The Ruby Talisman, Belinda Murrell

| 16 May , 2010 | Reply

Tina Gamble

Wishing for a different and more exciting life, Tilly falls asleep wearing her ancestor’s heirloom ruby necklace. Soon she wakes to find herself in the past – over two centuries ago – in the year of the French Revolution.

In 1789, Amelie-Mathilde was a noble living in luxury – unaware of the world outside of the Palace of Versailles – Amelie was being groomed to marry the old Chevalier – a marriage of convenience that Amelie wanted nothing of.

Both girls were looking for an escape, though neither expected the events that followed…

The Ruby Talisman by Belinda Murrell is a gripping thrill ride, as Tilly travels back in time to be thrown in the midst of the French Revolution. There, Tilly sees the indulgence of the nobles, their ignorance to life outside the Palace walls – and in some cases, even within their own homes, and the ferociousness of the peasants, and the difference of social classes.

There is danger and adventure, as Tilly, Amelie, Henrie and their sidekicks, Juju and Mimi, are hunted across the French terrain. This book is riveting and hard to put down – Murrell really brings out some of the ignorance and complacency of the nobles, and their denial of the true conditions in France.

Having said that, I was both horrified and fascinated by the actions of both the rioters and the nobles. Not having known much about the revolution, I found this novel a really interesting read, and I was curious to find out more. I liked that Murrell didn’t sugar-coat everything, and although it is teen-friendly and not highly gruesome, there were still several moments where I found myself extremely glad that we no longer live in such times.

Though, I think that was part of Murrell desire – Unhappy with her current life, it takes a look at another life for Tilly to get a perspective, understanding and even appreciation for her own.

Mix together a collection of French vocab, a cast of loveable characters, a dash of history, several dangerous encounters and some time travelling adventure, and you have Belinda Murrell’s The Ruby Talisman. This novel was a joy to read, as it takes you on a journey to the past.

Available now: Random House RRP$15.99


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