Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Bronze and the Brimstone by Lory S. Kaufman

     Hansum, Shamira and Lincoln, three teens from the 24th-century, are trapped in 14th-century Verona, Italy. They’ve survived many deadly experiences by keeping their wits about them and by introducing futuristic technology into the past. Principal among these inventions is the telescope, which brought them to the attention of the rich and powerful.      But standing out can get you into unexpected – situations. The nobles of Verona now believe Hansum is a savant, a genius inventor, especially after he brings them plans for advanced cannons and black powder. Being the center of attention is great, but the potential for trouble is now exponentially greater because people are watching Hansum’s every move.
     Meanwhile, artistic genius Shamira has fallen for a Florentine artist with bloody and disastrous consequences. Lincoln, considered an incompetent back home in the 24th-century, has blossomed – at least until he’s shot in the head with an arrow. And Hansum, after secretly marrying his new master’s beautiful daughter, Guilietta, is offered the hand in marriage of lady Beatrice, daughter of the ruler of Verona. To refuse could mean calamity for all the teens.
     Amazingly, none of this is their biggest challenge. Because a rash illness is spreading across Verona – and it is threatening to consume everyone.
--Taken from the back cover of The Bronze and the Brimstone

     As much as I enjoyed the last novel, I think that this one was even better. Normally I prefer the first of any series, books or movies, but Kaufman really came into his writing in this book. He is really able to throw the reader head-first into the story.
     It was easy for me to get right back into the world that was created in The Lens and the Looker. While the first book took me a bit to get interested, this one did not. I was on the edge of my seat for most of the novel. I loved how well it flowed and how many twists and turns there were!
     In addition to the great plot, there are fantastic characters. Kaufman is truly amazing at developing his characters into real people. They have their flaws, their strong points, and all of the worries that being alive means.
     Hansum really takes the lead throughout this novel. He is the one trying to make their situation work. More than anything, he is trying to make a life for himself in the fourteenth century. Pan becomes an invaluable resource for him as he begins his dealings with the Podesta, but it is Hansum who has to learn how to deal with a noble. He proves himself over the course of the book.
     Lincoln really grows up too. He takes on the responsibility of two little boys and basically becomes a big brother to them. It's so cute to see how they adore him. Of course, as much as he has grown up, Lincoln is still the funny kid from the first book. Nothing can stop him from his jokes.
     Shamira is just great. I wish I had her artistic skill. I know I've mentioned that, but it's still true. I love that she is strong willed. It really comes in handy, but I won't spoil that for you!
     Signora della Cappa, the Master's wife and Gulietta's mother, plays a much more integral part in this novel than in the last. At first, I was very skeptical about her. She seemed so loony and almost malicious. As I continued reading though, I realized that she really wasn't. It just took her longer to get used to people. By the end of the novel, I adored her.
      I got so caught up in The Bronze and the Brimstone that I stayed up past midnight to finish it, even though I had to get up early the next day. I just had to know what was going to happen! Goodness, my eyes teared up, but I had to keep reading! The book certainly did not end how I expected - which is a good thing. I find that I keep thinking about the ending, even though I'm in the midst of reading other books. I am eagerly awaiting the third installment!
     Rating: 10

*The fact that I received this book from the author did not influence my opinion of it in any way. This was my honest review.

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