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For three hundred years the travelling actors of Litonya roamed the land entertaining crowds, but secretly leaving devastation in their wake. Is Mina the only person with the power to stop them?
In the ethereal otherworld of Tarya, Mina begins to master the rare, inexplicable powers attached to her gift for storytelling. She discovers she can touch dreams, influence the real world, and perhaps find out who is manipulating Tarya for dark purposes. In the waking world Mina is on the run, beset by divided loyalties between the travellers, and caught between two men she could love and a brother who desperately needs her help.
A rich tapestry of colour, detail, light and shadow all intricately weaved together to form a tale you can’t keep your eyes off.
In a land adorned by magical mystery and a radiance of an old world, Italian Renaissance charm comes this divine thread of artistic beauty and passion – Columbine’s Tale by Rachel Nightingale. Following the success of Harlequin’s Riddle, this second title in the Tales of Tarya series brings alive power and boundless possibilities for its young adult, fantasy-loving audience.
Nightingale expertly has us feeling spellbound as we dart in between the ‘canovaccio’ of dreams and the ethereal realm of Tarya, lost in the chase around Litonya to help our protagonist uncover some dark secrets. Her gentle language, multi-faceted characterisation, parallel storyline and built-up scenarios leave you gripped in the centre of this fine-tuned performance of purity versus wickedness, lust and betrayal, and the quest for power and immortality.
Mina’s life is in danger by the travelling troupes of Commedia dell’Arte players. Her flee to find her brother, Paolo, has left them hungry for power and vengeance as the gifted story weaver becomes a threat to destroy the Gazini players’ secret to their success. Through her quest to return the dreams to those the players stole from, Mina’s pure soul is compromised on many levels. We watch as this complex narrative pulls her through moments of self-sacrifice, external dangers, heartache and new realisations. Mina has to navigate her understanding of her own strength and magical ability, as well as her mixed emotions tugging her heart between loyalty, love and lust, and self-protection. Keeping us tightly wound like thread, we are left wondering how Mina will heal her ‘broken’ loved ones. Will Mina find the light amongst the shadows? And what other complications will arise as we delve further, much in anticipation for Book 3: Pierrot’s Song.
Columbine’s Tale masterfully showcases Nightingale’s love of creating and the arts as it literally takes you to another world, where your soul is immersed in beauty and imagination. I loved the premise that stories heal all wounds, and “the greatest gift of storytellers is to find the heart of that tale”. Nightingale has certainly done that, inviting the value of creativity as a way of breathing life through the power of words. Putting on a spectacular show full of artistic and dramatic goodness, this book is an intriguing, fantastical gift to it readers.
Review by Romi Sharp.
Rachel Nightingale reveals all in this fascinating article on her journey to publication over at Melissa Gijsbers’ blog Read For Fun.
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