Title: The Passion of Dolssa
Author: Julie Berry
Category: Teens, Young Adult
Genre: Historial, Mystery, Suspense
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Sold by: Penguin Group USA
Date Published: April 12 2016
Format: E-book (sneak peek)
Page Count: N/A
Summary: Buried deep within the archives of a convent in medieval France is an untold story of love, loss, and wonder and the two girls at the heart of it all. Dolssa is an upper-crust city girl with a secret lover and an uncanny gift. Branded a heretic, she’s on the run from the friar who condemned her mother to death by fire, and wants Dolssa executed, too. Botille is a matchmaker and a tavern-keeper, struggling to keep herself and her sisters on the right side of the law in their seaside town of Bajas.
When their lives collide by a darkriverside, Botille rescues a dying Dolssa and conceals her in the tavern, where an unlikely friendship blooms. Aided by her sisters and Symo, her surly but loyal neighbor, Botille nurses Dolssa back to health and hides her from her pursuers. But all of Botille’s tricks, tales, and cleverness can’t protect them forever, and when the full wrath of the Church bears down upon Bajas, Dolssa’s passion and Botille’s good intentions could destroy the entire village.
Note: This being a review of a sneak peek, it will be short and containing little detail.
I was not sure what to think about this book when I opened up the excerpt on my tablet, as I had not seen it around, or heard anything about it.
Initially, I was a little bored because it starts off with a historian, discussing vaults and religion (two things that I usually stay away from when I am reading for entertainment). But I pushed on, and what unfolded was a beautifully-written introduction to what I think could be a really good book.
There was still a lot of religion in the narrative, past the prologue, but it should go to show just how good this book sounds, because I am willing to look over that and still accept the story.
Botille and Dolessa are both introduced, and their voices are incredibly distinct. They are the kind of narrators who tell you everything, but that you still know are holding something back from you. This, happily, is note done in an annoying manner, but rather to build mystery and suspense.
The world which Julie Berry depicts in this book, made me feel as if I had stepped into a history book, and am looking out over a medieval Europe. I could almost smell the grapes being crushed under the feet of laughing girls.
The only thing I am not certain about, is the categorization of this book as teen/young adult. The feeling I got from this book, as well as its subject matter and tone, gave me the indication that this was a novel written for adults. I am not certain, how many young adults would be interested in this style of writing, or this sort of plot.
In either case, I hope that this book does well, and I will recommend it to those who enjoy historical fiction, as well as mystery and suspense.