Jana is the daughter of the Prince of Moravia; she lives in a castle with her parents, her dog and with many servants. Her grandmother is a sorceress, who knows how to cast spells and prepare potions to cure all kind of diseases, but who is also a clairvoyant with the gift of prophesy, able to see the past, the present and the future.
Since very young, Jana learns to love magic by listening to her grandmother’s stories and she has even learned a few spells, while witnessing her grandmother, performing her rituals for every season of the year. Unfortunately for Jana, her grandmother passes away while she is only 8 years old, leaving her with more questions than answers.
Jana wants to know more, she is in a quest for magic, a quest that will bring her to faraway places she never imagined, but luck is on her side, and destiny will take her to the places where she needs to go, and to meet the people that will guide her to reach her goal. However, it will not be easy, and Jana shall find many pains and difficulties along the way, because life is not a fairy tale, and even if it was, not all the fairy tales have a happy ending.
When Jana becomes nine years old, she is sent by her parents to Aachen, the capital of the Holy Roman Empire, there, her adventure begins. At this place, she will discover more about the enigmatic religion of her grandmother, but she will also learn about life, love and destiny. She will learn that magic is all around us, hidden from normal eyes to see, however, magic is with us all the time, magic is real.
Review: Having read both the Red and the Blue book I have to say that the Blue book/story I enjoyed more. Both dealt with a lot of the same issues but were very different. The Red was written in a boy’s POV which deals more with the richness of war and a strong conviction to his religion. In the Blue story, we see that there is more romance in its storyline; as we see the same time in history, but from the POV of a young girl as she grows.
Jana, who has moved from her Moravia to Aachen where she meets Philipp who has decided that she is his one true love so to speak. Jana is searching for something. This as the Red story takes us on a journey with Jana from the time she is a small girl throughout her life. It is hard not to compare the two as they are similar yet not really so much which is hard to explain. They intertwine the history and story of two young children with much of the same common goals. But, that to me is really where it ends.
As in the first book the Red, there are some minor issues with the translation of Ms. Baptiste native language to English and also the same run on sentences, along with the quotation marks. But like I said that is minor.
I enjoyed moving away from the war and the strong ties to religion that was found in the first (Red) book. As I said this was a little more romantic. Jana was looking for ‘Magic’ just like her grandmother had. Although she did have a religion as was the norm with most people during this time in history she blended two together and quite nicely; Which I have to say that Ms. Baptiste did an awesome job of. I connected with this as I was brought up in the traditional church but as I grew I connected more with my Pagan beliefs and found a nice blend. As Ms. Baptiste shows us with Jana’s story you can have your holiday’s Christmas and Easter but also celebrate your Pagan ceremonies along with going to church at times but also celebrating outside with nature. Ms. Baptiste shows us how easy we can blend both which works for a lot of families into today’s age.
Jana search led her to an unlikely person (a priest) who was able to help her with her search for magic. They had to be careful because at this time in history if found out you would or could be burned at the stake by the Christian church. The priest Nicodemus was her mentor, while guiding her on her journey to find herself…her magic…her fate. Her fate leads her to Philipp. Philipp is actually what she was looking for all along the missing piece to the puzzle…to finding the magic.
I truly enjoyed both books as they complimented each other. Ms. Baptiste did a wonderful job of showing the viewpoint of life, of coming of age from the POV’s of a boy and a girl. She shows us that boys tend to see the rougher more practical side of life whereas girls will romanticize life at times.
When reading these books (Red first and blue second) remember they are complex in theory. Not something that you would want to read on the plane or at the beach. In the Red war is brutal and written realistically. In the Blue while things are more romanticized it touches on magic, reincarnation, pagan beliefs something’s that some find hard to deal with.
I would highly recommend these books.