CHANGELING by Philippa Gregory

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Luca joined the Order to act as an Inquisitor, to investigate strange occurrences and determine whether they were the result of the evils of men, able to be explained by science, or the work of Satan’s minions.  When he first arrives at the Abbey, he does not know what to make of the seemingly possessed nuns.  But his investigations into the new Lady Abbess, forced into the convent against her will, and her mysterious Muslim handmaiden begin to raise alarming questions that force him to reexamine some of his moral convictions.

I’ve enjoyed Philippa Gregory’s adult novels, but I wasn’t crazy about her foray into YA.  The changing points of view were difficult to follow, the message heavy-handed, and the plot disjointed.  The first and second halves of the novels really had separate plots and story arcs.  And the title and early rumors of the male protagonist’s origins had no real bearing on the plot.  I had difficulty getting through it.  But I tend to prefer books that are very cohesive with clear story arc and character development.  If you like fantasy vignettes that take place in a medieval environment and enjoy them for the settings and fantasy ideas alone, it may be worth checking out this series.

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