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The Queen's Soprano    by Carol Dines order for
Queen's Soprano
by Carol Dines
Order:  USA  Can
Harcourt, 2006 (2006)

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* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Carol Dines has penned an elegant work of historical fiction that will move young adult readers. The Queen's Soprano takes place in a time and a society much different from ours today, one that will open readers' eyes to what life would have been like, if lived in 17th century Italy. What is most amazing is that Dines crafted the story (which is based on real people) from diaries about Queen Christina's court.

Angelica Voglia wants nothing more out of life than to sing. Unfortunately, Pope Innocent XI has passed strict laws against women singing in public. There is, however, one chance for Angelica to sing without being sent to a convent she must become a lady to Queen Christina, the only ruler in Italy who does not follow the Pope's decree. After dodging her mother's ambitious attempts to marry her to someone of a higher station, Angelica runs away to become the Queen's Soprano while she eagerly awaits the return from his native land of the lowborn French sculptor, with whom she has fallen in love.

As in many works of historical fiction, Dines spends more time giving readers a feeling for the period and developing characters than on the actual plot, which is a straight forward one. While the story moves a little slower than some, Dines paints such a complete image of the times that the reader becomes transported and wishes to stay. When the story ends, the reader is left wanting to find out what happens to Angelica in her new life. It would be wonderful if Carol Dines wrote a sequel to The Queen's Soprano, though it sounds from the author's notes that what was told here is all that is known of Angelica's life.

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