Sunday, October 14, 2012

Review: Venom by Fiona Paul

Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #1)Title: Venom
Author: Fiona Paul
Publisher: Philomel
Publishing Date: October 30th 2012
Pages: 432
Genre: YA Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller
Series: Secrets of the Eternal Rose #1
Source: Print ARC Provided by SouthernBookBloggers

Goodreads Summary:

Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancĂ©, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.

When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancĂ©, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?

Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself.


I love historical fictions and I love mysteries. This book sounded perfect for me. The cover grabbed me right away. It is so gorgeous and the tittle is very intriguing. The book was full of mystery, suspense, romance, and adventure.

Short and fast version of the book, Cassandra lives with her aunt, kept under lock and key for the most part, and has been arranged to marry in the near future to a man she barely knows. One night a close friend is murdered, then her body stolen which leads to Cassandra meeting a very mysterious boy named Falco, learns to break a few rules, and gets mixed up in the mystery of a killer. In a web of lies and secrets she doesn’t know who trust and finds herself in danger.

I loved the setting in Renaissance Venice, the parties, the city, and the way of living. The author made the setting feel real to me. I loved reading about the gowns, the jewelry, the masks.

The plot was awesome The mystery was woven together so well, I couldn’t figure it out for the life of me. I would think “oh it’s got to be…” but then within the couple of chapters, I was ready to change my mind. I am usually good with mysteries, but this one had me stumped. I didn’t know how to trust and was afraid of who it would turn out to be.

The characters were pretty cool too. Cassandra was a real character for me. I loved her at times and hated her at others. She seemed so smart one moment then the next she would make a stupid decision. Normally I would chalk this up to being a teenager, but in the era this book takes place she was considered to be a mature lady. She really wanted to do right by her friend who died, to find her body, solve the mystery. She was fearless and determined, I admired this at first. The further along in the story it became apparent that Cassandra didn’t care who she put in danger along the way, herself, her friends, her family, or even her staff. That kind of bugged me, but I the good side of Cassandra still won me over in the end.

The two boys in the story, Falco the mysterious boy and Luca, her intended were equally awesome yet questionable.  I liked both boys well enough but the book spun me into such a spiral I really didn’t trust either. I think in the end it ended the way it needed between the subtle love triangle.

The book started a little slow, but still kept me interested enough to keep on going. A little over halfway, I couldn’t put the book down and in the end I felt satisfied and very eager for the next book.




  1. Glad you liked VENOM :) Thanks for taking the time to post such a detailed review.

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  3. Editing mistakes:
    I was able to get a copy of this book at BEA but haven't had a chance to read it yet. It looks fantastic and I loved your review. Can't wait to read it! Happy reading!

  4. Oh, good. I plan to read this one soon. Glad you liked it. I love books set in Venice....


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