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03 October, 2014

Book Tour: Color Song by Victoria Strauss

02_Color Song 


Add to GR ButtonBy the author of the acclaimed Passion Blue, a Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2012 and “a rare, rewarding, sumptuous exploration of artistic passion,” comes a fascinating companion novel. 

Artistically brilliant, Giulia is blessed – or cursed – with a spirit’s gift: she can hear the mysterious singing of the colors she creates in the convent workshop of Maestra Humilità. It’s here that Giulia, forced into the convent against her will, has found unexpected happiness, and rekindled her passion to become a painter – an impossible dream for any woman in 15th century Italy.

But when a dying Humilità bequeaths Giulia her most prized possession – the secret formula for the luminously beautiful paint called Passion blue – Giulia realizes she’s in danger from those who have long coveted the famous color for themselves. Faced with the prospect of lifelong imprisonment in the convent, forever barred from painting as a punishment for keeping Humilita’s secret, Giulia is struck by a desperate idea: What if she disguises herself as a boy? Could she make her way to Venice and find work as an artist’s apprentice?

Along with the truth of who she is, Giulia carries more dangerous secrets: the exquisite voices of her paint colors and the formula for Humilità’s precious blue. And Venice, with its graceful gondolas and twisting canals, its gilded palazzi and masked balls, has secrets of its own. Trapped in her false identity in this dream-like place where reality and reflection are easily confused, where art and ambition, love and deception hover like dense fog, can Giulia find her way?

This compelling novel explores timeless themes of love and illusion, gender and identity as it asks the question: what does it mean to risk everything to follow your true passion?

Praise for the Novels of Victoria Strauss

"Fantasy elements and a historical setting rich with sensuous detail are satisfying, but it’s Giulia’s achingly real search for her heart’s desire that resonates most today, when millions of girls still have limited choices. A rare, rewarding, sumptuous exploration of artistic passion." - Kirkus Reviews on PASSION BLUE (Starred Review, a Best Teen Book of 2012)

"Compelling…absorbing…An intriguing historical novel inspired by accounts of women artists in the Italian Renaissance." - Booklist on PASSION BLUE

"Mysterious dreams, suspense-filled legends, the terror that unfolds as the dig ensues, and the fine characterizations weave together beautifully to make this adventure fantasy a winner." - Booklist on GUARDIAN OF THE HILLS (Starred Review) 

"A rich story about human nature, this fantasy is a thought-provoking page-turner. The characters are deeply etched, and the plot turns are credible yet arresting…A thoroughly enjoyable read." - Kliatt on THE ARM OF THE STONE

"The plot is complex yet convincing, and the abundant, well-chosen details of the settings–as well as the carefully developed characters–make this high fantasy a superior and original novel." - Publishers Weekly on THE GARDEN OF THE STONE (Starred Review)

Buy the Book

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03_Victoria StraussAbout the Author

Victoria Strauss is the author of nine novels for adults and young adults, including the STONE duology (THE ARM OF THE STONE and THE GARDEN OF THE STONE), and a historical novel for teens, PASSION BLUE. She has written hundreds of book reviews for magazines and ezines, including SF Site, and her articles on writing have appeared in Writer's Digest and elsewhere. In 2006, she served as a judge for the World Fantasy Awards.

An active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), she's co-founder, with Ann Crispin, of Writer Beware, a publishing industry watchdog group that tracks and warns about literary fraud. She maintains the popular Writer Beware website, Facebook page, and blog, for which she was a 2012 winner of an Independent Book Blogger Award. She was honored with the SFWA Service Award in 2009.

She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.

For more information please visit Victoria's Strauss's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Goodreads.

Giveaways

To enter to win any of the following prizes please complete the form below:

2 Grand Prizes Winners: One Kindle Paperwhite with custom Color Song cover with Color Song and Passion Blue ebooks pre-loaded, plus swag (postcards, bookmarks), and signed paperback editions of Strauss's Stone duology (The Arm of the Stone and The Garden of the Stone) (US only) 2 winners: Signed hardcovers of Color Song and Passion Blue, plus swag (postcards, bookmarks) (US and Canada) 5 winners: Signed paperbacks of Color Song and Passion Blue, plus swag (postcards, bookmarks) (US and Canada)

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on October 10th. You must be 18 or older to enter. Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on October 11th and notified via email. Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. 

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review

Series: N/A
Release Date: 16 September, 2014
Publisher: Skyscape (Amazon Children's Publishing)
GenreHistorical Fiction/Young Adult
ISBN:  9781477825044
Edition: Paperback
Rating: 
Review Written: 3 October, 2014



I have to admit this book intrigued me with both it's setting and characters. Set in 15th century Venice, Color Song proves to provide both an interesting cast of characters. 

Giulia, a young woman who burns with a passion for painting, found her way in the harsh lifestyle of the Convent of Santa Marta when she was allowed to paint in the workshop of Maestra Humilita. With the death of the Maestra however, Giulia finds herself cornered from all sides by the new Maestra and the world for the coveted recipe of the colour Passion Blue, a paint colour that is supposedly more brilliant that any other blue in the world. With the hard colour's recipe only known by first Maestra Humilita and then by Giulia herself, things seem to be at a desperate ending for Giulia with the threat of being expelled from the workshop in the Convent.

In desperation, Giulia latches onto Gianfranco Ferraldi, a painter in Venice that her former Maestra had chosen to befriend. When the threat becomes too great to remain within the walls of the Convent, Giulia makes the most desperate decision that she can...to dress as a boy and try to pass herself off in a world that frowns upon women.

Strauss's writing is deceptively simple, the combination of words sweeping readers away into another world entirely. A quick read and a good one, I highly recommend lovers of Young Adult novels that focus on history and something beyond Eros (romantic love).

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