Philippa Gregory’s written MANY a bestselling novel and been proclaimed “the queen of royal fiction” by USA Today. You might be familiar with The Other Boleyn Girl which has been adapted into a movie, or perhaps with The White Queen, the inspiration for the critically acclaimed miniseries now airing on Starz. But what many people aren’t aware of is that in recent years, Philippa’s tried her hand at YA with the Order of Darkness series.
Philippa Gregory’s Order of Darkness series is full of the medieval secrets, intrigue, and romance that she’s become known for. We’re featuring Changeling, the first book in the series, as a free read until June 12, and it couldn’t be a better time to start this gripping series since a new bind-up with the first three books in the series will be on sale next week (June 13), AND there’s still an as-yet-untitled fourth and final book in the series coming early 2018!
To whet your appetite a little more, here’s an overview of the series from Philippa:
The story begins with Luca Vero; accused of heresy and expelled from his monastery, he is recruited by a mysterious stranger to record the end of the days. His first mission takes him to a nunnery where the women are showing terrible signs of possession under an imprisoned Lady Abbess – Isolde. Thrown together by danger, Luca and his true friend Frieze, alongside Isolde and her companion Ishraq, embark on a daring journey across Europe, as they uncover the secrets of Order of Darkness, racing to stay ahead of the end of the world. Breaking the journey in Piccolo, Luca finds a place filled with superstitious fears: of the unknown, of the forces of the sea and sky, of strangers. Still with him are his loyal friend and servant, Frieze, and his clerk, Brother Peter, as well as the Lady Isolde and her mysterious servant-companion Ishraq. The five of them are followed into the town by a huge children’s crusade, led by a self-proclaimed saint. Its young leader promises that the sea will part before them, and allow them to walk dry-shod all the way to Jerusalem. Luca and Lady Isolde are swept up in the growing excitement; but something dangerous is brewing far out to sea. Onwards to Venice where Luca Vero and his friends are plunged into the heady whirlwind of the world’s busiest marketplace, where everything – and everyone – is for sale. Their mission from the Pope is no protection: this city has its own laws. Meanwhile, the Lady Isolde is in more danger than ever, and her feelings for Luca are becoming more intense. As the friends face the unknown dangers of magic and alchemy, the crimes and politics of the city may become the least of their worries. The powers they confront are not of this world …
Want to know a little more about Philippa? She recently gave us some insight into her writing habits and some of her “favourite” things:
Do you stay at home, write in a café or go somewhere else?
I can write anywhere, and I do write anywhere. The only time I have to by in my study is when I am doing detailed research in documents or books which are not online.
Do you have a go-to snack?
Dry roasted peanuts
Do you take regular breaks?
Not consciously but I wander about during the working day and do other things.
Do you edit as you go along?
Yes, I start every day re-reading what I wrote the day before and rewriting.
Social media platform? FB
Historical figure? Currently, Jane Grey
YA Book? Philip Pullman, His Dark Materials.
Character from Order of Darkness? Freize, I love Freize, he’s so unexpected.
If you could travel back in time to any decade, when would it be?
Late Medieval England – so wonderful to ride through.
If you could give your sixteen-year-old self some advice, what would it be?
Honestly, it’s going to be OK.
If you could take one thing on a desert island, what would it be?
My e book reader and an infinite supply of reading.
On Order of Darkness…
Do you consider writing to be fun?
I’ve had such fun with this series which is set in the 1460s during the rapid expansion of the Ottoman Empire. Led by Sultan Mehmed II, who was just 21 years-old when he conquered Constantinople (now known as Istanbul), the Ottomans’ land grab was unprecedented, and it was a terrifying threat to Christians in Europe. A time of deep superstition and fear, the Church believed that the Ottoman strength represented the rise of Satan and that this indicated that the end of the world was coming.