Thursday 23 February 2012

Talina In The Tower by Michelle Lovric

Pages - 312
Published in February 2012 by Orion Children's Books
Book kindly sent by publisher for review

As the moon rose, so they came.
Eyes cast down, the water-rats rowed their fearsome passengers, easing the boats through ink-dark canals  without so much as a creak of an oar. Those rats knew it would be death to make a noise: instant death by blow and claw, with a clean skeleton floating on the morning tide like a white flute-shell surrendered to the battering ocean. 

Amazon Summary
Savage hyena-like creatures threaten Venice - the Ravageurs are on the prowl and seizing men, women and children. On the night of 30 June 1846 Talina's parents disappear and she and her cat, Drusilla, are forced to go and live with her Guardian and his three savage dogs in his lonely tower in the northernmost edge of the city. Here she discovers that she has the ability to change herself into a cat, but changing herself back into a girl isn't quite so easy. As a cat she learns about the Ravageurs and how over the centuries they have become semi magical creatures, visible only to children in the human world, and that they are intent on destroying Venice. She is determined to save the city - it's time for desperate measures - and her adventures are about to begin.
What a delightful book this was! 

I haven't read any books by Michelle Lovric before, but I quickly went out to purchase the other two books in her children's series - The Undrowned Child and The Mourning Emporium.

I loved the characters in the book. They were full of quirks that made them so real and extremely funny. Talina is a very strong character - no one messes with her. She is like a tornado as she jumps in head first to sort the whole of Venice out almost single handedly. I think she is one of the strongest female characters I have read since finishing meeting Katniss in The Hunger Games. Her love for her family spurs her into action and she will stop at nothing until she finds her parents. 

The writing is beautiful and descriptive allowing you to sample life in Venice just by turning the page. The imagery is stunning and I found myself  desperately wanting to visit Venice, but with Michelle as my tour guide.  With each description of Venice, you can tell how much the author loves the city; her words breathe out enthusiasm and affection.  The dialogue is hilarious. I loved the accents of the cats in it, it truly brought them to life. 

I  love the way the author has intermingled fantasy with reality. A cast of fantasy and mythical creatures intermingling with humans as they wander through the real streets of Venice. 

The plot had me hooked from the first page, as I wondered what on earth was happening to all the people of the town. Michelle Lovric has created an enchanting novel that has left me wanting more. 


  1. Aw, this sounds so charming. Plus, most adorable cover ever!

  2. Vivienne, this does sound enchanting! Wonderful review! :)

  3. Cute tail :) I want to be a kitty too, lol

  4. What a truly gorgeous book. I love it. x

  5. I think my 9yo would love this book - adds it to her list ;D

  6. great review, I really wanted The Mourning Emporium but youve made me want all of Michelle Lovrics books now! :D


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