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The Principessa Paperback – 1 Oct 2007
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Praise for The Principessa
‘The perfect companion for long autumn evenings. It’s an absorbing historical adventure…a satisfyingly intricate plot’ First
‘This is a fabulous read. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical adventure and intrigue, twists and turns but also to those who revel in a poignant and powerful love story. There's something for everyone and what's more, it's beautifully written. What more could anyone ask? I cannot for the life of me understand why Christie Dickason's novels are not better known and appreciated. It's high time.’ Historical Novels Review
‘Impressively researched, authentic and highly readable’ My Weekly
Praise for The Firemaster’s Mistress
‘A rich mix of romance, suspense, adventure and lightly-worn knowledge. Gunpowder, treason and plot have never been so entertaining.’ Kate Saunders, The Times
‘Atmospheric and impressively researched, it is highly entertaining.’ Elizabeth Buchan, The Sunday Times
‘Marries conspiracy theory to Jacobean high-jinks…a racy read…reveals the principal actors to be models of conspirators everywhere: single-minded, ideologically driven, careless of their own and others lives, believers for the wrong reasons in the efficacy of a single violent blow to change the course of history …so strangely does it resonate with our own times…sometimes one is momentarily unsure whether one is in 1605 or 2005 as one reads.’ A.C. Grayling, Financial Times
Sumptuous, glorious evocation of Jacobean London and Renaissance Italy from the acclaimed author of The Firemaster's Mistress. Robert Cecil, Secretary of State to James I, has a problem. He owes a vast and secret debt to the Prince of La Spada, who is dying and has called in the loan -- and Cecil cannot pay. Even worse, he has staked as security, without royal authority, the King's Great Pearl. To Cecil's surprise, the Prince will agree to a hostage but he wants Cecil's firemaster: Francis Quoynt, the best in his dangerous business. Cecil immediately seizes the chance, for Quoynt also serves as his spy. La Spada is a wealthy, beautiful Italian city-state -- the gateway of Europe. Whoever controls the mountain passes of La Spada also controls the flow of intelligence and much of the trade from the Middle East. As his mind disintegrates into fantastic obsessions, the Prince makes his treacherous illegitimate son his heir. Which thwarts the deadly ambition of his daughter, Sofia -- the Principessa. Sofia is young, seductive, wily and recently widowed. Already a blooded player of politics, she could outdo Lucretia Borgia in the lethal game of survival.Which she must now play to save herself and her beloved state.As unpredictable as gunpowder, will she choose to seek Francis's heart, or his life? Or both? See all Product description
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Set in an imaginary Italian city-state in northern Italy bordering the Balkans, it takes a different view of the Renaissance than the usual English-Tudor or classical Italian one. I wonder whether the fact that this isn't based around an historical incident (like the Gunpowder plot in her last book) allowed the author's imagination a freer reign? In any case it works magnificently.
Sent to retrieve a fraudulent loan bond by Robert Cecil, Francis Quoynt finds himself caught between the mad dreams of the dying Prince and the lethal duel for power of his daughter and illegitimate son.
Unlike the first novel, the sexual tension between the main characters in palpable in this book. But this isn't a girlie romance: it's a robust historical thriller that also touches on issues of power, politics and the background to the recent conflict in the Blakans.
I think this is a much maturer and more confident read than Dickason's last book, and eagerly await her next instalment.
Everything you could wish for in a good spy book:- adventure, love, a good gripping tale and set in a most interesting part of the world with great detail and breathing with a deep sense of reality.
In fact it has a great sense of Europe in the 1600s, and is more the story of an English adventurer, who finds himself bored enough to be pushed into a very dangerous and at times crazy and beautiful situation.
The writing is excellent thank you Ms.Dickason, and I'm off to order the other book