After reading this novel, I find it easy to believe that it won (and rightly deserved) a Newberry Award. It was wonderful writing; the plot was tight, the prose was smooth, and it had the certain aura of foreboding and eeriness that kept the reader on the edge of their seat. I immediately fell in love with the characters—Lizzie Rose was the sweet and kind Cinderella; Parsefall the loudmouth street urchin that you can’t help but fall in love with, and Clara is the courteous socialite with a guilt-ridden heart. Unlike most books, every single character had depth—they each had a story, and I felt the yin-yang symbol was relevant and prominent in this novel—in every good person lies bad, and in every bad person lies good. The plot was unique and individual, giving you a different twist at every turn. I also lived all the symbolism—it really added a new dimension to the plot and actually made you think a little. All in all, a good read that I would definitely recommend for anyone looking for an original book with a suspense-filled plot.
“Clara slept…..She was as lifeless as a pressed flower. Her mind was empty, free from guilt and terror and grief. Only the night before, she had spoken of her fear of cold and darkness; now darkness and cold claimed her, and she was not afraid.”
I would recommend this book to all ages, though it does have a haunting undertone and some violent themes, so read at your own risk!
Will Lizzie Rose and Parsefall find a way to free themselves and Clara from Grisini’s clutches? Or will they all remain under his domain, Grisini making them dance like his puppets on a string? Read Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz to find out!