The Red Necklace

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The Red Necklace
The Red Necklace cover.jpg
First edition, 2007
Author Sally Gardner
Cover artist Lydia Corry
(portrait of boy) [clarification needed]
Country United Kingdom
Series French Revolution
Genre Young-adult historical novel
Publisher Orion Children's Books
Publication date
4 October 2007
Media type Print (hardcover)
Pages viii + 376 pp
ISBN ISBN 1-84255-574-X
OCLC 148313489
LC Class PZ7.G179335 Red 2008[1]
Followed by The Silver Blade

The Red Necklace is a young adult historical novel by Sally Gardner, published by Orion in 2007. It is a story of the French Revolution, interwoven with gypsy magic. The audiobook is narrated by Tom Hiddleston.

The Silver Blade (Orion, 2008) is a sequel set during the Reign of Terror (OCLC 236120297). US editions were published by Dial Press in 2008 and 2009.[1][2]

Plot introduction[edit]

The story is principally set in and near Paris between 1789 and 1792. Yann Margoza, the protagonist, is a young traveling entertainer with the ability to read minds and throw his voice. When he gets older he finds that he can move objects with his mind (telekinesis).[3]

Character list[edit]

  • Yannick "Yann" Margoza – A young gypsy boy with telepathic powers. An orphan, he is raised on the road amongst travelling entertainers, but is forced to flee to England and be raised amongst a childless couple after his band of roadsmen are murdered by Kalliovski. Due to his grief, he loses his powers, but later regains them when he returns to France, only to find that he cannot read any other mind except that of Sido, the girl he loves.
  • Sidonie "Sido" de Villeduval – The neglected, unloved only daughter of the pompous, idiot Marquis de Villeduval. She is a brave, resourceful girl who simply wants to be loved. Despite her beauty, she has a limp in her left leg due to an accident as a child, causing others to see her as "broken". She saves Yann from Kalliovski early in the novel and the two fall in love.
  • Têtu - A dwarf, who raised Yann. He knew Kallivoski from his past, and was a very close friend of Yannick's mother. He knows Count Kallivoski's secret and the fact that he is a murderer.
  • Count Kallivoski – An evil, murderous nobleman and the main antagonist of the novel. He frequently distributes vast loans to financially troubled aristocrats of France, asking them for their most incriminating secrets in return, and using these to blackmail his debtors into obeying him. He joins the revolution as "Citizen Kalliovski", and uses his connections with the Marquis de Villeduval to intimidate him into giving the Count Sido for a wife.
  • The Marquis de Villeduval – Sido's callous, foppish father who has bankrupted himself due to his incessant squandering of the family fortune, and owes an immense sum to Count Kalliovski, who threatens to reveal the Marquis' darkest secrets to the police unless the Marquis relinquishes Sido to him. The Marquis, caring nothing for Sido, wants rid of her, but also wishes to claim the inheritance left to her by her late grandfather in order to clear his debts. He is later driven to insanity after a mob of revolutionaries burn down his manor, and he meets his end shortly after being arrested.

The title[edit]

The title refers to the murder signature of Count Kalliovski, who puts round the necks of all his murder victims a necklace of red garnets strung on a thin red ribbon. The effect of the necklace is to make it look as if the wearer's throat has been cut.


  1. ^ a b "The red necklace: a story of the French Revolution" (US edition). Library of Congress Catalog Record. Retrieved 2014-07-02.
  2. ^ "The Silver Blade" (US edition). LCC record. Retrieved 2014-07-02.
  3. ^ "Children's Book Reviews: Week of 5/26/2008". Publishers Weekly. 26 May 2008. Archived 2008-05-27. Retrieved 2014-07-02.

External links[edit]