Synopsis (from amazon.co.uk)
Set in Talia, a parallel world very similar to 16th-century Italy, the narrative follows Lucien, who in our world is very ill. Given a marbled notebook to use as a diary, the notebook is the unexpected means that transports Lucien to this dangerous new world; a world that thrills to the delight of political intrigue and where a life can be snuffed out with a flash of a merlino blade.
What I Have to Say
This is the first book in the wonderful Stravaganza series by Mary Hoffman. I first read this book when I was pretty young. I fell in love instantly with both the world that she had created and with the city of Venice, though I fear that when I do finally get to Venice (which should be soon \o/) it will be a disappointment in comparison to the beautiful city of Bellezza that Hoffman describes. I just love the world she's created too much.
The series is still going and the next book in the series is due to come out this year. Go and check it out. There's time to read the books so far before the next one comes out.