Friday, January 25, 2013

Blog Tour Stop: Review - The Bronze and the Brimstone by Lory S. Kaufman

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?
Normally I don't read books that are in a series one right after the other. Sometimes I find that I get over-saturated with the characters and the story line so I have to take a break and read a couple other books before I come back to the rest of the series. That is NOT the case with the Verona Trilogy. Not in the slightest. The Bronze and the Brimstone by Lory S. Kaufman is an amazing story. I couldn't get enough of it.

It's suspenseful and thrilling and completely action-packed. The only thing I disliked was poor Gina (the donkey, not the cannon). Hansum is now the Podesta's man much to his (and Guilietta's) dismay. He's doing a good job keeping his head above water amidst all the nobility that surrounds him, but at the same time he keeps digging himself a deeper hole that he may not be able to get out of.

I did find the explanation of creating salt peter and the process of making everything to do with the cannons a bit tedious and hard to stay interested in (much like the process of making the "discs for the eyes" in book 1) but if that was the worst thing about this book, I'll take it.

Lincoln is no longer a teenage jerk, but a productive member of the medieval Italian society and an important role in the story. And I love the relationship between Shamira and Guilietta. I find it weird that Shamira was ever considered a "hard case" and sentenced to History Camp to begin with, but I suppose if she wasn't we would have had an entirely different story on our hands.

I was extremely frustrated with the way things were playing out (in a good way though) but the end of the story just brought more twists and turns and loose ends that needed to be resolved in the third book or I'd have thrown the whole series across the room. It was sad but hopeful and I couldn't help but immediately grab book 3 to find out what happened.

Again, I would absolutely recommend this novel to anybody. Especially if you're interested in Post-Dystopian fiction (or you've already read book 1). It was a phenomenal read and I just didn't want to put it down.

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