24 Dec 2014

REVIEW: Masquerade by Kylie Fornasier

Title: Masquerade
Author: Kylie Fornasier
Genre: Young Adult, Historical.
Publication Date: July 23rd 2014
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304

Rating: 4/5

It's the Carnevale of 1750 and Venice's ballrooms, theatres, palazzos and squares are filled with delicious gossip, devilish fun and dangerous games. In this glittering masked world, everyone has a secret...

Set in an age of decadence made famous by Casanova, Masquerade uncovers the secrets of seven teens, from the highest aristocrat to the lowest servant – their dreams, desires, loves, loyalties ... and betrayals.

All the world's a stage. Let the show begin.

I first heard about Masquerade at PTA Live (Penguin Teen Australia) earlier this year. Not only did I love the cover – purple is my favourite colour, but the story sounded amazing. Granted, it took me a little while to actually get to this (those damn book buying bans!) but I’m so glad I did.

I’ve only ever read one other book set in Renaissance Venice, which was Venom – the stories are pretty different, but I have to say I think I actually liked Masquerade a little more. The book follows a few different characters – Veronica and Angelique who are complete opposites of each other despite being sister, Bastian, a sort of Venetian bad boy if you will, Claudia who is desperate to escape from her mother, her brother Marco, Anna, a maid with a talent for singing and a few secrets of her own and finally, Orelia, a recently orphaned girl who has just moved to Venice. I liked each of the characters – I admit, it took me a while to love to a couple of them but my favourite was definitely Orelia. I personally found Orelia’s story the most interesting and I could relate to her more than the others.

The setting is amazing – I cannot even begin to fathom how much research Kylie would have put into this book. I know that she did travel to Venice to research this, and you can definitely tell that she knows what she’s talking about. This is one of those books that really pulls you into the world with its writing – I honestly felt like I was going along in a gondola beside Orelia. I also want to mention that the way Kylie writes makes it feel very Italian – I don’t really know how else to describe this, but I could just imagine every word being said with an Italian accent.

All in all, I’m definitely glad that I got to Masquerade this year because it is a truly magnificent book. I think you all read it if you haven’t already so you too can bask in its beauty. Also, didn’t you read? Venetian bad boy…what more could you want?