In the fifth installment of the Stravaganza series, we meet Isabel Evans, a young girl with a love of Art in particular mosaics, so it comes as no surprise that her talisman is a small bag of silver tesserae. The journey begins with the quick action expected in Talia, with the usual undertones of aggression from the Di Chimici family, and it is not long before Isabel is a practicing Stravangte with all the complications of her life in Talia, spilling into her life in 21st Century England. Mary has a knack of exploring teenager's dreams and jealousies with ease - the confrontation of a new set of friends for Isabel, and secrets she cannot discuss with her best friend! Talia/Italy is described beautifully once more and Mary's evident love of the country is demonstrated so perfectly I feel I could not bear to visit Italy in case it does not live up to what I have read in her books!
There may be a spoiler for a potential next book (I hope so!!!!) somewhere in the pages, but I'll leave you to find that. Everyone you would want is here in the book, the loveable Rodolfo, the handsome Lucien, Georgia, Sky, Matt, but its never complicated, and it is all executed beautifully. There's an amazong revelation about Stravagation in the book and if that is not enough - there's Pirates too! Real ones!
There is one thing I would seriously recommend first though. If you are reading these books to your children, read it yourself first because you will soon loose yourself in the book. I devoured it completely in one day!