France 1789: a time of terror. Here are two swash buckling adventure stories set in the heart of revolutionary Paris – gypsy boy Yann is imbued with magical powers beyond anyone’s reckoning; but can he destroy cruel Count Kalliovski before it’s too late? Can he save Sido and stop the vicious guillotine from falling? The Silver Blade is the page-tuning sequel and the equally compelling conclusion to the magical, historical thriller.
Run out and buy Sally Gardner’s The Red Necklace. If there’s a better way to make kids realise how thrilling history can be (in this case, the French Revolution), it’s not one I know about.”Meg Rosoff
With its reversals, surprises, scholarship and dramatic details of an era so soaked in blood that the Seine ran red, The Silver Blade is historical fiction at its height. No reader, old or young, could resist its passion, told in crystalline prose and peopled with characters as engaging as the dwarf Tetu, bear-like Didier and the venal Mr Tull. It is by far the best British book for children I have read this year.”Amanda Craig, The Times
The Red Necklace is a marvellous tale of the first days of the French Revolution. A mysterious boy is the focus of a novel that takes us from the September Massacres of 1792 to the death of Robespierre four years later. After rescuing Sido, the young daughter of an aristocrat, he flees to England, making secret journeys back to France to smuggle out refugees.
Yann and Sido fall in love – but then she’s kidnapped, and he needs all his courage and skill to rescue her a second time. Even then the young lovers are not safe, for our hero learns who he really is… The horrors of the French Revolution make a dazzlingly vivid setting for a tale of high adventure. The Red Necklace, complete in itself, leaves the reader longing to know what happened next – and The Silver Blade concludes Yann and Sido’s dramatic story.