Historical Fiction fantasy with the thrill of adventure!
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An adventurous quest in Renaissance Italy with undercurrents of the supernatural, powers that could change the balance of supremacy throughout Europe.
To the casual observer, Battista della Paglia is an avid art collector, or perhaps a nimble thief. In reality, the cunning Italian is an agent for François, the King of France, for whom he procures the greatest masterpieces of the day by any means necessary. Embroiled in a power struggle with Charles V, the King of Spain, François resolves to rule Europe's burgeoning cultural world. When he sets his sights on a mysterious sculpture, Battista's search for the elusive objet d'art leads him to a captivating woman on a mission of her own. . .
Having spent her life under the controlling eye of her protector, the Marquess of Mantua, Aurelia longs for freedom. And she finds it in Battista. Together, they embark on a journey to find the clues that will lead him to the sculpture-- a venture so perilous it might have spilled from the pen of Dante himself. From the smoldering depths of Rome to a castle in the sky, the harrowing quest draws them inextricably together. But Aurelia guards a dark secret that could tear them apart--and change the course of history. . .
THE KING’S AGENT is based on the real life of Battista della Palla—a patriotic plunderer, a religious rogue—of the 16th century, a lifelong friend to the great Michelangelo. To some he is an avid art collector, or perhaps a nimble thief. In reality, the cunning Italian is an agent for François, the King of France, for whom he procures the greatest masterpieces of the day by any means necessary. When François sets his sights on a mysterious sculpture, Battista’s search for the elusive object leads him to a woman with a mission of her own.
As the cloistered ward of the Marquess of Mantua, the Lady Aurelia is a woman with a profound duty, and a longing for adventure. In search of the relic, Battista and Aurelia cross the breathtaking landscape of Renaissance Italy. Clues hide in great works of art—symbols that speak of other worldly forces—political forces collide, secret societies and enemies abound, and danger lurks in every challenge, those that mirror the passages of Dante’s Divine Comedy.
The King’s Agent by Donna Russo Morin is a fun historical fantasy adventure set in Renaissance Italy. At the heart of the story is Battista della Palla, a true historical figure, who is an art aficionado/procurer who is searching for a sculpture that will convince the King of France to lend his support to defend Florence. While committing an art theft, Lady Aurelia comes to his rescue and convinces him to take her with him in his adventures. As they work to unlock the mystery based upon Dante’s Divine Comedy, they trek perilously in dark corridors beneath dark castles, muddle through labyrinths, find openings to secret doors, and discover mysterious clues that lead to dark secrets.
Michelangelo is a minor character and his relationship with Aurelia is quite endearing as the story unfolds. The pages of this novel are filled with brilliant descriptions and dazzling details, typical of Donna Russo Morin’s style. This novel is a remarkably intricate and captivating romance sprinkled with intrigue, adventure, gothic style labyrinths, history, art, mystery, and much more. Rich and complex, there is something here for every reader. As inspiration for this work, the author reveals her passion for the video game Zelda, which helped her build a strong foundation with her this sons as they were growing up. I also enjoyed following Dante's Inferno as the mystery of the story was revealed.
This was a novel to savour and enjoy the richness that leaps off every page as you read it. Highly recommended.
Donna Russo Morin was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1958. Her writing endeavors began at age six and covered such timely topics as The Pink Pussy Cat for President and The Numbers 2 and 4 are in Love.
Traveling through adolescence on the wings of the ‘60s gave Donna a lot of grist for her writing mill. Feminism, civil rights, the Vietnam War were all a disturbing yet highly motivating muse. Donna found her voice in fiction and with the appearance of a new horror writer on the book scene, a little known author named Stephen King, she turned her pen to the gruesome and the grotesque.
After graduating from the University of Rhode Island, Donna worked in marketing and advertising for large corporations and small non-profit arts organizations. When she had her children, she knew with a certainty that she needed to show them, by example, that if you believe in yourself, anything is possible.
In addition to writing and teaching writing, Donna has worked as a model and actor since the age of seventeen, when she did her first television commercial for Sears. Since then she has appeared in more than thirty television spots and print ads, everything from changing the oil in her car (that was acting) to modeling fur coats. She also appeared in three episodes of Showtime’s THE BROTHERHOOD, as well as in Martin Scorsese’s THE DEPARTED.
Donna lives peacefully, close to the beautiful shoreline of Rhode Island that she loves so much, with her two sons, Devon and Dylan, her greatest works in progress.