‘City of Stars’ – Mary Hoffman
Georgia would love nothing more than to ride horses every day and avoid her annoying stepbrother at all costs. But she could never have guessed that a tiny, antique winged horse figurine would be the key to her escape to another world and another time. When Georgia arrives in a sixteenth-century city called Remora, she is plunged into a dangerous and treacherous world of horse-racing, family honour and deadly rivalry. And there, as a new Stravagante, Georgia will have a dramatic and extraordinary role to play…
Continuing the series, ‘City of Stars’ did not grip me as much as the first instalment to this trilogy. Whether this was because the action has moved away from Bellezza or because it had the theme of a horse racing running through it, this novel took me longer than I expected and I found at times that I was a little bored.
Don’t get me wrong, Hoffman uses the same formula as the previous story and whilst the story is set in another Italian town, we are still reunited with Lucien from ‘City of Masks’. We are introduced to a new Stravagante, Georgia, and the author makes some clever links with her and Lucien in the present day. Unlike the first book in the series, it feels like there is a bit more of a focus on Georgia’s present day life, and this intensifies as the plot develops.
Whilst I found the book less gripping than the first, the pace certainly picks up half way through and the tension and excitement builds. The number of characters does become a little confusing and at times you do need to pause and consult the family tree! I think it was this that did take away a bit of the enjoyment because you are having to work a bit more at the story, rather than just let it take you along.
Although I found this book a little disappointing, it is still worth a read if you enjoyed the first book in the series. I liked the continuation with characters and once again, Hoffman’s descriptions do her credit with bringing this alternate, historic place in Italy to life.
For my review of the first novel in this trilogy, ‘City of Masks’, click here: https://mrsbrownsbooks.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/masked-delights/