Stravaganza Series – Mary Hoffman

I don’t think this series receives the attention it deserves. Why doesn’t anyone talk about it!? Harry Potter is fab, but surely there’s a little bit of enthusiasm for middle grade magic left over? No? Come on guys.


Stravaganza is a middle grade series about teenagers travelling from the present day to a parallel renaissance Italy, Talia. I read the first four books as a child, and absolutely adored them, so a few years ago when I found out that two more had been written, I of course reread the whole series.

Each book focusses on a new main character who discovers they are a Stravagante, someone able to travel between England and Talia. The main characters return in subsequent books, allowing an overarching plot as well as new individual character stories. The Stravaganti are often experiencing hardships in the present day, resulting in a perfect mix of “real-life” struggles as well as exciting historical political intrigue.

Although it’s a while since I read the series, I do remember absolutely falling in love with some of the characters, particularly Arianna, a young Talian noble woman. I was so invested in the fates of all the characters, and the racing plots, and the beautiful descriptions of all the stunning festivals and historical costumes. UGH IT WAS JUST SO GOOD.

It’s a magical series that cemented my love of reading.




First blog post

Good morning, procrastinators or England, and/or the World (delete as appropriate).

I have decided to take the plunge and make my own website, which has nothing WHATSOEVER to do with an impending Epidemiology essay crisis I am trying not to think about.

I have been hovering bashfully around the fringes of the book blogging world for ages, like the cold duckling in Bambi who doesn’t want to get its feet wet, in case critical friends and/or future employers, or actual english students stumble across my confused ramblings and ostracise me for eternity.

However, this is all about to change, unless I feel instant regret and delete the whole thing. Watch this space…