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The Nostradamus Prophecy, by Anna Breslin (468 pages) ~

A prophecy of death, made in France in 1566 by Nostradamus, concerning the young King Charles, makes his mother nervous and she relies more and more on the soothsayer, believing he can truly see the future. Melisande with her sister Chantelle and their father are musicians attached to the court and when Chantelle becomes betrothed to the young man she is in love with, their lives seemed filled with happiness.

But the Angel of Death hangs over the court and, in the prophecy, its wings are outstretched over Chantelle. When she dies, Melisande is compelled to escape the royal court and with the help of Melchior and his leopard, Paladin, she makes her way to Nostradamus’ town to seek his help. While living under his roof she becomes adept at making medicines in his apothecary shop and finds she too has the gift of prophecy. Forces are at work within the kingdom which she cannot escape and once again Melisande finds herself having to rely on strangers to keep herself alive long enough to fulfil her destiny. Lots of history and intrigue. 5 stars