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Stravaganza: City of Masks by Mary Hoffman

Stravaganza: City of Masks (2002)

by Mary Hoffman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,240359,806 (3.89)22
  1. 10
    The Divide by Elizabeth Kay (mybookshelf)
  2. 00
    The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (Jannes)
    Jannes: Similar themes: parallel worlds, dimension-traveling youths, splendid cities... Pullman's work is, in my opinion, far superior, but both are worth checking out if you like this sort of thing.
  3. 00
    Fly by Night by Frances Hardinge (HatsForMice)
    HatsForMice: Alternate Universes! Plot! Intrigue! Rebellion! Boats!
  4. 00
    The Halfmen of O by Maurice Gee (mybookshelf)

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» See also 22 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
Review for first four books: It has been a long time since I've read this book, but I remember I really enjoyed reading them back in the day. It was an original idea and fun to read. If you haven't I'd recommend you try it. But I do remember that by the time I was around the fourth book I thought it was getting a little too childish (writing style, wording and storywise). So maybe I've outgrown them by now. I've yet to read the last two books, I'm thinking about giving them a try. ( )
  CielCat | Feb 6, 2019 |
Cool YA fantasy. I loved the description of the city and the idea of a regular kid trying to negotiate Venetian intrique. Good characters, too. ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
A great children's book ( )
  Shadow494 | Jun 20, 2016 |
Nope.  Instead of focusing on the characters, or the magic, or even the world-building, Hoffman tries to insert drama by adding political intrigue.  But we hardly know which side to root for, because all the ppl with power are jerks with secrets.  So even if you like intrigue more than I do, I don't think that is what would make you like this book.  Otoh, I don't know what does make some ppl like it.  I read the glowing reviews, and even though I did get to p. 154 without getting totally angry at the time I was wasting, I just don't understand the appeal.  Also, I don't think any of the covers are right for it, but especially not the ones that show the close-up of a model's face.
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 5, 2016 |
Took me ages to finish. Not really my cup of tea. ( )
  mmacd3814 | May 30, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
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For Rhiannon, a true citizen of Bellezza
First words
In a room at the top of a tall house overlooking a canal, a man sat dealing cards out on to a desk covered in black silk.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Imagine you are one moment ill in bed, and the next transported to a world that is awash with deception, intrigue, and glamour. In a spine-tingling discovery, Lucien discovers that he is in fact a 'Stravagante' and with the help of a talisman can transport himself to sixteenth century Bellezza, a city inspired by Venice, and filled with unexpected danger. With swishing velvet, glittering masks, political intrigue and treachery - and a demanding and imperious Duchessa - Mary Hoffman has vividly conjured up a rich, magical and compelling world, the first in the trilogy of Talia.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0747595690, Paperback)

Set in Talia, a parallel world very similar to 16th-century Italy, the narrative follows Lucien, who in our world is very ill. Given a marbled notebook to use as a diary, the notebook is the unexpected means that transports Lucien to this dangerous new world; a world that thrills to the delight of political intrigue and where a life can be snuffed out with a flash of a merlino blade. The city of Bellezza (Venice in our world) is astonishingly evoked, with a filmic eye to detail, from the sensuousness of silks and velvets, to the thrill and danger of assassination attempts both and foiled and successful. The world of Talia is unforgettably and convincingly real.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:17 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

While sick in bed with cancer, Lucien begins making journeys to Belleza, a place in a parallel world that resembles Venice, Italy, and becomes caught up in the political intrigues surrounding the Duchessa who rules the city.

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Average: (3.89)
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