Changeling

(Book #1 of Order of Darkness)
Illustrated by: Fred van Deelen and Sally Taylor
For Ages: 14 and up
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Dark myths, medieval secrets, intrigue, and romance populate the pages of this first in a four-book teen series from the #1 bestselling author of The Other Boleyn Girl.

The year is 1453 and all signs point to it being the end of the world. Accused of heresy and expelled from his monastery, handsome seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is recruited by a mysterious stranger to record the end of times across Europe. Commanded by sealed orders, Luca is sent to map the fears of Christendom and travel to the very frontier of good and evil.

Seventeen-year-old Isolde, a Lady Abbess, is trapped in a nunnery to prevent her from claiming her rich inheritance. As the nuns in her care are driven mad by strange visions, walking in their sleep, and showing bleeding wounds, Luca is sent to investigate and driven to accuse her.

Forced to face the greatest fears of the dark ages—witchcraft, werewolves, madness—Luca and Isolde embark on a search for truth, their own destinies, and even love as they take the unknown ways to the real historical figure who defends the boundaries of Christendom and holds the secrets of the Order of Darkness.
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  • Simon Pulse | 
  • 272 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781442453463 | 
  • May 2012 | 
  • Grades 9 and up
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Video

Philippa Gregory discusses her audiobook, CHANGELING

Bestselling author Philippa Gregory talks about her audiobook, CHANGELING

Read an Excerpt

CASTLE SANT’ ANGELO,
ROME, JUNE 1453


The hammering on the door shot him into wakefulness like a handgun going off in his face. The young man scrambled for the dagger under his pillow, stumbling to his bare feet on the icy floor of the stone cell. He had been dreaming of his parents, of his old home, and he gritted his teeth against the usual wrench of longing for everything he had lost: the farmhouse, his mother, the old life.

The thunderous banging sounded again, and he held the dagger behind his back as he unbolted the door and cautiously opened it a crack. A dark-hooded figure stood outside, flanked by two... see more

Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to

Changeling: Order of Darkness Book One

By Philippa Gregory

About the Book

It is 1453: The Church reigns supreme in Europe, but there are disturbing signs that the Muslims in the East are getting stronger and suspicions that the End of Days may be approaching. Novice priest Luca Vero, aged seventeen, joins a secret church order that battles evil by investigating mysteries—spiritual mysteries. At the same time, recently orphaned Lady Isolde of Lucretili, also seventeen, finds herself banished to the local nunnery. Isolde and her Moorish servant and best friend, Ishraq, immediately suspect that something is not right at the Abbey: nuns are fainting in chapel, seeing visions, sleepwalking, even finding bloody stigmata on their palms. Is it the work of the devil? Her worst fears seem confirmed when the Abbey receives a visitor: investigator Luca Vero, accompanied by his servant, Freize, and a dour clerk, Brother Peter. What dark force is terrifying the nuns and causing them to act this way? Can Luca and Isolde uncover the true source of the problem?

Discussion Questions

1. In the first chapter, we learn that Luca’s monastery has accused of him of heresy. What is heresy, and why is it so harshly punished by the Church?

2. Why has Luca, who loves numbers and calculations, never heard of the numeral zero? Why is he so excited when he learns about it? see more

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