We are SO excited that The Storm of Life is officially on shelves! But in case you need a quick refresher since reading The Brilliant Death, we asked author Amy Rose Capetta to recap the major stuff! Read her recap below!
1. Teodora di Sangro is a strega. A strega is a witchy-type of person, each one with a slightly different power. Teo’s power is the ability to change people into objects (music boxes, rose plants, owls when she’s really angry.)
2. Cielo is also a strega! Cielo has the ability to change form, appearing in two different human variations, as well as taking on the shape of a bird, a wolf, a wind blowing over the mountain…you get the idea. Cielo has an enchanted book created to control the changes. With a flick of the pages, Cielo’s form shifts.
3. Teo and Cielo are in love. Sometimes they try to out-stubborn each other. Sometimes they just make out instead.
4. Teo cares about her family. A lot. As a child of one of the mafia-like five families, she’s been taught to be loyal to the di Sangro line above all. As a child, her father always told her “family is fate” and she took this very literally for a long time.
5. Case in point: When Teo’s father was poisoned by a letter (!) from the new ruler of Vinalia which required the family to send a new leader to the capital city, Teo made it her mission to answer the summons, using her magic to appear as a boy and save her family.
6. As it turns out, Teo did more than save her family by spending time as a boy. She also started to explore some feelings about gender through magic! (Get ready for more gender exploration in the second book!)
7. As it turns out, Teo isn’t the only strega in her family. At the end of The Brilliant Death, we learned that Teo’s father has been hiding the fact that he’s a strega healer from the rest of the five families for his entire life.
8. Which makes sense, because the five families can be a lot. The current crop of young family heads include: Ambrogio, who was engaged to Teo’s sister Mirella (and got her pregnant!) but turned out to be a traitor; Lorenzo, who has to fight to be with his true love, Mimi, instead of making a political match in the families; Vanni, who’s kind of ridiculous; and Pasquale, who doesn’t like Teo because she flirted with his fiancé and she transformed him into a shoehorn once. Also he’s a misogynist so that doesn’t help.
9. The five families are fighting against the ascendance of the Capo, a military leader who managed to unify all of Vinalia under one flag. (He’s also Cielo’s uncle: surprise!) He says he’s pro-strega, but what he actually means is that he wants to control the power of Vinalia’s streghe and use it for his own ends. To do that, he recruited two magical sisters and secretly fed them other peoples’ power, one dead strega at a time. Those sisters are dead now, and Teo carries their magic, and the magic of everyone who was killed to make them stronger. What I mean is, Teo is carrying SO MUCH MAGIC.
10. Right before the end of The Brilliant Death, Teo walked away from her family, because her father wouldn’t let her be his heir unless she only used her magic to remain in a boy’s form, forever. Having found freedom in her genderfluidity and her magic, she wants to be true to all parts of who she is. So she’s running away with Cielo! Sorry, Dad!
11. Remember how Teo sometimes turns people into owls when she’s mad? One time when she did that to her terrifying brother, Beniamo. He’s human again, but he remembers being an owl, and he definitely remembers hating Teo. So add that on top of all of her other problems.
12. Oh, and thanks to the Capo, a war is brewing. And Teo might be the only one who has enough power to stop it.