By: Victoria Strauss
Pub. Date: November 6, 2012
Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing
Source: Finished copy from author in exchange for an honest review
"Be sure you know your true heart’s desire, or you may find yourself surprised by what you receive."
This is the warning the Astrologer-Sorcerer gives Giulia when she pays him to create a magical talisman for her. The scorned illegitimate daughter of a Milanese nobleman, Giulia is determined to defy the dire fate predicted by her horoscope, and use the talisman to claim what she believes is her heart’s desire: true love and a place where she belongs–not likely prospects for a girl about to be packed off to the cloistered world of a convent.
But the convent of
Santa Martais full of surprises. There are strict rules, long hours of work, and spiteful rivalries…but there’s also friendship, and the biggest surprise of all: a workshop of female artists who produce paintings of astonishing beauty, using a luminous blue mixed from a secret formula: Passion blue. Yet even as Giulia begins to learn the mysteries of the painter’s craft, the magic of the talisman is at work, and a forbidden romance beckons her down a path of uncertainty and danger. She is haunted by the sorcerer’s warning, and by a question: does she really know the true compass of her heart?
Set in Renaissance Italy, this richly imagined novel about a girl’s daring journey towards self-discovery transports readers into a fascinating, exotic world where love, faith, and art inspire passion–of many different hues.
I was very excited to be asked to be apart of the blog tour for Passion Blue. I loved the colors in the cover and the synopsis definitely appealed to my historian side. I love stories set during the Italian Renaissance, so I knew I would enjoy Passion Blue. Passion Blue was everything I expected and more.
The story focuses on Giulia, a young women whose has spent her life as a servant in the home of her father, who happens to be a Count. When he dies, the Counts wife forces her to go live as a nun in the
Santa Marta convent.
Giulia always wanted a family of her own, but she knows if she actually becomes
a nun, she will never have what she always dreamed of. It was hard not to feel
connected to Giula. She was a brave girl who just wanted to be loved.
I also enjoyed the fact that Giulia was a painter, during the Renaissance! It was very exciting and brought a lot to the story. She had this wonderful commitment to having a family of her own and being an artist.
I loved the message of sacrifice and finding what truly makes you happy. It is something that everyone struggles with at some point in their life, no matter how old you are, or what century you come from.
I look forward to reading more from the very talented Victoria Strauss!