The King's Agent by Donna Russo Morin
Reviewed as a part of Historical Fiction Book Tours
Twitter Event Hashtag: #KingsAgentVirtualBookTour
The 16th century, Italy, art, spying, and mysterious men....combine that with an absolutely gorgeous cover and count me in! (Click HERE to view the cover up close in all it's glory). The King's Agent, the newest release from the fabulous historical fiction author Donna Russo Morin, sounded promising, but did it live up to the hype? Forgive me if some of the details are a little foggy, I'm reviewing this book more than three months after I initially read it!
When Battista della Paglia steals art from her protector's home, Aurelia does the logical thing: she joins him. Battista is a way to escape the Marquess of Mantua's watchful eye and travel and have adventures. She learns Battista is an agent for François of France for whom he 'retrieves' the greatest artistic works of the day. He will do this by any means necessary (i.e. murder, seduction, tricks). After running away with Battista, he and Aurelia are sent on a mission to find a mysterious sculpture with potentially sinister effects. We are then sent on a journey through Renaissance Italy and meet a wide range of colorful characters, both unfamiliar and well known (Michelangelo, for example). This all culminates with an epic, not easily forgotten climax
I absolutely loved the relationship between Battista and Aurelia! They both have fiery spirits and worked well together in their missions. You can really feel both the Italian culture and the time period through the writing, it's all very authentic. I did have trouble grasping the supernatural turn towards the end of the book that seemed to come out of absolutely nowhere. It was hard to take in and was somewhat over the top. Though it took awhile to get into the flow of events and get used to the author's writing style (LOTS of Italian words, but you can always figure out what they mean by context), I enjoyed the story overall. Even though it's not being put on my re-read pile, I am still open to reading more of Donna Russo Morin's novels!