Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Bronze and the Brimstone

Author: Lory Kaufman

Source: Publisher

Summary: (goodreads) What could go wrong in the 14th-century
for three time-traveling teens?
How about – EVERYTHING!

Hansum, Shamira and Lincoln, three teens from the 24th-century, are trapped in 14th-century Verona, Italy. They’ve survived many deadly experiences by keeping their wits about them and by introducing futuristic technology into the past. Principal among these inventions is the telescope, which brought them to the attention to the rich and powerful.

But standing out can get you into unexpected and dangerous situations. The nobles of Verona now believe Hansum is a savant, a genius inventor, especially after he brings them plans for advanced cannons and black powder. Being the center of attention is great, but the potential for trouble is now exponentially greater because people are watching Hansum’s every move.

Meanwhile, artistic genius Shamira has fallen for a Florentine artist with bloody and disasterous consequences. Lincoln, considered an incompetent back home in the 24th-century, has blossomed – at least until he’s shot in the head with an arrow. And Hansum, after secretly marrying his new master’s beautiful daughter, Guilietta, is offered the hand in marriage of lady Beatrice, daughter of the ruler of Verona. To refuse could mean calamity for all the teens.

Amazingly, none of this is their biggest challenge. Because a rash illness is spreading across Verona – and it is threatening to consume everyone.

Do they have a future in this past?

Review: While this is YA, I found that it would be more appealing towards older teens. The center protagonist is married after all and he is very serious in his dealings with those of the upper class. There is also a sense of descriptiveness in the novel which vividly details the setting. This can also be a con as the images can be overwhelming.

There is a very detailed explanation of the processes used to make the saltpeter for gun powder as well as other things. There is lots of action and the only slow parts are the descriptions, but those actually offer a respite after an adventure. Sometimes I put down the book and just soaked in the information. So many things happen quickly and there are several characters to keep track of that it can be difficult to keep the story together without going over some of the smaller details.

The writing was wonderful. The never-ending action made this a thoroughly enjoyable read and I definitely felt a connection to the characters although they were in 14th century Verona. The setting was well done and I felt that the three main characters acted as they would after spending that much time there.

The concept of Pan, the Artificial Intelligence, was explained realistically! I shy away from sci-fi and especially time travel, but this is a more historical type book with details of their future world. Everything fit into place, the setting was see-able, the characters were three-dimensional, and the adventure was endless.

I was very worried when I started it though, because I realized it was part of a series. The second book in the series to be precise. And I had not read the first book, so thought I may get lost in this one. But there was just enough back story that I was perfectly able to connect the pieces right away and works well even as a stand alone.

This book could span several sub-genres and I think any older Young Adult book lover would find it a great read.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Other Books In This Series:

3. The Loved and the Lost

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