Waterfall (River of Time #1) by Lisa Bergren
What do you do when your knight in shining armor lives, literally, in a different world?
Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives among the romantic hills with their archaelogist parents. Stuck among the rubble of the medieval castles in rural Tuscany, on yet another hot, dusty archaeological site, Gabi and Lia are bored out of their minds...until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in fourteenth-century Italy. And worse yet, in the middle of a fierce battle between knights of two opposing forces.
Suddenly Gabi's summer in Italy is much, much more interesting.
Publishes in US: February 1st 2011 by David C. Cook
Genre: YA time travel
Series? River of Time #1
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Nobles | Book Depository
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I decided to read this one because I had heard so many great things about the series and even though I don't usually enjoy historical fiction, I do love time travel, so I figured that I would give it a shot, and boy am I glad that I did.
I really enjoyed Gabbi's character, and when she went backwards in time, she knew more than me of the time period because of her growing up with archaeologists for parents, but just enough so that she could blend in, and the things she didn't understand was able to be written off because she claimed to be from a different country and distraught because of her missing sister and mother.
But, as it turns out, the way that Lisa writes, I really loved the time period. The customs and chivalry, the way that the politics were presented was interesting to me, but like with all books, it was really the characters that made the story for me. Gabbi being emotional, but resilient and strong, showing up as a female obviously beyond the times, and willing to stand up for herself, fight for her family, and yet willing to learn. She knew her weaknesses, but turned them into strength. What I enjoyed the most though was that she was loyal, she cared about other people, and she kept the big picture in focus. She was willing to put aside what she wanted in order for others to be happy and for the greater good.
There was some talk of religion in this one, but it was tastefully written, fitting with the time period, circumstances, and not preachy. I actually really appreciated her openess to it, even though she wasn't a religious person to start with.
On to the men. Wow. They were thoughtful, handsome, strong, and they just don't have many men like this in this time, which is another reason I enjoyed the time period.
The action scenes were well written and didn't feel forced or too gruesome, while yet keeping true to what would have been realistic in battle and between the forces.
Fortino was a pleasant addition. I loved that Gabbi wanted to help him, and was able to use personal experience as well as some modern age treatments to help him with his illness, and that it was a true friendship between a guy and a girl.
Luka, the first guard, caught my eye, but I knew that he wasn't for Gabbi. I couldn't help but fall for him though, he is trust worthy, loyal, understanding.
Marcello is the perfect royal gentlemen. It is hard because his marriage has been planned since he was a small child and it is for political alliance. He was fine until he met and fell for Gabbi. It was so hard because of his duty, responsibilities, and then his feelings. There is such tension, hotness, and passion in this romance, but it is all clean.
The ending worked well for the book, although I am eager to get an opening in my schedule to keep reading about this awesome world and see what choices are made and how they live with the ones from the last book, however painful, noble, fitting, and needed.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Would you go backwards or forward in time?