Tag: Author: Marina Fiorato

So You Want to Read… (Marina Fiorato)

Posted 15 June, 2016 by Lianne in Lists / 4 Comments

So You Want to Read… is a monthly feature here on eclectictales.com in which I recommend books by particular authors to readers who have never read a book from certain authors and would like to start. I’m always happy to recommend books and certain authors to my fellow readers and bloggers! 🙂

Another month, another edition of “So You Want to Read…” This month I decided to focus on Marina Fiorato and her bibliography; I don’t know if it’s because the first time I travelled to Italy it was summertime but her books seem to be perfect to focus on these summer months. I forgot how I first encountered her books–it must have been during one of my searches for historical fiction set in Italy–

If you’re interested in reading her books for the first time, here’s my recommendations on where to start:

  • The Daughter of Siena (review) — Also happens to have one of my favourite book covers ever, but anyway, I think The Daughter of Siena is a great starting point if you’re curious to check out her books: lots of intrigue, fascinating city and culture and history (every Italian city has its quirks and its own unique history, and Siena definitely fits the bill on all of this), interesting characters, lots of conflict and tension and overlapping interests. Quite the page turner.
  • The Venetian Contract (review) — Another fascinating and informative novel from Marina Fiorato. I only visited Venice once and while I thought I knew enough of the basics of what went on there during the early modern period/Renaissance/at its height, I learned so much more about Venice and its situation in the 16th century, and especially its relations with the Ottoman Empire. I admit, the primary interest why I wanted to read this book was because the architect Andrea Palladio was featured here (he’s known for a number of architectural buildings he constructed in the period, many of which you can see in Vincenza) and his presence certainly didn’t disappoint here.
  • Beatrice and Benedick (review) — If you love the Shakespeare play Much Ado About Nothing (review) then you should check out this book. It puts Beatrice and Benedick’s story in a more historical setting and while I quibbled that perhaps she drew a bit too much directly from the play in terms of dialogue, it’s still a lot of fun to read, not to mention a different setting in Italy (Sicily this time).

I hope this list helps if you’re interested in reading something by Marina Fiorato for the first time! If you’ve read her books, which one is your favourite? Which would you recommend for first-time readers? Or which books have you been meaning to get around to reading? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

Review: The Botticelli Secret

Posted 7 August, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Botticelli Secret
By: Marina Fiorato
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

When part-time model and full-time prostitute Luciana Vetra is asked by one of her most exalted clients to pose for a painter friend, she doesn’t mind serving as the model for the central figure of Flora in Sandro Botticelli’s masterpiece “Primavera.” But when the artist dismisses her without payment, Luciana impulsively steals an unfinished version of the painting–only to find that somone is ready to kill her to get it back.

What could possibly be so valuable about the picture? As friends and clients are slaughtered around her, Luciana turns to the one man who has never desired her beauty, novice librarian Brother Guido. Fleeing Venice together, Luciana and Guido race through the nine cities of Renaissance Italy, pursued by ruthless foes who are determined to keep them from decoding the painting’s secrets.

This is the only Marina Fiorato novel I have left to read from her bibliography. Strangely enough the premise of this novel didn’t quite catch my attention the first time I was browsing through her book titles, but as the number of titles left for me to check out dwindled down, I figured it was time for me to read this novel 😉 Despite being busy studying for exams, I thought it was a good time to read it as there’s something about the book cover that evokes summer 😛 (even though the central focus is on Botticelli’s “Primavera” painting 😛 ) Contains some SPOILERS ahead!

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Review: Beatrice and Benedick

Posted 29 May, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

Beatrice and Benedick
By: Marina Fiorato
Format/Source: Paperback; my copy

Hidden in the language of Shakespeare’s best-loved comedy Much Ado About Nothing, are several clues to an intriguing tale. It seems that the witty lovers Beatrice and Benedick had a previous love affair which ended bitterly. But how did they meet, why did they part, and what after oceans apart and divided by war and slander, brought them together again?

In a journey that takes us from the courts of sunlit Sicily to the crippled Armada fleet and from a cruel curse uttered at the stake to the glorious Renaissance cities of thenorth, Marina Fiorato tells a story of intrigue, treachery and betrayal that will shed a new light on Shakespeare’s most appealing lovers.

Oh, man, this book has been quite up there in the want-to-read list (more like the “this-needs-to-be-in-my-life-and-on-my-shelf” list) since…late 2013?/when it was first announced? I mean, it’s about Much Ado About Nothing (review)’s Beatrice and Benedick. And look how pretty the book cover is! (all of Marina Fiorato’s books have pretty book covers) So yes, I was very happy when my pre-order of this book arrived 😛

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Review: The Venetian Contract

Posted 14 March, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Venetian Contract
By: Marina Fiorato
Format/Source: Paperback; my copy

In 1576, five years after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto, a ship slips unnoticed into Venice bearing a deadly cargo. A man, more dead than alive, disembarks and staggers twoards the Piazza San Marco. He brings a gift to Venice from the Turkish Sultan. Within days the city will be infected with bubonic plague – and the Turks will have their revenge.

For months the plague wreaks havoc on Venice. In despair, the Doge summons the architect Andrea Palladio and offers him a commission: the greatest church of his career, an offering to God so magnificent that Venice will be saved. Palladio’s own life is in danger too, and it will require all the skills of Dr Annibale Cason, the city’s finest plague doctor, to keep him alive. But what Dr Cason has not counted on is the other passenger who disembarked from the Turkish ship – a young and beautiful harem doctor whose skills will more than match his own.

I’ve been a fan of Marina Fiorato’s works over the years, especially since The Daughter of Siena (review). I was quite excited when I heard about this novel because it features Andrea Palladio, an eminent architect during the Renaissance. I learned a lot about him when I visited Vicenza a few years ago. Then, for whatever reason, I totally forgot that this novel was going to be released until last year when I finally got my hands on it. And I finally read it, lol.

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Review: The Madonna of the Almonds

Posted 10 April, 2012 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

The Madonna of the Almonds
By: Marina Fiorato

Young widow Simonetta tries to rebuild her family in 16th century Saronno, tuscany, following the death of her husband in one of the battles ravaging the land. In pursuit of a means to keep her estate together, she stumbles upon a new drink made by inffusing almonds with alcohol. At the same time, she encounters Bernadino, the protege of Leonardo da Vinci. What follows is a glorious story of passion, betrayal, warfare and bravery.

I’ve read two of Marina Fiorato’s books last year, The Glassblower of Murano (review) and The Daughter of Siena (review), so I was looking forward to reading this book. I’ve mentioned this a few times but for whatever reason this book has not been published by the same publisher here in North America; however, it was available on the Book Depository. I also read this book as part of the I Love Italy Reading Challenge that I’m participating in. Some spoilers ahead!

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