The Red Necklace
Publisher: Orion Children's Books
Set during the French Revolution, at the time of the Terror, Gardner's second novel incorporates magical elements into a swiftly moving adventure story of friendship, betrayal, greed and hardship.
Yann, a boy of gypsy origin providing 'magic' in a Paris theatre, is unwittingly drawn into old feuds amongst the rich and powerful, and becomes involved in saving Sido, the daughter of a wastrel Marquis, from seduction by a mysterious and unprincipled Count.
Gardner skillfully sets the scene, in which nothing is quite what it seems, extra-sensory abilities can be turned to many uses, and where good and evil, identity and destiny are not as clear cut as we might think.
Historical atmosphere and evocative writing suffuse a gripping novel.