The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner is a story that unfolds against the backdrop of the early days of the French Revolution. The story of two young people who meet on a fateful night, separate for a number of years, and then unite in a time of extreme danger.
Yann Margoza is a performer and he, along with his guardian the dwarf Tetu, and the magician Topolain are brought to the chateau of the Marquis de Villeduval to perform their magic act for his guests. Among the guests is the sinister Count Kalliovski. Like a puppet master, this evil count controls the strings of both people and events that unfold throughout the story. The Marquis has brought his daughter home from school at the request of the Count, although she is being kept practically a prisoner. The Marquis de Villeduval is a weak, greedy man who has mortgaged his estates to the hilt and borrowed money from the Count, he has no interest in his daughter, Sido, considering her flawed. Yann and Sido meet for the first time on this eventful night, and she helps him escape from the Count.
Although published in 2007, The Red Necklace has an old fashioned feel to it, as if it had been written for a previous generation. An adventure story laced with gypsy magic, a budding romance and a more than a few nasty secrets. The story builds to an exciting climax where Yann must save Sido from both the guillotine and the evil clutches of Count Kalliovski.