Format: Paperback, 435 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins NZ 2012/Philomel 2012
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction, Young Adult Romance, Mystery, Suspense
I must say that these expectations were well met. And surpassed.
Venom by Fiona Paul is set in the post-card worthy lush and realistic world of Renaissance Venice (Italy), a world that Paul describes very well.
Cassandra Caravello has had her fate sealed since her birth. A life of clipped 'wings' where she can't fly, a life in a cage where her life is sure to be controlled, the life of a female aristocrat. With an urge to live her life and a definite wild streak, her life starts to twist as her wedding approaches; when she is sure her cage of a life will be locked and she will become wife to her solid, shy (and handsome) fiancee Luca. But can she learn to love him?
The suspense grows in more ways than one. Murder upon murder, linked together perfectly. 'Venom' kept me guessing until the end, where I still must guess...until Belladonna comes out. The intrigue, romance and confusion exquisitely weave into a magnificent tapestry with great detail and description. This isn't your average young adult novel. It is more.