4th in the Stravaganza series
For his 17th birthday Matt's great aunt gives him a book token. He doesn't understand why, since he's dyslexic and books are the last thing he wants. However, after school that same day on his way home he passes by an old antiques shop and feels intr
For his 17th birthday Matt's great aunt gives him a book token. He doesn't understand why, since he's dyslexic and books are the last thing he wants. However, after school that same day on his way home he passes by an old antiques shop and feels intrigued by an old leather-bound book in the window. He feels as if the book were 'talking' to him. He buys it with his token and less than twenty four hours later discovers that that is no ordinary old book. It's a talisman that turns him into a stravagante, a person with the ability to travel in space and time and appear in Talia (an equivalent of 16th century Italy) every time he falls asleep with it.
So does Stravaganza City of Secrets begin. Like in the previous three books in the series the young stravagante must carry out serious and dangerous task in Padavia (its current equivalent being Padova) and in order to accomplish it he'll need his new friends in both worlds, those in his high school in Islington (stravaganti in City of Stars and City Flowers) and those in Padavia to help him.
Since Stravaganza City of Secrets is the fourth book in the series I'd recommend that those who're intrigued by it read the first three first. It is true that the books can be read individually but the references are such that I think it's better to start from the beginning. This is a book for those who love time travel. The bits when Matt was in Padavia were the ones I enjoyed the most. I liked the descriptions of 16th century Italy and imagining what it must be like to be able to land so far back in time just like that.