Friday, 18 January 2013

Review - The King's Agent by Donna Russo Morin

Publisher:                     Kensington Publishing
Year:                           2012
Price in sterling:            £8.41
Format:                        Paperback
Pages:                          438
ISBN:                          978-0758246820

Renaissance Italy is a hotbed of artistic superiority, of devious plots between city states and a time when men must make a choice as to which side to stand should war come to their land.  Battista della Palla is such a man.  From the outside he is an avid collector of art, a patron to the Renaissance movement and friend to Michaelangelo the celebrated artist.  But he is also an agent of the King of France who uses him to steal priceless treasures in return for the promised protection of his beloved Florence.

When a task so dangerous is given to him by his protector, Battista begins searching for a hidden painting by Giotto.  Using Dante’s famous tome “The Commedia” as a road map, Battista finds himself allied with a beautiful maiden, the secluded and sheltered Aurelia.  Together they fight through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise to retrieve their prize.


If you want to become immersed in an alien world, filled with wonder, danger, beauty, genius and full on excitement then this is the book for you.  Donna Russo Morin writes from the heart and you can tell that she hasn’t researched the period for the pure purpose of conveying a story but that it is a passion she holds in her heart.  Her knowledge of the era, the deep love she has for the Renaissance movement is something that she has obviously studied and researched for many years and her exceptional writing makes this a book not only to be enjoyed, but devoured.

The plot is simple, but the creation of a wonderfully colourful world inhabited by characters whose love of art and adventure sets this book apart from the norm.  It has influences from the 21st Century, the quests are video-game-like involving the negotiation of underground catacombs filled with deadly traps and mind stretching puzzles, yet it never loses its identity as a medieval historical adventure.  The fictional characters are almost indistinguishable from the real life people weaved into this strikingly original story, another testament to the author’s talent for writing.

The King’s Agent is simply brilliant.  A book that paints vivid images in your mind as you read is always a joy and Donna Russo Morin delivers with aplomb.  I give The Kings Agent 5 Crosses.   
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I am also granting Donna Russo Morin The Golden Hammer & Anvil Shield for “The King’s Agent”.  The way she has conveyed the beauty of art, the passion of her subject matter and the quality of her writing makes this book exceptional.  This is a perfect example of how words can paint pictures in your mind and transport you half a millennia back in time!

Find out more about Donna Russo Morin in my exclusive interview & win a copy of "The King's Agent" in my latest giveaway!

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