Gabriella has never spent a summer in Italy like this one.
Remaining means giving up all she’s known and loved…
and leaving means forfeiting what she’s come to know…and love itself.
Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Bentarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives with their parents, famed Etruscan scholars, among the romantic hills. Stuck among the rubble of medieval castles in rural Tuscany on yet another hot, dusty archeological 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.
And thus does she come to be rescued by the knight-prince Marcello Falassi, who takes her back to his father’s castle—a castle Gabi has seen in ruins in another life. Suddenly Gabi’s summer in Italy is much, much more interesting. But what do you do when your knight in shining armor lives, literally, in a different world?
The cover of this book drew me in first, and reading about the book thoroughly intrigued me. It sounded like a really neat, adventurous read. But I was slightly wrong in my assumptions. It wasn’t just a neat read—it was an AWESOME read!
It had everything a reader could want in a medieval adventure: battles, sword fights, balls, adventure, peril, humor, suspense, mystery, romance…everything! To put it simply—I was completely wowed by this book. The River of Time series ranks right up there with the best of them and will have a permanent spot on my bookshelf!
Gabriella (Gabi) was one amazing woman. While she was strong and fearless, she was also gentle, compassionate, and had her weaknesses. Being able to wield a sword gave her some advantage when the time travel landed her in the middle of a small war, but knowing how to spar with her father did little to prepare her to take on seasoned knights three times stronger than herself. But even then, she does not shirk from danger. That was one of my favorite aspects of Gabi—she was heroic and brave, even if she was inwardly scared out of her wits.
I didn’t get to know her sister, Evangelia (Lia) that much, but she was very similar to her sister, though a bit more sensitive and naïve. But living with the Sienese had caused Gabi to grow up almost overnight, and Lia was no different. What a heroine she was as she used her impeccable skill with the bow and arrow! I was cheering for her right alongside Gabi—what a formidable team they formed. No wonder they were called the She-Wolves of Siena.
The men in this books were amazing! Marcello and Luca were just plain awesome. What girl wouldn’t want a brave knight beside you, ready to die to keep you safe? And handsome, ta boot! While Marcello was wonderful, I felt more of a liking his sidekick, humorous Luca. His gentle teasing and quirky comments in the face of danger endeared me to this man who was so devoted to Marcello, and in turn, Gabi and Lia.
While this book is published as YA fiction, I believe adults would find Gabi and Lia’s adventures to be stirring and extremely satisfying. Geared for the younger readers, Lisa kept her book clean, light-hearted, and funny. I loved the writing style she used, giving Gabi such a dry sense of humor as she struggled with the differences of living in the medieval world as opposed to the 21st century. There were times where I outright laughed!
Lisa has written a true winner with this book, and, I am confident to presume, with the next two in the series. The book doesn’t end with that bad of a cliffhanger, but enough to make the reader run to the calendar and figure out how much longer they must wait for the next book to be released. What an awesome series this will be! I think the uniqueness of the storyline—21st century girls traveling back to the 1300s—really make for it to be such an awesome series. I can confidently say that I won’t tire of rereading this book again, and again, and again!
The perilous adventures that Gabi faces will leave you breathlessly clinging to each word as you read through the pages. I loved that Lisa didn’t make her characters invincible or anything—they were hurt and bested at some points. This all made their adventures that much more believable and the characters that much more human. And it added a hook to the whole plot as I read into the wee hours of the night, wondering how on earth Gabi and Lia would make it out of such a predicament alive. I seriously cannot wait until all three books are released! I am counting down the days as I keep my copy of Waterfall close at hand for constant rereading. :-)