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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bajomonte Tiepolo Strikes Back, 2 Dec 2010
By 
Hector Lerbioz (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Mourning Emporium (Hardcover)
Those who relished the wit, learning, eccentric characters and barmy flights of fantasy of Michelle Lovric's THE UNDROWNED CHILD will not be disappointed by this excellent sequel. It continues Teo and Renzo's battle against the evil spirit of Bajamonte Tiepolo and his ambitions to destroy Venice and all things Venice-related. Once again it's a book that older children will enjoy but is so intelligent and entertaining that adults should not feel excluded.

This time although the narrative begins in Venice it swiftly moves to piratical events on the high seas and then to London around the time of Queen Victoria's death. Lovric successfully blends documented historical fact with humour, surreal fantasy adventure and often a fairly macabre Gothic sensibility. Tiepolo's chief ally is the extremely nasty Miss Uish who brutalises the orphans in her charge on the ship she commandeers. She's one of the most brilliantly realised and most despicable villains in a children's book that I can remember.

Any book that has a bluff talking bulldog, curry-eating mermaids, street urchins who sleep in coffins, vampire squid and a sarcastic flying cat would be worth a read but the quality of Lovric's research, characterisations, richly comic dialogue and gift for conjuring up a vivid sense of time and place makes this into something special. I found myself quickly forgiving the nonsensical passage late in the book where Bajamonte Tiepolo gloatingly reveals his wicked plans to Teo, because the quality and charm of the writing had by then, completely won me over.

I imagine it is possible to read and enjoy THE MOURNING EMPORIUM as a stand alone book, but I suspect that the reader will get much more out of the experience if they have first read THE UNDROWNED CHILD. Certain concepts such as "going between the linings" will be easier to grasp, as will the underlying motivations and histories of the protagonists.

Happily, the ending of this book implies that a further sequel is a virtual certainty. There is therefore, no cause for mourning here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Undrowned Child comes to London, 15 Dec 2010
By 
Susan Purkiss "Sue Purkiss" (Somerset, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Mourning Emporium (Hardcover)
I'd concur wholeheartedly with the above review. This is a brilliant follow up to The Undrowned Child, which first introduced us to an alternative Venice inhabited by a fantastical array of characters, including the delicately beautiful, no nonsense, curry-swilling mermaids,and the courageous Teo (the eponymous child). The Mourning Emporium introduces us to a range of new characters, notably Turtledove, a bulldog who cares for a gang of street children. What particularly fascinates me is the way that each character has its own, very distinctive way of speaking; there's a tremendous richness to the language of this book.

There is a bit of a Dickensian feel about the book. This is clearly partly because of the setting - Victorian (just) London, but it's also because of the range of beautifully realised characters, the exuberance of the language and the surefootedness of the story telling. This is a book to curl up with and immerse yourself in - but yes, read The Undrowned Child first. (Anyway, it would be a pity to miss it!)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 10 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Mourning Emporium (Paperback)
a really good book that you will dig deep into. it will take you into another amazing, fantasy world. AMAAAZING, a must!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting sequel to "The Undrowned Child", 6 Jan 2012
This review is from: The Mourning Emporium (Paperback)
Teo and Renzo are back but this time London's magical denizens are in trouble and it's up to the booky pair to combat a familiar foe before time runs out. The feel of the book is identical to the first and younger readers will be delighted with the continuation of the story. Fun read, clever integration of period references and mythos, and consistent delivery of humor.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A magical tale of good vs evil, 25 Nov 2011
This review is from: The Mourning Emporium (Paperback)
Wonderful! Enter a magical realm of pure fantasy that transports you from a devastated Venice to a London reeling from the death of Queen Victoria.
A sequel to The Undrowned Child and aimed at the teen market. It is best read in order I think as this book does refer back a few times to the previous events. Once again Teodora (the undrowned child) and Renzo (the studious boy) are in a desperate battle to save Venice from their arch nemesis Bajamonte Tiepolo and those that will follow him. Who can be trusted?
Along the way we meet a multitude of distinct and bizarre characters - curry guzzling mermaids, talking animals, vampire creatures and street urchins who mourn for a living and sleep in coffins - no one is quite whom they seem. The scene is beautifully set with such colourful characters, comic dialogue and a wholly believable setting to fantasical events.
Recommended for all those of an impressionable age (or a need for nonsensical escapism).

I read this on my Kindle. E-book received from NetGalley.
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4.0 out of 5 stars hiro, 4 April 2011
This review is from: The Mourning Emporium (Hardcover)
my daughter loves 'The Undrowned Child' by Michelle Lovric, so this was her request.
It was a fast delivery and she enjoys reading it as well.( but, maybe not as good as the first book...)
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5.0 out of 5 stars stunning, 27 Dec 2010
This review is from: The Mourning Emporium (Hardcover)
After reading The Undrowned Child on holiday (and completely falling in love with it) I was doubtful the book hinted towards a sequel - the ending was wrapped up neatly, with no holes or gaps that needed filling with another adventure to save the beautiful, crumbling city of Venice.

Yet I was overjoyed to find out that Michelle Lovric had written another Teo-and-Renzo adventure, this time with swashbuckling pirates and cruel orphanages and the mourning London (not forgetting the talking bulldog). I really just couldn't put this book down. The plot was winding and twisting, full of intricately deceiving twists and hints, mixed with delicate suspicions and beautiul descriptions of the two cities in peril from Teo and Renzo's old enemy: Bajamonte Tiepolo, this time back with new cronies to aid him in his next evil plan.

The only thing I was a little disappointed with is that Teo and Renzo didn't seem to have that magic bond of friendship that intertwined them so sweetly together, but perhaps it will blossom again, as the ending of the book doesn't 'subtly hint' at a sequel but almost screams it!

I highly recommend this to anyone who likes a fun, yet gorgeous adventure that, whilst suitable for ages 12+, is most definitely a more grown up novel. Happy reading!
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The Mourning Emporium
The Mourning Emporium by Michelle Lovric (Paperback - 4 Aug 2011)
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