himself plotting her escape.  

My thoughts on the audio:
Charlie Cox has appeared on series such as, Downton Abbey and Boardwalk Empire. His acting credits are numerous to say the least. Cox takes on Phillipa Gregory's Changeling with little fault. His voice is very pleasant to listen to. He reads the dialog with expression and great feeling. The only problem I encountered was with the narration. When the characters weren't speaking Cox's voice was very low, and at times almost mumbling.  I had to listen very carefully  so that I didn't miss anything. If he continues narrating this series, I hope that is something that he will work on. Other than that, this is an enjoyable listen. 

My thoughts on the story:
Changeling is the first book in a new young adult series, Order of Darkness by Phillipa Gregory. Gregory is well known for her historical novels about the Tudors. She once again dives into the past for her latest novel.
The story follows Luca Vero who is accused of heresy for questioning the Church. He doesn't take things at face value. However, his questioning gets him recruited by the Pope to join The Order of the Dragon. He is sent out on missions to investigate strange and unusual things as well as to root out evil. You could call him a paranormal investigator of sorts. Luca is sent to investigate a nunnery that has had occurrences of strange events. There his meets Isolde, a lady abbess, who was sent there by her brother after her father passed away. Isolde is being accused of witchcraft, a series charge. Both Luca and Isolde are out to discover the truth.
The story line was interesting. Luca is sent out on missions to discover the truth behind the superstitions and fears of medieval times. Luca is very observant and level headed. He doesn't give into histrionics easily, but has an eye for detail. He is thrown off by Isolde. Isolde is not like the women of this time period. She is very strong and intelligent. Luca admires her from the beginning. Isolde's characters is a bit of a mystery. Together with her long time friend and companion, Ishraq, they risk everything to find out the truth and live life on their own terms.
Changeling is a good first book to this series. The story kept my attention throughout. Gregory did a fantastic job at exploring how fast superstition and rumors can cause hysterics in medieval times. How one whisper of dark magic could turn a whole town into a raging mass. It was a little predictable at times, but it's definitely worth checking out. I think fans of Phillipa Gregory will enjoy this series. Gregory will reach a younger generation with this new series. I will definitely want to keep up with this series to see what the author has in store for Luca and Isolde.

My rating:
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  1. I'm not the biggest fan of HF, but I've had my eye on this one because I have a friend who absolutely loves Phillipa Gregory and had been trying to get me to read her books for ages! I'm glad you liked this so much! It makes me want to read it even more! I'm an audiobook fan, and am always looking for a well-done one! Great review.
    Karis @ YA Litwit

    1. Yay! Another audiobook fan. I think you'll like this book. I've not read a lot by Phillipa Gregory either. I hope you like it.

  2. I love Phillipa Gregory's books. I've had this one on my to read list for a while. Your review has convinced me it definitley needs to move up and be read soon! Thanks!


    1. Great! I'm going to check out more books by Phillipa Gregory. I believe Changeling is only the second book I've read by her.


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