Thursday, December 19, 2013

The King's Agent by Donna Russo Morin


"Russo Morin skillfully blends historical fiction and fantasy in surprising ways. She draws effortlessly upon influences ranging from Dante to Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the authority of her presentation makes the world she’s created come alive. A wonderfully action-packed ride through the lush landscape of Renaissance Italy." Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

The King’s Agent is based loosely on the life of Battista della Palla-a patriotic plunderer, a religious rogue-of the 16th century, a lifelong friend to the great Michelangelo.

As the cloistered ward of the Marquess of Mantua, Lady Aurelia is a woman with a profound duty, and a longing for adventure. In search of a relic intended for the King of France, Battista and Aurelia cross the breathtaking landscape of Renaissance Italy. Clues hide in great works of art, political forces collide, secret societies and enemies abound, and danger lurks in every challenge, those that mirror the passages of Dante's Divine Comedy. It is an adventurous quest with undercurrents of the supernatural, powers that could change the balance of supremacy throughout Europe.


Paperback, 411 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Kensington (first published February 28th 2012)

I was thrilled when contacted by the author and asked to review this book.  In no way does this influence my opinion of The King's Agent. I knew nothing of what this book was about, but judging from the cover I was expecting something other than what I received, and I mean that in a good way.

This book is a wonderful mix of mystery, history, romance and a tad of supernatural elements plus lots of adventure.  I was captivated with this story right from the first chapter. Told from the point of view of Battista, commissioned by the King of France to 'acquire' an old relic, he leads a search that reminded me of Raiders of the Lost Ark and I could even picture him looking like Harrison Ford. He character was realistic and believable, picture rugged but with feelings and compassion.

Lady Aurelia was a mystery right from the start and it was interesting to see her story develop, who she was and the role that she played.

I have never read Dante's Divine Comedy and I know nothing about Michelangelo (other than hearing about some of his works, I know time to get my head out of the sand on this one).  This is the part of reading historical fiction that I really like, it opens my eyes to the past in a fun and educational way.

Definitely an author that I will be reading more of.

****1/2

 

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I've never read any of Russo Morin's novels before, but I've heard such good things about them. I do have one sitting on my shelf (I'm hoping it's this one) and I must make a point of getting to it soon.

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