What could go wrong in the 14th-century for three time-traveling teens? How about – EVERYTHING! 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 to the rich and powerful. But standing out can get you into unexpected and dangerous 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 disasterous 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. Do they have a future in this past?
Publisher: The Fiction Studio
Release date: June 7, 2011
Page count: 336
This is book number 2 in The Verona Trilogy, and I have to say, the I was completely captivated at the start! In my review of book one, I mentioned how I thought the book was hard to get into and was slow starting. This was completely the opposite. By page 30 I couldn't put the book down. Kaufman nailed the pacing of this book. I was never bored.
Guilietta and Hansum are in love, and the Master, Guilietta's father, is aware of this because Hansum has asked her father's permission. Hansum and Guilietta, however, have arranged a secret elopement like any young couple in love who can't wait to be together. This is foiled when Hansum goes to see the Podesta, a rich and powerful noble who has been told of the invention Hansum introduced in the last book on the advice and plans of his genie, Pan. History may or may not be permanently effected, the Podesta is about to go on a greed overload using this new tool and Hansum's plans for advanced cannons and a new formula for gunpowder, and the Podesta knows he must keep this savant in his services. What better way than to offer up his daughter's hand in marriage? With Hansum as a part of his family, he could surely become an undefeated leader.
But Hansum refuses. Politely. Still...
No one insults the Podesta's daughter like that. Hansum had better look out.
So begins a plot full of twists, suspense, and even bits of comedy. As always, Lincoln, the younger teen who now has two young apprentices to look over, provides some rich dialogue. Shamira falls in love (hooray!). Lincoln, who has found his place assisting with making discs of the eyes, is shot!
I liked the fact that right off the bat, Hansum has to experience an important situation without the assistance of Pan. I was cringing right along with Pan (who was stuck in Hansum's cap on the table, observing) and hoping he'd say the right things to impress an obviously treacherous man (mostly so he would avoid any type of torture or execution!). After all, the kids are living in the 14th century, the rogue History Camp guide who brought them there has been murdered, so whatever they do has the potential to effect (or even end) their lives.
You must pick this series up! The second book of a series tends to be a bridge that will simply lead to the end. Not so with this middle book! What a breath of fresh air. I can't ruin anything about what has happened to history-- have the kids changed it forever? Will they ever get back to the 24th century, see their families and their A.I.'s again?
Fall in love with these characters, the beautiful but not-always-so-pleasant ancient Verona, and a bond established between "orphans" and their master that is unusual for the time period.