Over 85,000 copies sold in hardback pre-publication for CITY OF MASKS; also sold in 9 different languages pre-publicationFantastic website to entice readers - www.stravaganza.co.uk Amazing jacket design Shortlisted for the WH Smith teenage award.
Mary Hoffman is a best-selling children's author and reviewer. She is the author of the picture book 'Amazing Grace' which is an international best-seller. Her first novel for Bloomsbury, 'Stravaganza: City of Masks' sold over 85,000 hardback copies pre-publication. She is a complete afficionado of Italy, and spends as much time as she can there - all her love for Italy has been infused into the Stravaganza series. She is currently doing an Italian literature course. Mary is also the editor of Armadillo, a children's revew magazine. She has three grown-up children and lives with her husband in Carterton, outside Oxford.
Characters travel through space and time, encounter mysterious creatures and more in an assortment of new installments. Of the first book, Stravaganza: City of Masks, PW said, "The Renaissance backdrop [and Venetian-style city] set an elegant mood for the time-travel toggling." This time a miniature model of a winged horse (another talisman of the Stravaganti, a brotherhood of scientists who use talismans to travel between time periods) sends 15-year-old equestrian Georgia to a 16th-century version of Tuscany in Stravaganza: City of Stars by Mary Hoffman. There Georgia gets caught up in the intrigue surrounding the birth of a real winged horse. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Gr 7 Up-This second volume of the trilogy continues the story begun in City of Masks (Bloomsbury, 2002). Georgia, a 15-year-old with a hateful older stepbrother, finds herself transported to 16th-century Talia (Italy), when she goes to sleep holding a little winged horse figure she bought in an antique shop. She awakes in a barn where a coveted, rare winged horse has just been born. She quickly finds herself involved in the intrigues and conflicts between rival families and the preparation for the Stellata, the annual horse race among the competitive elite families. The di Chimici family is seeking to extend its power and control and sees the race as another step in reaching that goal. At the same time, its patriarch is devastated by an accident that left his youngest son, Falco, crippled. When Falco, dismayed at his now limited future, meets Georgia and learns that she can travel across time and place, he resolves to stravagate permanently to her time, where modern medicine may be able to give him a normal life. Georgia eventually helps him to get to England, but his transition to life there seems somewhat contrived and too neatly resolved. The book climaxes with the horse race and Falco's death in his own time when he becomes a modern-day boy. The concept of stravagation is appealing and is used well to create an adventure tale that takes readers back into the 16th century with all its drama. Fans of the first book will find the sequel equally appealing.-Jane G. Connor, South Carolina State Library, Columbia Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.