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25 Reviews
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 (16)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical masterpiece!
Within the first ten minutes of opening this fantastic book's cover I was hooked! Every moment had me interested and Mary Hoffmans portrayal of the strangely familar town of 'Bellezza' is truly wonderful!
We first meet Lucien (one of the main characters) in his bed at home. He has cancer and, as a relatively modern issue, this shows us the stark contrast between...
Published on 10 Sep 2003

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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read, but let down by a few small points.
It would be wrong to say that I didn't enjoy this book: I did. It is written with care, and there are a lot of original and stimulating ideas in it ... but it was not for me a classic on the level of Lord of the Rings. For one thing there are too many inconsistencies, things that don't quite work - and although the author goes to great lengths at several points to try to...
Published on 12 July 2003 by Joel Lewis


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical masterpiece!, 10 Sep 2003
By A Customer
Within the first ten minutes of opening this fantastic book's cover I was hooked! Every moment had me interested and Mary Hoffmans portrayal of the strangely familar town of 'Bellezza' is truly wonderful!
We first meet Lucien (one of the main characters) in his bed at home. He has cancer and, as a relatively modern issue, this shows us the stark contrast between his own world and that of sixteenth century 'Talia.'
Lucien is transported, whilst sleeping, to this beautiful and tangible world where he meets a native, by the name of Arianna.
I will say nothing more of the plot, but I would recommend anyone who loves adventure and fantasy to delve into this magical and intriguing world which Mary Hoffman has created!
It contains a terrific blend of intrigue, murder, romance and, of course, magic!
You won't want to stop reading!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very very good, 19 Nov 2002
I really enjoy reading any type of fantasy, so when I saw this book at half price in a boookshop I thought I'd try it. I wasn't sure if it would be particularly good at first; I wasn't sure if the story line would appeaal to me.(I generally like books such as Tamora Pierce's and Robin McKinley's 'The Hero and the Crown-war books set in the past). However I found myself really getting into this story even though half of it is set in modern day Britain.
The book is about a teenage boy who is dying of cancer. When his father gives him a notepad to write things down on (some days he hasn't got the energy to speak) he finds himself travelling to Bellezza, while he is unconscious, a city very similar to Venice, whose ruler is a Duchessa rather than a Doge. There he meets a girl called Arianna who is determined to get the law changed so that girls can be gondoliers. Besides becoming very good friends with her, his name is changed to Luciano, and he also finds out that he is a Stravagante-a person who can travel between worlds-and is a very powerful magician. I won't say any more or I will ruin the story but there is a murder plot involved...
I did not give this book five stars because I don't think the character development is as good as it could be, and also, the storyline could have been slightly better, although it was very good. There was also not enough said about the relationship between Luciano and Arianna. However, if there are sequels, this may be sorted out. I would certainly recommend reading this book anyway-it is definitely worth your while.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read!, 3 Oct 2006
By 
Wrecky World (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
Alternate worlds, likable personalities, dangerous adventures, and a captivating writing style. What more could one possible want from a children's fantasy book? Not much to be honest. I gave it 4 rather 5 stars because the one thing it doesn't have is an edge over other books in the same category. Although it is very good and most definitely worth reading, it is not very "new" or "refreshing" as far as children's fantasy goes.

P.S. The second and third book in the series are equally good!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Talia Review, 19 Jan 2005
I Think 'STRAVAGANZA City Of Masks' by Mary Hoffman is a brilliant adventure of a book. It was so spell binding it convinced me to by it's sequel, City Of Stars. I am only on the 6th chapter of City Of Stars but it is already impossible to put down. By searching the web I have found out there is another book in the STRAVAGANZA series which I am going to keep an eye out for.
City Of Masks is a wonderfull book that will keep you hanging on for more. I mean, what would you feel like being ill in bed one
minute, then the next an adventurus world of masksthat you have never seen or been to before? That is the situatition Lucien Mulholland found himself in.
How could he have got there?
Where is he?
Why is he there?
And most importantly : How will he get back home?
Join Lucien in his adventures to understand this strange, new and magical place.
GO on, read it!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stravaganza: city of masks, 3 July 2006
This book entrances you with the mysterious first page. It was hard to put it down. I loved the way that the story was told, making it seem as if you were looking at the city. The characters are well thought about and so lifelike. Mary Hoffman leaves you waiting till the very end to see if the characters survive. There wasn't a dull moment at all. It was gripping, extraordinary and totally thrilling, if you love adventure and a tiny bit of tampered with history you have to read this book!!!!!!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stravaganza, 20 Jan 2003
By 
Lukas May (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
Lucien lives in London and has been restricted to his bed by a life threatening illness.
One day, when clutching a notebook given to him by his Dad, he falls asleep and is transported to a Venice-like city, 500 years ago. The countries and places are similar to those in 16th Century England with some differences in culture, history, technology and religion.
He discovers that he is a Stravagante - someone who can "teleport" from our world to theirs and vice-versa.
How will he cope in a strange country? How will he know how to get back to London, and when faced by death from risky escapades in an unknown world, how will he get back to his real home in London?
Belleza, the name for the alternate Venice, is full of treachery, murder and romance - and that's just the politics...
Mary Hoffman sculpts Belezza with the care and quality of a master craftsman down to each detail of ceremony and tradition. A thrilling read with unexpected twists throughout the book. This masterpiece rivals even Lord of the Rings in imagination and creation.
This book will thrill the current generation and many more to come.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Straveganza: the city of masks, 19 Nov 2002
By 
Never judge a book by its cover but the cover of this is fascinating, just like the story inside. I really enjoyed this version of Venice and it really made me wnat to visit the city again. I found the plot convincing and engaging and the characters were also believable. The timeslip element was well thought out and effective. It was on my desk at school and has already been borrowed by several pupils in Years 7 and 8 who have enjoyed its rather fantastic narrative.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It is an amazing book full of fun, fear and disguise, 9 Sep 2003
By A Customer
I was completely enthralled by this book. If like me you love historical fantasty then this is the ideal book for you. The setting of 16th century Italy (Talia) is beautifully described and there is a feeling of suspence right from the word go. This book is a joy, a wonderful book that both me and my younger cousin(6) enjoyed. It is a pleasure to read, and all I can say is bring on the next one
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A time travel adventure., 28 July 2005
By 
DubaiReader "MaryAnne" (Rowlands Castle, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
As an adult, I don't usually read teen books. I was looking for a fantasy style read for my son after he finished the latest Harry Potter. I was also attracted by the Venetian setting.
I enjoyed this book more than I'd expected and although my son would not be persuaded, I'm sure many teenagers will enjoy it too, and follow it with the other two books of the trilogy. I think I might even do so myself!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book!, 14 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Stravaganza - City of Masks (Kindle Edition)
This is a fantastic story, well written, full of suspense and twists. You'll fall in love with all the characters.
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