Book Review for “Stormbringers” by Philippa Gregory

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Last week I reviewed the first book in the Order of Darkness series, Changeling, by Philippa Gregory. Today I’m going to review the second book, Stormbringers. My review for the first book did not have spoilers but this one will have spoilers. If for some reason you choose to read this review without reading the first one, Order of Darkness is a four book, YA and historical fiction series. Let’s get into the synopsis and review!


Italy, 1453. Luca and Isolde grow more and more attracted to each other as they continue their journey to unravel the mysteries throughout Christendom. But their travels are delayed by the uprising of an intense religious crusade that threatens the balance of the civilized world. Death lingers in the air as war ravages on, but this religious conflict is nothing compared to the arrival of an intense and deadly storm.

Caught in the midst of unimaginable chaos, Luca and Isolde must rely on one another in order to survive.

My Thoughts

I have some issues with this book. My first issue is one that I also had with Changeling, the synopsis for this book is very inaccurate. It tries to make it seem like there is a grand love story building between Luca and Isolde but like, where? I was truly hoping for some intense character building because I don’t feel we really got to know the characters in the first book. Sadly, I was very disappointed. Luca and Isolde have a few moments of slight flirting but the rest of the time Isolde is mad over petty things. There’s honestly no real character development and I’m sorry but two books in, I expect more. I thought their relationship would really bloom but it stays the exact same.

Another issue I have is all the talking. Our characters spend most of this book in one town just talking and talking and talking. It is so unbelievably boring. Again, I wanted to see character development and not just filler of them having endless conversations while they eat.

The only slightly interesting part of this book is everything with Johann, the “prophet” who was leading a crusade of children. However, even that left me scratching my head. This seemingly perfect teenager is leading all of these children, he knows that the sea will part for them as it did for Moses and it DOES part but then it comes back down on them and kills almost all of them. If the sea parting and then coming back to shore is just a natural disaster (it’s a tsunami by the way), what was up with Johann? The book convinces you he is a prophet that actually does have supernatural knowledge. He knew things about all the characters that there was no way he could know on his own. Then he’s killed off in a natural disaster and all the characters just kind of shrug and are like must have been Satan… what? It was all just so strange to me.

I’m honestly shocked at how badly written these books are and I think I know what the problem might be. Philippa Gregory is REALLY good at writing historical fiction based on real people and real events. This series is totally a work of fiction with her own original characters and I think that’s the problem; she doesn’t know how to develop them because she has nothing to go off of.  I really hate to just drop a series but I honestly don’t care to spend my money and time on the last two. I hope none of you are bothered by that and I would love to know what you think about my review! Thanks for reading and have a great day!


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