05 March 2011

The Nascenza Conspiracy by V. Briceland

A Legacy Rejected. A Mortal Error. A precarious Collaboration.

Petro Divetri—younger brother of famed sorceress Risa Divetri—just wants to be left alone. His status as one of the seven ruling families in Cassaforte has saddled him with unwanted attention, from bullies as well as from those seeking favors.

So when Petro and his best friend Adrio are sent to far-off Nascenza for the Midsummer High Rites, they swap identities. Their prank goes awry when Adrio, mistaken for Petro, is kidnapped by rebels determined to overthrow the king. With the help of Emilia, a palace guard who wants to prove her worth, Petro must rescue his friend and defeat a political plot that threatens to wipe out all of Cassaforte.

This has to be my favorite out of all the Cassaforte Chronicles.  Which is saying something, peeps, ‘cause I absolutely fell in love with V. Briceland’s writing in The Glass Maker’s Daughter.  This was just an enjoyable story that set me on my wit’s end when the suspense nearly did me in.  And made my ribs hurt with laughter when Petro and Emilia went at each other.  Petro’s character was real and it was fun to see the adventure through his eyes.

I like stories where you see the characters through other people’s eyes.  We saw Petro when he was a kid in The Glass Maker’s Daughter, as Risa’s annoying but fun-loving little brother.  Now we’re reading about his own adventures and learning the tune of his reactions.  I love stuff like that.

Everything seemed to come together.  I think what made this such an incredible read was the combination of elements that work.  Also, the emotions are more raw in this book.  Like the edginess between Petro and Adrio—I was constantly getting so angry at Adrio for all the stupid things he’d come up with, calling Petro a snob and all that.  But it was so cool how Petro still went after Adrio anyway.  So you’ve got those two best friends and then you’ve got Emilia.  That whole deal didn’t turn out as I expected it at all—but it was such a lovely ending!  V. Briceland was flawless: he somehow didn’t give me the ending I wanted, yet it still satisfied completely.

From the very first page, I could picture it.  I didn’t catch on to the significance of this until after I was halfway through the book: when I’d started reading, I’d unconsciously started to film it in my head.  I know we all do this (mostly) but there was something about it that flowed.  I could pull it all together as I read and it made it all the more exciting when the action began and all of a sudden I was tied to the book.  In essence, this reaction is the product of very impressive writing.  I cannot believe that he isn’t as popular as authors like Tamora Pierce, Maria V. Snyder, and Cinda Williams Chima.

I’m so attached to this world and the characters.  It’s a world I love stepping into.  I’d love to spend a day with these characters.  (I started to list my favorite characters…but it was one of those times when I kept backspacing to add more and more…)  Above all, I really think Petro is my favorite character.  There was so much emotional depth in The Nascenza Conspiracy and the outcome from so much inner turmoil really made Petro shine.

Of course, I can’t let you click out thinking that it’s only emotional stuff going down.  Oh no!  What else could come of swapping identities and a far-off Midsummer High Rites than a breathless adventure?  And never forget the surreptitiously left clues that all click together in the end—the brilliant kind of click that makes you go, “Oh snap!” and slap yourself on the forehead for not putting it together earlier.

Unfortunately, I got the gut feeling that the series has come full circle.  Which makes me want to cry.  As I’ve said, I’ve gotten so attached to these characters and I love their stories so much.  I feel like breaking down and begging V. Briceland in a hysterical email whether or not he’s going to write a fourth installment.  I’d be happy if he was writing another series…(maybe)…but I’d do an ecstatic happy dance if he was planning on writing a fourth book.

If you like the writings of Tamora Pierce, Maria V. Snyder and Cinda Williams Chima, you’ll love adding V. Briceland to your collection.

Book Info:
  • pages – paperback, 384
  • published – January 2011
  • publisher – Flux
  • genre – fantasy
  • received via – BookDepository.com
  • rating – 5/5
  • series - The Cassaforte Chronicles
    • The Glass Maker's Daughter | Review
    • The Buccaneer's Apprentice | Review
    • The Nascenza Conspiracy