Sunday, March 8, 2020

The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta

Rating: ★★★ | 9 hours 44 min. | Viking | YA Fantasy | Release Date: 10/30/18

In this Italian inspired fantasy, we travel to the mountains of Vinalia and meet Teodora “Teo” Di Sangro, the second daughter of a high ranking family. Teo has a secret. She's a strega who uses her magic to turn the men who have wronged her family into objects. You know...like a straight-up serial killer.

Stregas are supposed to be things of the past but when tragedy strikes her family, Teo joins up with Cielo-- a mysterious orphaned strega who can change genders-- to teach her how to become a boy and take over as the Di Sangro family son.

Capetta is clearly doing some interesting work with Italian mythos and gender identity but overall I never connected with the stakes of the book. This story moves pretty fast and I wish we’d lingered a little bit to develop the relationships between the characters. There were so many people towards the end and I had no idea who most of them were or what their purpose was supposed to be.

The audiobook is narrated by Carlotta Brentan. She has a great voice for YA and her accent work was spot on. I demo-d a few other European inspired fantasy audiobooks and so many of the accents came off cartoonish. I was not all surprised to discover Brentan is from Italy Italian, it added a real authenticity to the narration. 


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